When you’ve got no time to waste, and just want a quick sale on your home, it’s time to start looking at the factors that allow for such a quick sale. One of the major factors is the perception of space. If a room is stuffed with items that were collected over the years, then you may have a problem. While it shows the unique growth of your family, it does not translate well to a buyer walking through the home. That’s where staging comes into play.
Issues preventing you from staging your home
Before you can consider staging, you may have a couple of obstacles preventing the undertaking. Let’s walk through them now.
- Storage space – Your rooms may be crowded because you simply have no other place to put things. Displacing the items to the garage is not an option, because it will just make the garage an eye-sore during the walk-through. A full garage gives the buyer an impression that their cars may not fit in there with their tools and other doodads. This simply problem can be relieved with a storage unit rental. In many areas across the nation, a small yet large-enough unit can cost less than $100 per month to rent. This is a small price to pay for value added to the home.
- Cost of furniture – When you think staging, you think beautiful furniture. Buying nice new furniture may not be a cost option for you, with a good sofa and love seat alone costing a few thousand dollars. Luckily, there are services to allow you a short term rental of furniture for many rooms. As with the storage issue, furniture rental can be less costly to your home value than a run-down setup. Remember, the key here is perception. The sale price should make up for the costs in the end, so your worries are unfounded.
The final issue to consider, is “where” to stage inside of your home. Which rooms matter. Experts will argue on some things, but ones we can agree on are as follows…
5 areas for staging
Some of these are industry-obvious. Others are based on the wow-factor that we have experienced during our tenure as real estate investors.
- Living room – Sometimes this room is interchangeable with “front-room”, while other times a home has both. It may also have a different name depending on what part of the country you are in, similar to the usage of the words “soda” or “pop”.This is the room where the family gets together for Christmas present unwrapping, or movie nights. It is one of the most important rooms in the house, and should be treated as such when you stage the home.The living room should be nice and open, and avoid clutter. Some couches, recliners, an end-table, and an entertainment center are perfect features of this room.
- Bedrooms – This is another obvious one. We all want bedrooms that appear large, because nobody wants to be cramped. When you purchased the home, the kids probably fought over the rooms because they all wanted the bigger space.The bedroom is tricky. Everyone wants a king size bed, but not all rooms support it. Such a large feature in a small bedroom will make it appear smaller than it actually is. For now, the kids will have to settle with a bed that allows movement, and won’t interfere with the space of a dresser or access to a closet.
- Dining room – Many families these days prefer to scarf down a hot meal while watching a prime time show, or while binge watching on Netflix. However, there are plenty of families that demand that dinner time as one for gathering to discuss events of the day.Regardless which tradition your family follows, your dining room should be setup as if you were the latter. A table with chairs, and a nice clean cloth with plates and silverware give the room a sophisticated look.
- Office – If you have an extra space designated as your office, it may be a selling feature. But that won’t be the case if it doesn’t have the room and organization to give a busy professional any piece of mind.A proper office should comfortably fit a desk, chair, and possibly a space for an industrial sized copier machine. The desk should be large enough to fit a computer, while also allowing for the filling out of documents.
- Deck (or patio) – This is not always an obvious area for staging, but who doesn’t love a functional deck. This is an area that the family gets together for barbecues, or to sit with nature and listen to the birds sing.
Staging a deck calls for a nice barbecue, and a patio set (table, chairs, umbrella).
Renting furniture (or buying it if you can) has many perks. For one, you can include the furniture in the sale price, allowing a family to move in and not having to worry about furnishing the space. If not, you have furniture ready to go with you to your next home in comfort and style.
One thing to keep in mind, is that using the furniture has its limits. A staging company may allow you to “use” the beds for a short period, but they probably won’t want you to spark up the barbecue. Read over their policies before you jump into staging so that you know what is expected of you ahead of time.
When it’s all said and done, proper staging can mean the difference between tens of thousands of dollars in the offers you will be getting. Without staging, some families struggle to gain a single offer over time.