Location, location, location is a familiar mantra for real estate. But when it comes to selling a house, more and more real estate agents and homeowners are thinking appearance, appearance, appearance. With more home choices than ever on the market today, home staging is a great way to showcase your house’s best features using furniture, art, lighting, carpet and greenery.
If you are living in your house while it is on the market, a home staging company can work with your existing décor. Getting rid of clutter, making traffic flow patterns obvious or repurposing an unused room go can a long way toward making your house attractive to a potential buyer. If you are not living in your house and it is empty, the home stager can use furnishings and accessories from their collection to make your home as attractive as possible to buyers. This saves you the expense of having to purchase, rent or store those items.
“The goal of home staging is to appeal to as many people as possible,” says Kim Dombrowski, owner of Impressive Home Staging in Smithfield. “When a home is staged, potential buyers instantly understand where furniture goes and how the room can be laid out. When a home is not staged, buyers are more focused on the flaws of the house. Vacant homes provide no concept of how the space can be used.”
Dombrowski notes that the decorating focus should be on the style and layout of the house, then you can consider the needs and desires of potential buyers. “If a home or neighborhood would be perfect for a young couple just starting out, I would focus on more modern pieces that appeal to millennials,” she says. “If the house is better suited for families, you can make the bedrooms appealing to young children. It’s also always a good idea to put special attention into making the main bedroom and master bathroom as inviting as possible.”
“Staging plays up the attributes of a house and draws attention to all the great features,” says LaDonna Beauregard, owner of Instantly Inviting Home Staging Solutions in Virginia Beach. “Staging a home helps potential buyers connect emotionally to the lifestyle depicted by the home stager. If you give buyers the opportunity to sit on the couch and linger in the house, soon they will be imagining themselves living there.”
If you choose to work with a home staging company, do your homework by reviewing before and after pictures of homes the company has staged. Most home stagers make this easy by posting a portfolio on their website. Ask the home stager about the average length of time clients’ homes are on the market and how much the homes sell for. Try to work with a home staging company that meets or beats the average, which in Coastal Virginia is typically 40 days. “The goal of working with a professional home stager is to sell the house quickly and for more money, not just make it look pretty,” Dombrowski notes.
Beauregard agrees, adding that you should also call and talk with the home stager to ensure you are comfortable working with that person. A certification in home staging and redesign also makes a company stand out from their competitors. “Home staging is not just about decorating; it’s really about marketing a home and highlighting everything the house has to offer,” Beauregard says. “The fact that a home stager has additional training means that company is dedicated to keeping up with the latest trends and industry best practices. A good home stager knows what appeals to buyers, which can help boost a home’s value and lower the amount of time a house is on the market.”