There are lots of reasons why people sell homes, perhaps moving for work or retiring to a new region. Unfortunately, higher interest rates have posed a challenge for buyers and sellers. In October 2022, rates soared past 7%, sending shock waves in the real estate industry. Higher rates effectively slow the market. Not only do people qualify for less, but higher rates also mean that folks want a bigger bang for their buck. Thus, buyers often expect move-in ready homes that are in great condition and show well. Though rates have begun to slowly retreat, it remains an essential goal for sellers to maximize profits and for buyers to gain valuable homes. Thus, sellers are turning to home staging, or styling and furnishing a home to create visual appeal, to draw traffic to the property and entice potential buyers to make offers. Here are some quick keys to staging a home.
- Create curb appeal – People are frequently cautioned not to judge a book by its cover. However, this does not apply to homes. American businesswoman and television personality, Barbara Corcoran, shares this valuable wisdom , “Buyers decide in the first eight seconds of seeing a home if they are interested in buying it. Get out of your car, walk in their shoes, and see what they see within the first eight seconds.” When it comes to a lackluster exterior, buyers will forgo stepping foot inside. Professional stagers know this and will often spruce up the front porch or exterior entrance, doing things like creating a seating area to entice buyers to step inside.
- Less is more – Myquillyn Smith, author of “Cozy Minimalist Home. More Style, Less Stuff,” explains, “When home feels out of control, no matter what the reason, unsettledness and anxiety can seep in, and then chaos becomes internal as well as external.” Buyers can sense the chaos in cluttered homes and will walk away. Though we live in a society that values material items, too many material things can lead to a mess. This can make a home feel cramped and tight; ultimately creating a negative ambiance. Remember that people are interested in buying your home and not your things. So, pack up the knickknacks and excess décor and concentrate on showing off your home’s unique features instead, such as a beautiful ocean view.
- Think neutral – In the famous words of artist Leonardo DaVinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” According to experts, most buyers prefer homes featuring neutral palates as it makes rooms look fresh and clean. This includes wall, floor, and ceiling colors, as well as furniture. This allows buyers to imagine their own décor inside. Over-the-top colorful homes can be too taste-specific and turn buyers off, so it’s best to stick to light, neutral shades, and tones that have mass appeal.
- Match the furniture to the home’s style – In life and in decorating, it’s easiest to go with the flow. Take cues from a home’s feature and run with it. For example, a mid-century modern home can best showcase furniture pieces with tapered legs and tasteful yet bold pops of color, all elements of this style. Whereas leather, rustic furniture, and vibrant quilts work best in a country cabin. For continuity in homes, it’s essential to bring separate elements together to seamlessly fit into the design. French Interior designer Andre Putman stated, “For a house to be successful, the objects in it must communicate with one another, respond and balance one another.” Thus, pieces must be selectively chosen and relate to each other and work together to complement the home’s overall character and design.
Home staging is the art of preparing and arranging a home for sale to attract maximum potential buyers. Staging a home involves dressing a property to make it appealing. It also serves to draw interest to main features that make a home special. Important steps include creating curb appeal to entice buyers, decluttering to allow people to see and appreciate the space, staying neutral to appeal to a wider audience, and selecting particular pieces to enhance a home’s style. Each of these potentially work to capture the attention of prospective buyers and bring multiple offers to your doorstep.
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