Selling a less-than-gorgeous home quickly shouldn’t be too challenging — if it’s thoughtfully staged before hitting the market. Anyone can do it, without breaking the bank, and the results can be dramatic.
Sometimes realtors work with stagers, but homeowners hoping to boost their sale price can either hire an expert or do DIY staging. A few tips: Don’t over-accessorize, and do put away personal items such as family pics and books, while decluttering. For a speedy sale, bringing in natural light during showings/open houses will work wonders to increase the appeal of a space. And listing your home on a Thursday is a big plus, according to Zillow.
“Staging is an essential part of the home-selling process,” says Tsui Ying (Judy) Hsu, a licensed real estate salesperson with Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “My first sale was in Garden City, where I live. The homeowners lived abroad in Vienna and worked for the United Nations. The house was vacant for a year and was pretty bare. So, I went to Target, spent $600 and brought in fall-season décor, moved furniture around, and staged for two hours (Watching HGTV for years helped). It looked like a different house! Candles, cookies, and music really added to the ambiance as well.”
Then Hsu invited neighbors to come by for cocktails and sandwiches, and the house was quickly sold during open house weekend.
STAGE LIKE A CELEB
On average, a staged property can sell 88 percent faster and for 20 percent more than a nonstaged one, according to home stager to the stars Meredith Baer, who shared some tips in an interview with Realtor.com: Conceal flaws.
If the view isn’t great, hang sheer curtains — so light can come in — so you’re not focused on that view. For a small room, like a bedroom, create a little seating area to make it feel bigger. Convey a feeling of sophistication, but make the space feel homey and lived in, with an open cookbook on the kitchen counter, a cozy throw on the couch, etc.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
When it comes to staging, design pro Marisa Orlich of Marisa Orlich Interiors in Oyster Bay believes in the less-is-more approach.
“I tell my clients we have to depersonalize the space,” she says. “There is a psychological aspect to buying a home, and buyers have a hard time imagining their life there if all they can see is your vacation photos and shampoo bottles.”
Orlich suggests fixing any repairs that need to be done — from patching holes in the walls to replacing that cracked light switch outlet. It shows buyers that the home is well taken care of. Also, hire a professional cleaning company to let the house truly shine. Her quick fixes: Swap out bright linens for neutral options, add fresh flowers, and plug in air fresheners in scents of fresh linen or laundry.
STAGING CAN BE A REAL GAME CHANGER
Amanda Pendleton, Zillow home trends expert, offers some seller strategies and data-based tips for homeowners:
Be strategic about paint color. On average, sellers make at least two improvements before listing; painting is the most common. While pale neutrals are best for common spaces like kitchens/living rooms, Zillow research finds that homes with a pale-blue bathroom can sell for nearly $5,000 more than expected; homes with a dark-blue bedroom can sell for nearly $1,500 more.
Highlight the right features. Certain features, when mentioned in a listing description, can contribute to faster-than- expected sales: Homes with drought-resistant landscaping can sell 13 days faster; with double-pane windows, seven days faster; with open shelving, nearly six days faster.
Pay attention to online curb appeal. Around 95% of buyers now use online tools in their home search. Savvy sellers should showcase their home’s best features online — with professional and drone photography, and a free 3D Home virtual tour zillow.com/z/3d-home — in their listing, to draw more views and saves.
Plant staging can lead to higher offers as well. It seems that buyers can feel that special plant energy when they walk into a welcoming green home.
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