9/12/2009

Five Principles of Home Staging


Home staging is economical and a well-proven benefit to Realtors and home owners alike. Here are some basic staging principles every home seller can use:

Become a Seller, Not a Dweller
Homeowners must make the mental shift necessary to become Sellers, not Dwellers. It is only then sellers are able to realize they own a commodity to be sold and no longer their home. The way we live in our homes is different than the way we sell our homes. With this mental shift in place, the next step in the process may begin.

Clean and De-clutter
De-cluttering is the first principle used in home staging. Clutter is defined as those items in a room that are not necessary for its function or beauty. Clutter can be too many books, knickknacks, or accessories. With staging, only key accessories and furniture remain. The property will immediately appear more spacious and well cared for.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as it applies to de-cluttering:
A buyer wants to purchase a move-in ready home. A house that is not clean implies deferred maintenance.
A buyer is purchasing square footage. Clear the clutter to create the impression of more space.
Let the light in; buyers are drawn to open, airy spaces.

Appeal to the Masses
With the de-cluttering process accomplished, the next phase is depersonalizing. The buyer will want to mentally personalize it and imagine living in the house when it becomes theirs. This includes using neutral tones throughout as well as general updates which will appeal to the largest segment of potential buyers.

Realtors no longer have the almost impossible task of telling homeowners their faux finished pink bathroom really needs a neutral tone of paint (put in before and after of pink bathroom) or their beloved collection of gargoyles will turn off potential buyers.

If You Can't See It, You Can't Sell It.
Curb appeal is everything. It's the first impression a potential buyer gets of the home. Remember, if you can’t see it you can’t sell it. The easiest and best way to determine what needs to be done to the outside of the home and the lawn is to walk across the street. Look objectively at what the home looks like from that vantage point. Then, take the following curb appeal test:

1. Are the gutters clean and in good repair?
2. How does the driveway look?
3. Do the shrubs need pruning?
4. Do the trees need trimming?
5. How do the flower beds look?
6. Is the walkway leading to the house inviting?
7. Does the lawn look clean and neat?
8. Are the house numbers clearly visible?
9. Does the entryway and front door make a great first impression?
10. Are toys, tools, hoses and any other distracting items put away?


It is only after answering and addressing the above curb appeal issues that the seller will have passed the “curb appeal test.”

Maximize Strong Points; Minimize Shortcomings
Finally, it’s important to show off the home’s best features, while hiding its flaws. Showcase focal points such as fireplaces, wood floors, and expansive views and divert attention away from less attractive features by creating alternate interest.

If a home seller is willing to follow these simple steps – clean and de-clutter, depersonalize, increase curb appeal and maximize the home’s strong points - they greatly improve the chances of selling their home quicker and for top dollar.

Amie Hebert Chaney, a Home Staging Expert (HSE), says Home Staging is the art of preparing a home for market to give the best possible first impression to potential buyers, resulting in a quicker sale and higher profit. The intent behind home staging is for potential buyers to be able to see the home as theirs. Copyright© 2008, Amie H. Chaney. All right reserved. For information contact FrogPond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email susie@FrogPond.com.

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