Why Stage an Occupied Home?
Why Stage an Occupied Home?
A Staged Home has an edge over competing properties. Sellers who do not use staging as a marketing tool statistically end up with
their home on the market for longer and sell their homes for lower prices. Selling a home quickly is important because the longer a
house is on the market, the more likely the price of the home will need to be reduced. The cost of staging is always less than the first
cost reduction. An occupied home needs to be staged for the following reasons…
The longer owners have been in the home, the more likely that updates will be needed.
In most cases, the buyer of a home is at least one generation younger than the seller. A home needs to reflect an image that appeals to
this most likely younger buyer demographic. Lighting fixtures, metal finishes, furniture and accessories that are outdated will be a
turnoff to younger buyers who may not have the ability to get over the impression that the home is “more like their parents’ home than
their dream home.” Purchasing a home is an emotional decision. The number one reason a buyer purchases a home is because it
“feels like home.” Replacing outdated light fixtures with inexpensive modern fixtures and bringing in a few contemporary art pieces
and accessories (such as pillows and neutral slipcovers) can transform a house inexpensively.
Almost every home has too much stuff to show well.
The way we live in a home is different than the way we sell a home. Furniture needs to be pared down to enlarge the appearance of
rooms and to facilitate easy travel through the home. Everything will need to be moved out of the home eventually, so packing up
excessive art and accessories, duplicate items, books/cds/dvds, seasonal items and rarely worn clothes should be done before putting a
home on the market.
A home should be “Q-tip clean” before putting it on the market.
As clean as a home might be, it is always a good idea to get a cleaning service that specializes in cleaning homes in sales preparation.
These services clean nooks and crannies, appliances, bathrooms, etc. more extensively than most normal cleaning services. Also,
windows should be washed right before a home is put on the market (and screens stored). Cleaning windows increases light by at
least 30%...and “clean and bright” sells houses.
Most homes have “wear and tear” that many owners don’t notice.
It is good to have a different set of eyes conduct a thorough walkthrough of a home to note items that need to be repaired, replaced or
painted. When a person lives in a home, it is likely to get accustomed to things “as is.” Minor repairs, which can often be made
quickly and inexpensively, may concern potential buyers that the house may not be as well maintained as it should be. Also, buyers
may offer a lower price knowing that they will need to rectify these things in order to make it their ideal home.
Homes should be depersonalized to appeal to the largest number of buyers.
Buyers need to be able to envision themselves living in the home. This can be very difficult when a home has family photographs,
religious or cultural objects, a significant decorating style (e.g., shabby chic, folk country, etc.), or dramatic paint colors. What makes
your home “yours” should be removed or downplayed so buyers can envision the home as “their next home.” Also, buyers tend to get
distracted by personal art and mementos and cease focusing on the home and its architecture (i.e., what they are buying).
Ineffective or unusual use of space:
Maximize the home’s spaces and their functions.
Often owners have changed the function of a space. For example, dining rooms may have been turned into offices and bedrooms may
have become storage areas. Rooms need to be put back to their standard purposes. Also, unusual spaces need to be staged so buyers
know how they can be used and see the potential in every space (e.g., a small space under a stairway could be staged as a bill paying
desk area or a mudroom/reception area).
Pet, cooking, and musty odors need to be neutralized.
Have an “outsider” (agent or friend) give your house a sniff test to ensure that there are no disagreeable scents that you might have
become accustomed to. Pet equipment, litter boxes, etc. should be out of sight and smell…many buyers are turned off by knowing a
home has pets.
Open up window treatments and ensure all bulbs are working (and match within one fixture).
Maximize the light in a home by opening blinds and, in some cases, removing dark or heavy window treatments. Turn all lights on.
©Pragmatic Staging Solutions