Selling your house in today’s market means appealing to the way people shop and view products. Think of your house as a product, and think of the first day the house is on the market as your product debut. The house needs to not only sparkle, but also create a feeling that will linger in the minds of the potential buyers. In La Jolla, and the coastal San Diego market, it is almost a necessity to have your home staged. Not all agents do professional photography and staging of the home. Prior to hiring an agent, we recommend asking if professional photography, videography, and staging will be done.
According to Realtor.com, “Realtors® on the buyer side believe that staging makes an impact in several ways: 81% said staging helps buyers visualize the property as a future home, while 46% said staging makes prospective buyers more willing to actually schedule a showing of a home they saw online. 45% commented that a home decorated to a buyer’s tastes positively impacts its value; however, 10% of Realtors® said a home decorated against a buyer’s tastes could negatively impact the home’s value.”
Serafini Buettner Group utilizes staging every time it is applicable. Our Group notices significant interests in homes that are professionally staged. Staging can come in many forms. It might be staging what exists in the home, it may mean bringing in items to augment what is in the home, or it may mean bringing in a professional stager who will decorate and furnish a vacant home.
When staging and professional photography are done well, the home not only sells, in many cases it sells faster. Staging and professional photography is one of the reasons 95% of our listings sell at or above list price.
For those reasons, we wanted to share some of our main staging tips with you:
WORK FROM THE OUTSIDE IN
- Trip to the Dump
Go around the perimeter of the house and move all garbage cans from site. Discard wood scraps, extra building materials, tools, and all those items that you saved for the “project” you never had time to do. You will have to toss all that before you move, so do it before launching the property on the market. Think of a trip to the dump as one of the least expensive staging tools available!
- Check Gutters and Roof
Check gutters and roof for dry rot and moss. Make sure they are clean, repaired and operational.
- Examine Yard
Remove dead plants, weed all planting areas, prune bushes and trees and put down fresh mulch. If you are not willing to do work yourself. Give a call to your gardener or ask your realtor for a recommendation of a service who can help.
- Allow Natural Lighting
Keep plants from blocking windows. People like as much as natural lighting possible, so anything that is in the way needs to be removed or moved somewhere else.
- Set the Tone for Outdoor Living
Plant seasonal flowers to bring color to your yard. Create outdoor spaces that set the tone for outdoor living. The outdoor spaces can extend the living area of a home. Potential buyers in coastal San Diego seek outdoor living spaces. If your home is oceanfront or has an ocean view, make sure the potential buyers can immediately appreciate what your property has to offer. Having a great outdoor space can help buyers visually imagine themselves in the pool, next to the grill, having private parties, or relaxing with family and friends.
- Let Buyers’ Imagination Run
Clear patios and decks of all small items, such as little planters, flowerpots, charcoal, barbeques, toys, etc. Stage outdoor areas with furniture and plants that give a visual of an outdoor oasis, tranquil garden space, or additional entertaining area for the home. In other words, create outdoor vignettes that let the buyers’ imagination run wild with the possibilities your outdoor spaces offer.
- Hire Painter
Check the condition of the paint on your home, especially the trim and the front door. Touch up as needed to give the house a tidy and well-kept look. In our last sold listing, which had an amazing outdoor space, our Group needed to hire painter to give a touch of paint, which gave the outdoor space well-maintained and polished finish.
TRANSFORM THE INSIDE
- Examine and De-Clutter
Examine each room starting with the public living areas. De-clutter, remove furniture, and personal items such as magnets and postcard from the fridge. Create fluid spaces that make it easy to maneuver through the house. This will make the main living areas feel larger. Think minimalistic when it comes to accessorizing. Use color blocking with neutral colors to create a streamline feel for the house.
Allow potential buyers to look at the house, not your family vacation photos, so pack those away. Strategically hang artwork that fits the style of the home, enhancing the architecture of the house and spaces of the rooms.
- Think Clean, Clear and Fresh
Clear all unnecessary objects from the kitchen countertops. Add some fruits that may grow in your garden or stop by at local farmers market and pick up some apples, oranges, and lemons. Our Group often matches color of the fruit with the colors of the kitchen to give the space a fluid, organic look.
- Invest in Bathroom Accessories
In the bathroom, remove any unnecessary items from the countertops, tub, shower stall, and commode top. Buy new towels, soap, and place those out each morning, putting away the towels and soap you use daily to make the baths feel clean and fresh.
- Create Good Bedroom Flow
In the bedrooms, use neutral colors and large pillows to decorate the bed. Stay away from frilly. Straighten the inside of your closets, donate or toss clothes, shoes, etc. Think of it as pre-packing! Paint and touch up walls. If you have brightly painted walls or wallpaper, consider painting them in a neutral color to allow the buyer to focus on the room and not the walls.
THE ULTIMATE STAGING TIP: CLEAN EVERYTHING!
Hire a professional cleaning company that specializes in real estate housing preparation. Often your realtor can recommend a professional cleaning company that will be able to assist you. It is worth it. Making everything from the hardwood floors shine to carpets clean, to windows and patio doors sparkle, and bathrooms and the kitchen feel as if they are new, will do more for selling your house than you can imagine.
Remember your house is now your new product. Bring your product to market in the best light possible. Set your emotions aside, put your marketing hat on and let the buyers visual your house as their new home!