Setting the Stage for a Sale
Home staging has been a term used for many years to describe the process of preparing a property for the market. By decluttering, cleaning and getting a house ready to sell, home staging also helps by placing furnishings and decor to accent the homes’ benefits and appeal to the largest buying audience possible. Many home owners and realtors have known about this process for a while, but with the influence of design television and magazines, home staging has gone mainstream is widely used to make a home more attractive to potential buyers. Many agents will not list a property without it being staged, and some believe staging increases the sale price of the home anywhere from 1 to 15 percent. Even if it doesn’t increase the value, most agents agree that staging reduces the amount of time the home stays on the market, which is music to any seller’s ears. For the majority of clients, the investment in home staging is less than another month of mortgage payments or a price reduction after listing.
Occupied vs Vacant
Not all homes need a drastic makeover. In fact, the more dramatic results are usually seen in a vacant home staging, going from an empty home to a fully furnished and clutter free home. Occupied homes can be staged as well, and will benefit from a thorough cleaning, purge of unused items, some paint, repairs, and furniture rearranging to open up the home and show the overall space and flow available.
Preparation of both occupied and vacant homes may include as little as some fresh paint—but in most cases; refreshing landscaping, replacing dated light fixtures, hardware and countertops, refinishing hardwood floors, and even installing new carpet is part of the staging plan.
More real estate agents have gotten on board, and many have an eye for what is needed and will facilitate the interaction between the seller and the stager.
Home staging can range from small efforts like decluttering to a complete move out and refurnishing. Complete staging of vacant homes is a growing trend. Whether it’s a new or model home or the seller has moved out, many stagers today only work with vacant homes. And don’t forget that staging is both inside and outside, because curb appeal is just as important as what’s inside.
Home Staging Trends
Home staging and interior decorating are very different forms of design. Home staging takes the personality of the owner out of the home and neutralizes it just enough to appeal to more buyers, adding touches that appeal to a broad spectrum of potential new home owners. Interior design infuses the personality of the owner into the home, so they feel that their home speaks to them directly and reflects their personal taste to all those who enter. Many people believe that home stagers are designers and vice versa, but in most cases this is not true. Each path is distinctly different and serves unique purposes as it pertains to selling a home.
One of the golden rules of staging has been to keep things neutral to appeal to the widest range of potential buyers, but home stagers are increasingly adding a little more design, style and color to homes. Color makes a photo “pop” on the internet and draws potential buyers in to keep looking at other aspects of the home, both online and in person. Staging is becoming a bit more personal and less stale than it has in the past. It has always been standard to remove all family photos and personal items from the house, which is still a good idea, not only to depersonalize but to also keep the family and home safe.
Today’s buyers prefer to see a house with a little personality, but not necessarily personal items. They want to see a “real” house that they can imagine themselves in. Small, personal details can create an inspirational image to help reach buyers on an emotional level. It’s also becoming trendy for stagers to do a little mixing of vintage pieces to give a home a designer look and more depth.
The Future of Home Staging
While most of the staging dos and don’ts will remain the same in 2018, experts project some new design trends to emerge in staged homes in the coming year.
Color: After a few years where just about every design magazine is covered in gray, the prediction is: gray is dead. People are embracing beige and creamy white again. Stagers are also increasingly adding a pop of color or an upscale design element to appeal to design-conscious buyers. Adding a pop of color in a room through accessories or artwork are common.
Floors: It used to be that preparing a home for sale meant replacing old, stained carpet with new carpet, but that is also changing.. Many are replacing carpeting with wood and faux wood flooring, at least on the main floor.
Countertops: While quartz is the latest countertop trend among high-end homes for 2018, most of America will stick with granite because of the cost.
Glam: Although it sounds exception to the rule of keeping things neutral, HGTV and design magazines have popularized a bit of glam. Now you’re seeing much more metallic, even gold, adding a bit of bling to a home.
So go out and enjoy doing some staging of your own, or even better, let the experts take it on. A staged home can be a great source of inspiration before you enter into the home selling or buying arena. Call on a local home stager to answer any questions you may have about getting your home ready for the market or contact a licensed realtor in your area.
Napa Valley Home Staging
Owned and Operated by Jodie Perry-Dant