Staging Your Home Steps and Statistics
So there are an awful lot of articles on the internet about staging your home. When this article was written there were over 3.8 million Google results for "staging your home". Everyone has an opinion and strategy for home staging. I am a numbers guy as I explained before. Personally I would rather walk into an empty home and fell the true size and picture my belongings in certain areas of the home. I have bought more home (personally) than I can remember. I have only bought one home that wasn't empty.
That is my personal preference and I seem to be in the minority on this one. As a numbers guy I have to look at the facts and the numbers. That is why I always price a home right or don't take the listing. You may feel your home is worth X amount but the numbers say it is worth Y amount. Y amount is always correct (99.9% of the time). Here are some staging statistics I found very interesting:
- It is estimated that only 10% of home buyers can visualize the potential of a home. That means 90% are not going to be able to look past dirt, clutter, and imperfections. If there is something that you have gotten "used to" like the broker seal on the window with the best view in the house, that will be the first thing a buyer sees.
- According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average staging investment is between 1 and 3% of the home's asking price, which generates a return of 8 to 10%. That's a pretty good investment.
- In a 2009 Home Gain Survey of over 2,000 Realtors, it was discovered that home staging typically provides a 586% return on investment.
- According to a 2011 study by HomeGain.com, these are some top updates you can make to prepare your home for sale that will result in the greatest return on your investment:
- Clean and declutter: 872%
- Lighten & brighten: 572%
- Landscaping (both front and back): 473%
- Paint interior: 250%
- Update kitchen: 237%
- Update bathroom: 172%
- Staged homes spent 83% less time on the market than non-staged homes. (HomeGain.com).
Getting your home ready for staging seems like a major job. Especially with all the other tasks to get ready to move. I would advise you (most the time) to not put a great deal of money into getting your home ready to list. With exceptions of, updating your kitchen (if needed and you have the cash to do it) and a little painting. The rest of the stuff you do will be extremely cheap. Here are some staging tips that are easy and cheap:
I can't believe sometimes when into a home and the bathroom has black or green stuff on the walls. It is usually referred to as mildew. Although I have had home inspectors call it the other "M" word in inspection reports. You want to see how fast a buyer can run? Just have them read an inspection report with the word mold in it. The easy and cheap fix is a water/bleach solution. Mix it very weak and spray on the area to be cleaned. Then if you wish add a coat of paint. Please, please I beg you, clean the shower door. Especially if you live in a hard water area.
One of my favorite things to get a home ready for listing that is pretty easy and inexpensive is an accent wall. This work especially well with homes that haven't been updated paint wise since the 80's and 90's when the big fad was all white or light color walls. All you need to do is pick one wall in a room (actually rooms) and paint it a dark or earth tone color. You will be amazed at the difference.
You are going to need to get rid (put in storage or in the attic) all the things in your home that make it your "personal" space. When a buyer comes into your home they should not not anything about the person that lives there. They shouldn't be able to tell if you are a man, woman, married, have children, grandchildren or if you are a runner that that is a marathon everyday. Also please don't let them be able to tell your political affiliation. Unless it is a picture of you meeting the president you should take down all political information about yourself.
Make your bedroom unisex. It shouldn't be too much in either direction. A bedroom should be de-cluttered and personal things removed from the dressers. For security reasons all jeweler and medication should be removed and put someplace safe.
As mentioned above one of the improvements with a great RIO is redoing or updating your kitchen. I understand many people do not want to take that expense or inconvenience on. One thin you can do is to stain your old cabinets. You can also paint them but I don't recommend that unless they were painted once before. Another thing to do would be to clean the counter tops. Remove as many appliances you can live without during the selling project. Make it look like there is a lot of counter space.
Your Pet Smells!
Sometimes my job is to tell you things you may not want to hear. That little member of your family smell! Sorry but it does. Get rid of it! Not the pet but the smell. Sorry to point out the fact that cat smells are the most pungent and overwhelming. This is especially true for buyers that don't have cats. Many people are also allergic to cats. I have seen buyers turn around immediately after walking into a house because of a pet smell or dander. Don't assume the rest of the world likes animals. Truth is that it is a turn off for many people. Do what you can to make your home smell better before a showing and vacuum!