Owner and Founder of The Estridge Group at Long and Foster Christie’s International Real Estate Company.
Staging has been a buzzword for many years in the real estate business, but it’s important to understand that staging goes much further than placing furniture in a home that is going on the market for sale. Preparing a home for the current buyer demographic these days is critical in order to achieve top dollar.
Why Invest In Staging?
Well-executed staging takes a look at the overall condition of the home with the help of a pre-inspection and updating any dated or tired elements of the property. Crystal and brass chandeliers, different paint colors in every room, gold fixtures in bathrooms and dated cabinetry and appliances are all typically seen as negative finishes to buyers today.
When facing the question of staging, sellers often respond with, “Why would I go through the effort of remodeling when a buyer is going to want to choose their own updates?” The answer is a lack of time and resources. Usually, a buyer buys at the top of their price point. There is often not enough money in the budget left for improvements after the down payment and closing costs. In most cases, buyers also do not have the time to take on projects right away, especially if they are new to the area and do not know contractors.
Essential Elements In Staging
If you as the seller can neutralize a home, update lighting fixtures, paint dated cabinetry, replace older kitchen appliances and flooring, refinish hardwood floors with today’s preferred color schemes and install new carpeting where needed, your profit is often three times the investment in the upgrades. I have been staging and preparing homes for over 30 years and can assure this.
Mismatching or tired furniture is also not the best way to highlight the home. Smart staging will result in placing new or rented furniture, art and decorative items in the home, or it will work with an owner’s existing pieces and add or subtract whatever is necessary. Don’t forget the exterior as well. Chipping paint, rotted wood and overgrown or badly tended yards are also turn-offs to potential buyers. Working with a seasoned real estate agent can help sellers come up with an overall plan to maximize profit, work with contractors and handle all the details that would be involved.
The Digital Difference
A home being camera-ready for today’s swipe-left buyer population is crucial. How a house looks in photographs or videos is often very different than how it looks in person. If it does not resonate with a buyer online, chances are they will not even make the trip to see it. A home that is in move-in condition makes it easier for a buyer to immediately acclimate without having to have workers in their home to make improvements right away. The less they have to do, the more attractive the home becomes. When a home is staged and in good condition, it moves to the top of the list.
Because homes are one the most valuable assets a seller has, it just makes sense to maximize your profit for a quicker and more seamless sale. I can tell you that it works every time if you do it correctly. Now more than ever, buyers are looking to simplify their lives. Staging and proper preparation are crucial elements of your home’s overall marketing plan.
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