Home staging has become an increasingly important part of the selling process.
In fact, you may find your clients asking you where they can get their house staged before you even broach the subject! It’s a great way to help a house stand out as a “home,” especially when compared to short sales and bank-owned properties, and it’s crucial for print and web advertising in order to entice potential buyers to come and see the house in the first place.
Just how important? More than 80% of prospective home buyers start their search online. This is your chance to make a good first impression!
Stay neutral but warm.
Bold-colored accent walls may be a trend for interior design, but it isn’t effective home staging since it can turn off some buyers.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to stick with traditional white, off-white, or even beige walls. Today’s home stagers bring warmth to rooms with tans, honeys, and soft blue-greens.
Get energy-efficient lighting.
Most houses aren’t properly lit. But luckily this is a problem that is inexpensive and easy to fix.
Incandescent lighting and CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) are a thing of the past, so where possible, change to LED energy-efficient lighting options to impress prospective buyers.
One of the best ways to make a room appear bigger is to get rid of clutter. Some home stagers remove as much as half of the current owner’s furniture.
This may be extreme in many cases, but ask your clients to look at what items they plan to get rid of during the move and to sell or toss them now. Alternatively, they can rent a temporary storage space to store the items for after the move.
Consider virtual staging.
Often prospective buyers have a hard time imagining what an empty room will look like once it’s been filled with furniture. Turn this disadvantage into an advantage by using virtually staged photos to show them multiple options for a room’s potential.
You can pick the best ones to showcase the home in advertisements and on sites, and then hang up all the options in the home for visitors to view.
Just remember to put a disclaimer on the photos telling prospective buyers that the furniture, wall colors, and other decore that they see do not represent what is actually in the home. There are two reasons for this.
First, without a disclaimer, someone could argue that you’re “falsely representing the look of the home,” and that’s against the law.
Second, even if no one goes to the trouble of suing you for it, showing people photos that don’t match up with the way the home really looks when they get there is a good way to annoy prospective buyers – unless you include a disclaimer.
Don’t forget the outdoors.
Traditionally, home stagers focused on only the interior of the house, but many are now utilizing their skills outside as well, which can include patio furniture, trimming shrubbery, and removing clutter such as barbecue grills, planters, doghouses, and toys.
One great way to improve the outdoor environment is to focus on the windows. Trim bushes or trees that may be blocking them, and clean the exterior glass.
Many real estate professionals develop relationships with home stagers in their area to offer a turnkey service to their clients. But you can also offer tips and techniques yourself for clients who may not want to pay for the additional service.
When staging, remember to keep in mind where the camera will be when you take photos of the space for web and print advertisements to get the best results for your clients.