Getting a house ready for sale is never easy. With the spotlight on networks like HGTV, a home’s appearance has become increasingly more important to design savvy buyers. Sellers need to do more to impress them and this often means bringing in a staging professional who delivers customized recommendations for the home owner to implement before their home goes on the market.
Before a home is listed however, the professional pictures need to be taken. When over 95% of buyers are searching for homes online, a home’s photography is paramount to getting interest, traffic and offers that reflect a property’s value. We live in a visual, online world and real estate is no different. Sellers need to do all that they can to ensure their property stands out online, where hundreds and potentially thousands of potential buyers will see it.
The key to maximizing the impact of a property’s photography, is all about preparation, hard work and effective staging. There will be an investment of both time and money – yes you will need to invest money in your home so that you can sell it for market value or above!
It all starts with a staging consultation with a professional stager. Do your research before choosing the professional you want to work with. Be leery of those offering ‘free staging’ or agents who will do the staging for you at no cost. Those who offer their services at no cost often add no value (and in some cases take value away) from your home!
Here are the key reasons why professional styling before the photography is taken is so important:
Furniture is Arranged Properly: It sounds basic but this is one of the key mistakes DIY sellers make when staging their own properties for sale. Furniture is not arranged properly to highlight the key features in the space and rooms block natural traffic flow, making them seem smaller or more awkward to buyers. A professional stager will edit the furniture and arrange it to properly showcase the space. This in turn ensures the photographs feature rooms that are well laid out, spacious and welcoming.
Architectural Features are Highlighted: Showcasing room features like fireplaces, windows or focal walls is a skill. Often people will live a certain way in a home that works for them but which does nothing to showcase – or worse – hides a room’s features. This is fine for living but when it comes time to sell, this needs to change. Adding artwork or decorative mirrors in focal areas, updating architectural features like fireplaces and framing out windows with modern curtain panels is important to showcasing key selling areas. Additionally, if a room has no features to highlight, adding one through careful furniture arrangement and wall decor will add valuable design interest to a space and improve the impact of the professional photography.By making the most of a room’s features, your photography will sell buyers on all the home has to offer.
Bedrooms are both Impressive and Welcoming: Styling a bedroom – especially the Master Bedroom – is extremely important. Without layers of luxurious bedding, accent pillows and wall decor a bedroom can fall flat. By styling these spaces properly, beds will become the showpiece of the room and invite buyers to dream about spending time in there.
Rooms will have proper Lighting: One of the most important elements of any room’s design is balanced levels of lighting. Many people rely simply on overhead lights that cast harsh and over-bright light in a room. When you want to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, adding lower levels of balanced lighting is crucial. From modern table lamps to floor lamps, these important design elements will showcase a space in the best possible light and welcome your buyers home.
Spaces are styled and reflect a Model Home look: Buyers are looking more and more these days, for a lifestyle – not just a property. They are falling in love with the story a home is telling them and the lifestyle it represents. We call this model home mentality and it is only getting more prevalent. In order to justify a home’s list price, buyers want to see modern, professionally styled spaces which showcase the life they want to have. Listings with photographs of beautifully styled rooms will generate significantly more buyer interest and potentially start a bidding war for the property. In fact, according to 2014 staging statistics, professionally staged homes sell, on average for 10% more than un-staged homes.
Sellers can maximize the selling experience by taking the following steps:
1. Having a home staging consultation done for their home so they get customized and property specific recommendations.
2. Working with an experienced Realtor who knows the value and importance of both professional photography and staging (in most cases these Realtors will offer both a staging consultation and professional photography as part of their listing services)
3. Implementing most – if not all – of the Stager’s recommendations (doing the prep work) so the property is updated and modern.
4. If the home owner opts to do all the prep work themselves, then hire the Stager to come back to style the home once any projects are complete. De-cluttering/organizing/painting is not staging – it is a part of the process – but staging is the final step that adds the WOW factor. This should be timed to happen just before the photography so the rooms are styled and perfect.
5. Keep the home in the same condition throughout the selling process. Yes, it’s a pain but this is KEY to keeping buyers interested.
As Staging Industry expert Audra Slinkey says in her article on How to Start a Bidding War through Staging that there is no ‘set price’ for homes anymore. Price is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay and buyers are always willing to pay MORE for a home with Model Home Appeal. By ensuring that a property is both professionally styled and photographed, sellers and realtors now have a product that is both highly marketable and desirable.
Rooms in Bloom Home Staging & Design Inc. is Kitchener-Waterloo’s premier award winning home staging provider. We specialize in staging vacant properties and Model Homes, adding the WOW factor to every space we stage. We offer a range of property styling services and partner with Lisa Medeiros Photography to give our clients exceptional service. For more information on our company or to view our portfolio, visit our website. To keep up with our current projects, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. To contact us directly, call us at (519) 804-STAGE.