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Home Staging: An Easily Attained Skill

Aug 29, 2017

Posted by

Terry Hass

Most people know Terry Hass from her recurring role on HGTVs hit show Designed to Sell. As one of the shows featured real estate agents, Terry shows millions of viewers how staging a home and making Read more

Want to help your sellers make their homes irresistible to buyers?  Here are some tips from a featured agent on HGTV’s hit show Designed to Sell.

During my 20 years as a real estate agent and a professional home stager, along with my experience as a featured real estate agent since 2005 on HGTV’s hit show Designed to Sell, I have come up with a system on how to make sellers’ homes irresistible to buyers.

As every seasoned professional will tell you, there are only two reasons a house doesn’t sell:

1)  It is priced wrong.

2)  It is unattractive.

With the right price, a beautiful home will sell, even in a bad market!  As a real estate agent, the hurdle you must overcome is making an unappealing or average house sensational.

Low cost improvements and updates will make any house a stand-out property to potential home buyers and will help sellers obtain maximum revenue.  In controlled tests, selling identical homes professionally staged versus those not staged, the un-staged houses sold in 102 days, while the staged houses sold in 45 days.  It is easy to attain these numbers; the secret is to think in the buyer’s perspective. 

A Picture is Worth ...

Even before a potential buyer has toured a house for sale, he or she has looked at pictures of the house on the internet or in newspapers.  In fact, 82 to 85 percent of buyers are shopping on the internet before they contact an agent or seller.  These pictures are extremely important and must stand out because they are competing with hundreds of other homes on the market.  Make sure the home is staged before photographs are professionally taken.  Sellers should not take the pictures themselves.  You risk the pictures being unattractive, at the wrong angle and not capturing what is appealing to home buyers.  As a real estate agent, you know what home buyers are looking for, and a photographer will know exactly how to highlight that in the picture.

First-Sight Judgments

In real estate, first impressions are everything!  When buyers see a house for the first time, within seconds they will make a decision on the likelihood of purchasing the home.  Since the outside view of a home is the first thing buyers see, curb appeal is essential in home staging.  Fresh cut grass, the number address visible from the road, a clean walkway and fresh paint on the front door and shutters are simple adjustments that create a welcoming environment and an emphasis on the home in correlation to other houses in the neighborhood.

Once a potential buyer is in the home, it is the little things that make the sale.  Color can reinvent a space in a matter of moments.  Create a color palate that moves nicely from room to room.  Sometimes, too many neutral colors become boring and lose the buyer’s appeal.  Don’t be afraid of color, but be sure that it is not too unconventional or unattractive.

The Little Things Count, Too

Other simple improvements can really add value to the home as well, such as:

•  If there is no dining room, create a distinct dining area by adding wainscoting to a part of the kitchen or living room. 

•  If there is not enough counter space, add an island table.

•  Use mirrors to make small spaces appear larger.

•  Make sure door knobs, light fixtures and curtains are updated.

It is amazing to see the night and day difference when these inexpensive, minor changes are made.

Remember to think in the buyer’s perspective:  What is important to them?  The kitchen is one of those rooms that can make or break a sale.  Spending time updating appliances and maximizing counter and cabinet space can really win a home buyer’s heart quickly.

Even if amenities in the home are not up-to-date, simple improvements can modernize the home almost immediately— especially the kitchen.  That is the beauty of home staging—regardless of the budget there is

always room for improvement.  With a smaller budget, update light fixtures, cabinet knobs, the kitchen faucet, and floors;  put some fresh paint on the walls and cabinets; and finally decorate with fresh fruit and flowers.

Stress Versatility

Other spaces that wow home buyers are master bedrooms and up-to-date bathrooms.  In the master bedroom, be sure to highlight what is best about that space— whether it has amazing views, is spacious or has a large walk-in closet.  It is also great to show the versatility of the space.  Create a lounge area with a television, chair and bookcase in addition to regular bedroom furniture.  For the master bathroom, keep everything simple, elegant and above all clean.

The ultimate goal is to create a space home buyers can see themselves living in.  An un-staged home is a like blank canvas.  This leaves too much to the imagination, and gives too much room for potential home buyers to concentrate on negative details.  A staged home shows the dynamics and potential of each room, which ultimately creates a memorable experience for buyers as they tour the house.

Thoughtful Use of Time

Spending the time to create a warm, inviting atmosphere will make a lasting impression on home buyers that will ultimately finalize the sale.  On average, a staged home will sell 17 percent higher than an un-staged home.  These simple improvements are virtually compulsory to receive maximum revenue—in record time.  You can’t afford not to make them!

Agents, it all comes down to one simple thought:  A beautiful home that is priced correctly will sell, regardless of market conditions.  It’s up to you to help make it happen.