Calling on the professionals can help you gain a strong competitive edge. Learn about all the factors at play as you’re preparing your home for sale.
Sarah Noel of Sarah Noel Interiors offers 7 reasons to utilize a stager before listing your home for sale. Sarah is a self-taught designer, she is known for her versatile approach and trademark style for homes ranging from $400K – $13M. Sarah partners individually with top notch Realtors, Builders, and Homeowners using specifics within the property to dictate the style directive.
1. When You Want Less Homework!
You may have come to believe that when it comes to staging, all clutter must go. HGTV has familiarized the world with the art of staging and giving more control to the homeowners to create their own perfect selling environment. The problem the professionals run into is all those good intentions gone bad. Too many times, I’ve performed a consultation and requested more artwork, books, or decor only to find the homeowner has already de-cluttered and donated several usable items.
Pro Tip: Bring your stager in at the very early stages of prepping your home. Not only will this give you more flexibility for larger scale changes (e.g. light fixture changes, paint colors, furniture arrangements) but you’ll gain the advantage of strategy and prioritization.
2. When You Need A Strong First Impression
It may be true that you only have one true chance at a first impression but a helpful expert will make sure it’s a good one! One of the most important benefits a professional stager can offer is the advantage of a true first impression. Living in your home means you can never see it in the same light as potential buyers. A stager with a keen eye will not only be able to take in the buyer’s perspective but can also understand the underlying reasons a room may feel “off”. Unmanageable scale, distracting color palettes, and lack of spatial definition each play their own role in deterring a buyer. Too often, these issues can be simply corrected with the help of objectivity.
3. When You Want to Take Advantage of Square Footage
Long, rectangular family rooms, awkward nooks, and tiny bedrooms all create obstacles your potential buyers may struggle to solve. There is a certain ease that comes with a well-spaced room that cultivates a relaxing, enjoyable environment.
The more a buyer wants to spend time in your home, the more likely they’ll be to envision themselves using the same space.
One of the most effective tools in selling a home is to make use of each and every square foot. “Unusable” space will always work against a home’s value. Buyers, like any consumer, will be unlikely to pay for products they find nonfunctional. Call on an expert’s creative skill set to better utilize each individual area.
Pro Tip: Strategically adding furnishings makes a space feel larger than if it were vacant. Don’t skip the small bedrooms for fear of creating a smaller space!
4. When You Want to Make Money
Ok, maybe this is an easy one but who doesn’t want to participate in a solid investment? Any buyer doing online property searches knows by now that showing vacant, poorly photographed, and deeply cluttered homes are ones to be skipped.
The market standards of presenting a sellable home have changed. The Denver market, in particular, continues to show strong participation though you’ll also see appealing homes being snatched up in days while lesser quality ones continue to sit. Our buyers are becoming quite savvy without the low inventory desperation that we’ve seen in years past. Not to mention the price decreases that come with sitting months on market. Staging generally costs only a fraction of the average price decrease!
Pro Tip: Don’t wait to let the market tell you whether you need to stage. It’s important to bring everything you have the first day on market for your best chance at a strong buyer. Otherwise, you may be sitting on the market longer than expected.
5. When the Market is Too Hot
Occasionally, we hear “the market is too hot, we didn’t need to stage”. This may be true if you assume the end goal of staging is purely to sell the home. But consider five comparable homes with similar square footage in the same location. Four are brought to market vacant and one is beautifully staged with luxury furnishings. Which is more likely to gain a higher price? All five may go under contract over the weekend but gaining the emotional attachment of the buyers will make your product more valuable and, therefore, drive your price.
Pro Tip: Even a quick consultation service may be more helpful than you think. Call on a pro to give a once over and make sure you’re presenting the best possible product before coming to market. The return on investment will be significant!
6. When Your Home Feels Dated
Dated homes can be one of the most difficult distractions buyers run into. In historic homes, the difficulty can be overwhelming woodwork and awkward floor plans. In homes 15-30 years old, they’re just dated enough that they’re unable to compete with new construction and yet, don’t offer the old world charm of older styles. Staging with proper furnishings can change the entire context of a property’s identity. When vacant, too much woodwork is daunting and unappealing. With updated, luxurious furnishings and textures, the woodwork suddenly becomes a lovely accent.
The same goes for only slightly dated homes. When we change the context of the overall style, it uplifts the entire palette of the home and modernizes in a way that becomes significantly more appealing to buyers.
7. When Lighting Ruins the Show
Even in brand new spec homes, there are problems to be solved. Whether the struggle is an overwhelming what-do-I-do-with-this space or overcoming a dark, historic, brick loft, lighting can cure even the toughest vibes.
Too much space may not seem like a problem for most, but when it comes to new construction, the biggest staging hurdle is presenting a warm and cozy atmosphere. Well placed table and floor lamps can warm up even the most modern, architectural designs.
In a charming downtown loft, you may find a lack of natural light. Proper strategy will likely include extra lamps, mirrors, light tones, and textures to soften the rigidity of a brick or concrete space. Another advantage? Enlightening potentially wasted spaces to maximize square footage.
Interested in learning more about your staging options?
Sarah Noel Interiors