🏡What is the Value of Staging Your Home?
The Staging Industry has been evolving over the last 20 years, out of a series of experiences and practices. Some real estate agents offer staging services, believing it is a very important part of marketing a home. Some believe it works well in some markets and neighborhoods, but not in others. These top 15 staging rules are sure to help any seller present their home in the best possible light.…
Experienced stagers develop an intuition about staging principles, with what many believe is a subjective value to others in the real estate industry. The first objective and semi-scientific approach to measure the value of staging a home was a study from Duke University. Andrea Angott, Ph.D. , conducted a study which admittedly is a first attempt at empirically testing the theories of staging. 457 respondents rated a list of staging principles, with the reasons why the item was important. Ratings were made on a 7-point scale, from 1 = “Not at all important” to 7 = “Extremely important.”
Here are the top 15 staging rules with some practical suggestions:
#️⃣The top 15 Staging Rules:
🛀1. Remove personal items from bathrooms.
- Used items like bars of soap, razors, and toothbrushes should be put away.
- Common Reasons: Many buyers feel these personal items are “disgusting”, add to the clutter, are too personal, and prevent the buyers from imagining the house as “theirs”. The bathroom is a very personal space and many buyers already feel uncomfortable. Putting away personal things helps increase their comfort level.
- The same goes for bedrooms.
🍽2. Use rooms for their intended purpose
- The dining room should contain dining furniture and not be used for an office, for instance.
- Buyers can’t visualize things differently than what they see. They may not realize the intended purpose of the space.
- Using rooms for other purposes can imply that there isn’t enough space.
🐶3. Remove evidence of pets
- Food bowls, litter boxes, beds, toys etc.
- Makes buyers worry about several possibilities: lingering odors/contaminants/allergens/damage. Buyers may imagine any of the above when none exist. Although it is hard for those of us who love our fur children to even imagine, the presence of pets can be off-putting to people who don’t like pets.
💡4. Turn on every light in the house during showings.
- A well-lit space is one of the least expensive, yet most powerful tool in staging. It makes the space look larger and creates a positive emotional reaction.
- A well lit room also indicates there is nothing to hide.
- Make sure everything is clean, clean, clean, because the light will show every dirty spot!
🛋5. A house on the market should be furnished.
- Empty houses feel cold, furnished houses feel warm and welcoming. Furnishings can make space seem bigger. The opposite can also be true, so be sure not to over-furnish. When you’re going to move anyway, it’s a great opportunity to start packing up while paring down at the same time.
- Assume that buyers have no imagination. A well furnished room shows buyers how the room is used or how their belongings would fit in the space.
👃🏽6. Remove garbage cans.
- Trash cans are smelly, unattractive, and take up space. The presence of a trash can indicates there is no hidden space for it.
🖼7. Don’t have any personal photographs on display.
- It’s hard for buyers to imagine the home as “theirs”. They may focus on the people who live there, rather than the home. Just like the personal items in a bathroom (or bedroom) photos can make them feel invasive.
- Potential home buyers may be judgmental or biased. (and they might not even know it!)
⚱8. Remove art, collections or accessories
- Especially attention-grabbing or personal items.
- Buyers may evaluate and remember the art rather than the house. People can have a negative reaction to art or collections and transfer that to the house.
- Valuable items should be removed for safe-keeping.
🎨9. Paint all walls in neutral colors.
- The smartest colors should be inoffensive, appealing to the widest population. This helps buyers imagine their own furniture and belongings in the room. Then they have less concern with matching their belongings to the walls and are free to imagine themselves in the space. Remember, neutral doesn’t have to mean white.
🍲10. Remove small appliances and kitchen clutter
- Items like the coffee maker, toaster, etc. can add to the clutter on a kitchen counter.
- Kitchen counters look bigger and neater without the appliances. It implies there is enough cabinet space, instead of too little.
✋11. Don’t have the back of furniture facing the entrance to a room.
- It creates an unwelcoming, awkward traffic pattern, and interrupts the “flow”.
- The arrangement of furniture can make a room feel smaller, unfriendly, or even too crowded. Striking a balance is the key.
📖12. “Tell a story” with your staging.
- Put a breakfast tray with coffee mugs on the bed. Put candles on the bathroom soaking tub.
- These small “mico-staging’ tips make a home feel warm and livable without being too personal. They allow buyers to make emotional connections with the house. All of these small vignettes can help buyers to imagine their life will be different in ideal ways if they lived there.
☀13. Let the Sunshine In
- Windows should have sheer coverings or no coverings at all. You may even remove screens to let the maximum amount of sunlight in.
- Sunlight is emotionally uplifting, makes a space feel bigger and shows off outdoor spaces.
🕯14. Use scented candles, plug-in air fresheners, or potpourri.
- The right scent can be warm and inviting, and mask unpleasant odors.
- Note: many respondents to the study said that the smells should be subtle. You don’t want overpowering scents to speak louder than the house does!
👕15. Remove some of your clothes from the closets
- Thin out the linens and items from storage closets. The same goes for your kitchen cabinets. Consider it pre-packing for your move.
- Buyers want to know that all of their belongings are going to fit. Crowded storage spaces, no matter how large, leave the impression that there isn’t enough room.
- Crowded storage spaces also leave an impression of untidiness. It’s always best to minimize negative impressions in any way you can, even the small ways.
This study, although not scientific or empirical, is valuable in that it gets to the emotional and esoteric effects of each staging principle. When you see the effect on the psyche of the buyer, the value of correct staging is very persuasive.
Much of staging is creating the right appeal to as many buyers as possible. It involves a large amount of “suggestion”. These top 15 Staging Rules For Frederick Sellers will prove to be valuable when you get your home ready to sell.