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Seven Simple Steps to Home Staging Success

Learn to stage your own home with these seven steps

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A warm, inviting staged living room.

A well-staged home is warm and inviting.

Copyright 2008 by Real Estaging

While the term has become more common over the past few years, home staging still remains a confusing concept for many people. What is it exactly, and how can it help with selling a home? When you sell your home, you want to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers. This will help you get the best possible price, with the least amount of time on the market.

Home staging is how you get your home ready for sale so that it appeals to a large number of people. Most buyers are not able to envision a home's true potential; as sellers, we must create this vision for our buyers. Try to think of your house as a product for sale, and look at it objectively. It is now a "house" and not a home.

Staging accentuates the positive aspects of your home, and eliminates or downplays the negative features. Your beautifully staged home is only seven simple steps away.

Evaluate

You need to tour your own home as if you were the buyer. We often become so used to our homes that we don't notice the imperfections anymore. During your tour, take some notes, create and complete checklists of things to look for, and take pictures. These will help you pinpoint areas that need repair or improvement. Often you will see things in pictures that you didn't notice while actually in the space. Another option is to ask for an objective opinion from friends, family members, or your real estate agent.

De-Clutter

This is the simplest and least expensive step, but is the one most frequently overlooked. Shouldn't buyers realize they aren't buying your mess and clutter? In reality, only 10% of buyers can see the potential of a home.

Clean

Once all the clutter is removed, give the house a thorough cleaning. If you absolutely hate cleaning, hire a professional cleaning service. Nothing turns buyers off more than someone else's dirt.

Repair & Update

In step one, you took notes on areas that might need updating or repair. If you don't complete the repairs buyers will wonder what else is wrong with the home. They fear that you didn't take good care of the home and that there may be deferred maintenance.

There are many simple updates you can do. Most are minor projects, such as replacing outdated cabinet knobs. This is not the time to take on major renovations.

Neutralize

You want buyers to be able to envision themselves living in the home. If your home looks too personal, buyers feel like they are intruding and won't allow themselves to make an emotional connection with the home. Most of us buy with emotion and then justify with reason. If your home is too specific in taste or style it will not appeal to a wide range of buyers, no matter how beautiful it is.

Arrange & Accessorize

Homes need to be clean, bright, airy, and spacious. Traffic should flow easily through and between the rooms. The furniture arrangement needs to make sense. Create vignettes that draw your eye to the focal point of each room.

Accessorizing can be compared to putting on jewelry when getting dressed for a special dinner or party; it's the little touches that have a big impact. Keep it simple, such as a vase of fresh flowers on the entry table.

Price & List

It is important to get the house in front of as many buyers as possible. The first ten days a home is on the market are the most critical because this is when excitement is high. Do your research and make sure you are setting the correct price. The number one reason a property doesn't sell is because it is overpriced. Once a home is listed too high, the damage can't be undone, even if the price is later dropped.

These seven steps will give you the best chance of selling success. One of the most compelling statistics on home staging is that the cost of staging is almost always less than the amount of the first price reduction. And how many times have you seen homes get not one, but multiple price reductions? Staging really does sell homes.

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