Selling a home can be stressful and challenging in any market. In today’s competitive housing market, it’s more critical than ever to make a great first impression on potential buyers. An increasing number of sellers are turning to home staging to make their properties stand out and sell quickly for top dollar.
Home staging is the process of preparing and showcasing a home for sale in order to maximize its appeal to potential buyers. A well-staged home highlights the property’s best features and conceals any flaws. Home staging helps buyers visualize the property as their future home and lifestyle.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the latest professional home staging techniques that get homes sold fast and for more money. Read on to learn the key principles of home staging, current trends, and strategies to implement when preparing your home for the market.
Home Staging Principles and Methodology
Home staging focuses on showcasing a property through interior design, decor, and furnishings tailored to the target market. The primary goals are to:
- Accentuate the home’s assets and positive features
- Conceal or distract from any flaws or negatives
- Allow buyers to imagine themselves living in the home
- Create an inviting, clutter-free, neutral environment
- Broaden the home’s appeal to the widest range of buyers
Accomplished home stagers follow principles and a systematic methodology:
Understand the Target Market and Buyer Motivations
The first step is researching the demographics and preferences of likely homebuyers in the area. Different factors motivate first-time homebuyers versus growing families or downsizing retirees.
Develop a Property Profile
A property profile identifies unique attributes, sizes, layout, flow, architectural style, and potential areas for improvement.
Create a Home Staging Plan
A comprehensive home staging plan addresses decluttering, deep cleaning, cosmetic fixes, furniture arrangement, accessories, and decor.
Style the Home for the Intended Market
Homes should be styled to appeal to the intended market using neutral colors, appropriately sized furniture, and universal accessories.
Make Necessary Improvements and Repairs
Decluttering, painting, lighting upgrades, and minor repairs improve the home’s first impression dramatically.
Accentuate Architectural Features
Spotlight attractive archways, fireplaces, built-ins, and other special elements through decor and furniture placement.
Enhance Curb Appeal
A stunning exterior motivates buyers to view the rest of the property. Trim bushes, power wash siding, add plants, and paint the front door.
When done right, home staging transforms the property and helps buyers picture the space as their own. Sellers see excellent returns on staging investment through higher offer prices and faster sales.
Current Home Staging Trends
Home staging is an ever-evolving field, and stagers adjust their strategies to align with current buyer preferences and market trends. Here are some of the most notable home staging trends:
Airy, Uncluttered Spaces
Today’s buyers crave light, bright, open floor plans. Stagers recommend removing excess furniture to create an airy, minimalist look.
Neutral Color Palettes
Neutral backdrops allow potential buyers to imagine putting their own stamp on the home. Shades like off-white, beige, and gray are prevalent now.
Furnishings should facilitate buyers picturing how they would utilize each space. For instance, an office could double as a guest room.
Creating Lifestyle Scenes
Vignettes, like a reading nook or home office, help buyers envision enjoying the home’s versatile spaces.
Focus on Curb Appeal
Outdoor living spaces and attractive landscaping are highly desired now. An inviting exterior can be a deciding factor for buyers.
Smart Home Technology
Showcasing tech like programmable thermostats and security systems indicates the home is modern and move-in ready.
Eco-friendly stagers avoid VOC paints and utilize existing furnishings to reduce waste. Energy-efficient upgrades also appeal to buyers.
Virtual staging digitally inserts furnishings and decor into vacant homes to help buyers visualize the space. This allows sellers to stage remotely.
Staying up-to-date on the latest home staging preferences allows sellers to make their home irresistible to today’s buyers.
Effective Home Staging Strategies Room-by-Room
Tailoring the staging strategy to each room maximizes buyer appeal. Here are impactful tips room-by-room:
The foyer is the buyer’s first glimpse inside the home. Ensure it feels inviting through:
- Fresh coat of neutral paint color
- Decorative mirror to give the illusion of space
- Uncluttered console table with a vase of flowers
- A few key pieces of wall art
- Well-lit space and lamps if needed
- Hardwood floor or tiles shined
- If carpeted, professionally cleaned
The living room should facilitate conversation and connection.
- Face furniture toward each other to promote flow
- Incorporate stylish lighting like pendant lights and table lamps
- Include cohesive but minimal accessories
- Style with a rug, plants, artwork, and throw pillows
- Rearrange furniture to highlight architectural details
Set the dining room to inspire meals and entertaining.
- Furniture should be scaled appropriately to room size
- Style the table: add a runner, bouquet, candles, etc.
- Stage the china cabinet with delicate glassware
- Incorporate mirror and art for visual interest and space
- Ensure lighting is soft and ambient
The kitchen should motivate cooking and community.
- Showcase kitchen’s functionality and storage space
- Organize surfaces and remove small appliances
- Style open shelving with decorative dishes
- Ensure all surfaces are spotless
- Let in natural light or install under-cabinet lighting
- Display fresh fruits/veggies and fresh flowers
Bedrooms should be restful sanctuaries.
- Organize furniture for spaciousness and flow
- Make bed neatly with hotel-style folds and decorative pillows
- Style nightstands with lamps, books, flowers
- Edit closets to only display essential clothing items
- Remove anything overly personal or distracting
Bathrooms should be pristine and spa-like.
- Declutter all surfaces
- Clean all tile, fixtures, mirrors to shine
- Store all supplies neatly in drawers or cabinets
- Depersonalize by removing family photos and superfluous decor
- Add guest towels, scented candles, small plants
Paying attention to details in each room makes the entire home irresistible.
FAQs About Home Staging
What are the main benefits of home staging?
Home staging allows sellers to maximize their home’s appeal through showcasing its best attributes. Staging helps properties sell faster and for more money. Staged homes sell for 1-3% more on average.
When should you stage your home?
Ideally, home staging is completed before professional photography and listing the property. This allows the home to be shown in its best light right from the start.
How much does home staging cost?
Home staging services cost 1-3% of the property’s estimated sale price, on average. Hiring a professional stager is recommended but DIY staging can be done for under $1,000 in many cases.
What is the #1 home staging mistake?
Leaving out personal clutter and possessions is the biggest mistake. Excess items make rooms feel smaller. Pack up at least 50% of your belongings before showing your home.
How long should staging stay up?
Staging should remain fully in place throughout the entire listing period. If the home requires showings on short notice, a staged property will always be ready.
What supplies are needed for home staging?
Useful supplies include: trash bags for decluttering, neutral paint colors, power tools for minor repairs, decorative pillows/throws, flowers, cleaned curtains, lamps, handles, mirrors and artwork to elevate blank walls.
Who should you hire?
Professional stagers have the experience to truly transform a space. However, some sellers utilize a real estate agent, interior designer, or handyperson for an affordable DIY approach.
Home staging is a strategic, rewarding process that showcases properties to maximize appeal. Leveraging the latest techniques tailored to your home’s unique spaces and target buyers accelerates sales, often for over asking price. Investing in home staging services yields excellent ROI through increased demand, higher offers, and faster sale timeline. With proper staging, you can seize buyers’ attention and motivate bidding wars in any market.