Real Estate – House Staging Basics
Open houses tend to come in all shapes, forms and conditions. We all have waled into such houses and said, “Never in this birth”. No matter how well the seller may have tried to hide the imperfection in the house, some of the things may have been too obvious not to ignore, like the kitty litter box, the wooden stand with a couple of worn out shoes or the distinct odor of mold coming from behind the bathroom wallpaper. It is hard to not look at the ugliness and imagine the dreadful scenery that lies behind it.
On the flip side, there are many open houses that are inspiring to bring out one word at first sight, “Wow”. Even when the market is not doing well, houses that are well-dressed and attractive will draw a lot of attention and desire. Such houses tend to sell quickly. In fact, in any market, buyers want to have a move-in ready house rather than a dump on which they might have to spend ample amount of time fixing up and bringing it to a livable condition. So, what makes some houses desirable and others not so much? Obviously, the initial step in thehouse selling process – staging.
Even if you think your house on a 6% acre with low maintenance is in decent shape, you need to realize that a few distractions that are not visible to your naked eyes and mind may be a repelling factor for would-be buyers. If you are counting on the buyers to admire your new kitchen countertop with modern backsplash that matches with the nearby fireplace, they may instead be fixated on the ugly wallpaper in the powder room or smallish closet in the guest bedroom. Making the buyers focus on the good part of the house, however, is not a Herculean task. A little staging can go a long way in this respect. What you can do is eliminate the features that is desirable to you and only you. You should make your house look best to everyone who is imagining living a wonderful life in it and not for the one unsung hero who has the same taste and hobbies like that of yours. Even in a community where all houses are similar in design and come in similar square footage, staging in a certain way can make one house look better, fresher and bigger than the rest.
Staging the house means removing worn out furniture and replacing it with a new and well-chosen set. It is important to create a theme or achieve uniformity when redecorating the rooms. You may have lived in that house for years and everything may seem perfect as it is. Or you want to add all the color of the rainbows in the master bedroom and that metallic wallpaper in the bathroom. Remember that, staging is not about you, it is about selling the house. So, one misstep may deter the buyers and make them not want to take a second look.