Staging has long been part of selling a home, and for good reason. When selling a home, it makes sense for sellers to make their homes as appealing as possible.
Researchers at Old Dominion University and Johns Hopkins University found that staging did not have a significant effect on the actual revealed market value of a property. However, homeowners should not interpret that as a reason to skip staging. In fact, the study’s authors note that staging gave buyers more favorable impressions of a property, which might accelerate the selling process.
Staging a home need not be difficult. In fact, homeowners can employ several simple and inexpensive staging strategies to entice buyers to make offers on their homes.
• Clear out the clutter, especially in bathrooms and closets. Clear out the clutter in each room in the house before hosting an open house. Note that it’s not just bedrooms and living rooms that should be made to look open, spacious and clutter-free. A luxurious, hotel-quality bathroom that’s open and airy can impress buyers, as can organized closets that are not jam-packed with clothing, shoes and other wardrobe items that have a tendency to take over closets the longer someone lives in a home.
• Let the sun shine in. A home that’s bright and airy tends to appear more spacious and livable than one in which the windows and blinds are closed. Before hosting an open house, open the blinds and crack some windows if the weather permits.
• Start right inside the front door. A welcoming, clutter-free foyer or primary entryway makes a strong first impression, immediately giving buyers an idea of what it will be like to welcome their own friends and family into a home should they buy it. If you hang your coats on a coat rack in a foyer or entryway that does not have a closet, remove the coat rack before hosting an open house. Coat racks can make the space feel cramped. If there’s room, place a small table and bench just inside the door.
• Take care of the yard. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and the first thing buyers will see when they pull up outside your house is the exterior of your home. Landscaping is important. A well-maintained yard suggests that owners have taken pride in their homes, and that may extend inside the home. Make sure the grass is freshly cut, shrubs and trees have been trimmed, bald spots in the lawn have been addressed, and exterior living spaces have been cleaned and cleared of clutter.
Staging a home sounds complicated. But there are various simple and inexpensive ways to make a home more attractive to prospective buyers.