There is a lot a quality real estate agent can do to help get a home sold, from posting on social media to talking to people on the street or holding an open house. But, no matter how effective the marketing is, the number of potential buyers may still be low if the home isn't staged properly.
Home staging is the art of turning a home from a lived-in, well-loved place into a model property where anyone can envision spending their time. Without staging, buyers may have a hard time getting over the last owner's personal touches.
"Staging is not decorating," Kim Day Shacklock, a Tennessee-based Realtor, told Bill Lewis for an article in The Tennessean. "Staging is about preparing a house so a buyer can walk in and imagine themselves living there."
With that in mind, all real estate professionals may want to think about staging the next time they are about to list a home on the market, as this strategy can help a property stand out in a crowd.
Why staging is a smart choice
Home staging hasn't always been popular, nor has it always been necessary. Lewis, in the article for The Tennessean, wrote that now it is the only option for many real estate agents. During this process, all personal objects are removed, clutter is cleaned up and furniture and artwork get a revitalized feel.
These steps work, too, as Shacklock told Lewis that staged homes are selling for nearly 10 percent more than non-staged homes in her area.
And, the pros are obvious as soon as buyers see the property for the first time, either in person or online, Lewis wrote. Many people start the process online, and a photo of a staged home is more likely to catch their attention.
"With all the competition in the market, with all the new builds, what can you do to get a leg up?" Angela Ewing, a professional home stager, told Lewis. "If you're not staging, you're at a disadvantage."
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Tips to properly stage a home
Home staging involves moving personal items and clearing out the clutter, but it is also a more detailed process than that. According to Bankrate, there are several steps that one can take to ensure each listing is off the market as quickly as possible.
For example, each room should have its layout analyzed, the news source noted. Rearranging furniture can be a plus, and it may also help to add a fresh coat of neutral-colored paint.
"Fresh, neutral paint on the walls, trim and doors is worth its weight in gold - it makes everything appear clean and new," Jessica Page, a Denver-based Realtor, told Bankrate.
In addition, real estate professionals can either recommend a thorough cleaning to their clients or grab the sponges themselves. A dirty home won't sell as fast as a clean one, so it can really pay off to deodorize and clear away all that grime and dust.