Staging your home is one of the most effective ways to ensure that it sells quickly and for top dollar. A savvy Realtor can help guide you through the staging process, from choosing a stager to the finishing touches.
Unfortunately, an inexperienced agent can accidentally sabotage your home staging by making mistakes. Avoid the following common missteps in the staging process to make sure you get the best value for your property.
Choosing a stager on price alone.
Obviously, you want your Realtor to be budget conscious when it comes to marketing and presenting your home. That doesn’t mean you should automatically choose the cheapest stager, though.
Instead, evaluate the staging company according to their experience and results. Look for a solid portfolio and client testimonials. Then select someone who will be a good fit for your property.
Forgetting about the paint and carpet.
A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for your home’s perceived value. But what if you just painted last year? Do you really need to add another coat?
That depends on your color choices. The glittery princess pink you chose for your daughter’s room might prevent a potential buyer from seeing how the room will work for their teenage son. Instead, you want to go with neutral colors that create a complementary (but not “matchy”) palette throughout the home.
This is also the perfect time to address dingy or stained carpets. A professional shampooing can bring a room back to life, and the pleasant clean smell doesn’t hurt either.
Allowing you to display your photos and taxidermy.
Of course your children are beautiful, and the vintage photos of your great-grandparents are a priceless piece of family history. That’s your history, though. Those are your memories.
And no matter how photogenic your family is, too many pictures of them prevents your buyers from imagining their family running through the halls or enjoying the patio.
This advice goes double (or triple) for any hunting and fishing trophies you might have displayed around the home. You may be proud of the sailfish you caught at Pompano Beach or the nine foot alligator you took on a guided hunt. But the buyer walking through your home could be a lifelong member of PETA.
Instead of showing off your family and accomplishments, be sure to pack up all your taxidermy and other personal items that give your home so much character. While living in your home, you make it yours. Once you’re selling, though, the less it feels like you the better.
Turning your home into a museum or art gallery.
So once all the family photos and stuffed waterfowl has made its way to storage, what do you do with all that blank wall space? Many stagers take this opportunity to hang a lot of artwork or unique collectibles that can bring some splashes of color to your newly-blank canvas.
You don’t want them to go overboard, though. Fancy art everywhere can have the same effect as personal photos. The buyers might not like the pieces, and too many “conversation pieces” can become distracting. Ultimately, you want it to still feel like a home, not a museum or curio shop.
Your floor plan says you have four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a den, dining room, living room, and kitchen. But over the years, the den became a playspace, one bedroom transformed into a home office, and another was relegated to overflow storage.
Those choices made sense for you, but it isn’t what your buyers want to see. Make sure that the bedrooms look like a place for sleeping, the living room looks like it could be lived in, and so on. You want buyers to see potential, not your creative solutions.
Going overboard with a sparse, modern look.
In an effort to minimize clutter and maximize space, a stager can make your house feel empty instead of spacious. Properly chosen furniture, that combines clean lines and warm textures will make your home feel inviting rather than sterile.
Forgetting about plants.
Whether you have a green thumb or a penchant for accidentally killing any plant-based life form, your stager should include some greenery in your home. A few house plants can literally breathe new life into your home. And fresh flowers tell buyers that a home is cared for down to the smallest detail.
Just be sure that the plants stay fresh through the selling process because dead flowers send the exact opposite message.
Letting you have too much control.
While you should work closely with the stager, you shouldn’t expect him to follow all your advice. That’s why you have hired a professional. Unfortunately, some real estate agents let their clients have too much say in the process because they don’t want anyone’s feelings to get hurt.
Remember that you’ve chosen to stage your home in order to get the best outcome for your sale. The stager’s decisions are not a judgement of your design and decorating choices. An experienced Realtor will know when to heed your input and when to let the professional make the call.
In the end, staging is a form of marketing. It can make a significant difference in how buyers feel when they walk into your home for the first time.
The right choices can instantly set them at ease, while the wrong choices can set an immediate negative tone. Avoid a costly mistake with your staging by working with a real estate agent who knows how to market your property.
If you’re looking to sell your South Florida home and want advice from a reliable Realtor who understands the market, contact the Jablon Team to see how we can help you.
New Harbor Realty