Available home inventory is steadily creeping up and interest rates continue to rise, which means more properties are out there for sale competing for the same buyers. Because of this changing market, home staging is more important now than it has been over the last several years.
So, how do you prep your house to show in order for your home to capture the buyer’s attention and ultimately receive a good offer? Just like a great Broadway play, you want your audience – potential buyers – to feel engaged, because buyers buy what they see and, more importantly, how what they see makes them “feel.” This means you must pay attention to the “staging.”
Setting the stage for this performance starts with your real estate agent, the director of this play and the script first— the words they write for the buying public and other agents to read, the professional photography, the information about the room sizes the interior and exterior, the features and benefits, the marketing plan, etc. As professional agents, we need you, as sellers, to collaborate with us to write and print the perfect “Play Bill” in order to produce something which will attract and engage potential, qualified buyers.
After the stage is set correctly and the buyers, your audience, like what they read and the pictures they see online, the ticket is sold and they make their way to the theater, your house. Remember that the staging of this production starts at the curb because we want the buyers to say, “You had me at hello!” Right? So, how does your house look from the curb? Is it clean and neat? Have the driveway and sidewalks been power washed? Did you make any necessary repairs? Are the flower beds weed-free and freshly mulched? Just how powerful is your “hello?” Because this marquee needs to have them yearning to see the rest of the play!
Act I: The curtain rises, they walk in the door. What’s their first impression? Is it light filled? Does it smell good? Is it clean and clutter-free so the buyer can absorb the scene-ery without too many props in the way? Who/what is the star? Is it the open floor plan or the stunning fireplace or the unobstructed view? Is the spotlight on the right star?
Act II: The buyers learn more about the play, your house — when it was built, the neighborhood, the seller upgrades, the neutral updates and viewing comparable properties. They like your floor plan and it’s move-in ready… “I can see my family here!” screams the buyer!
Act III: The director, your professional real estate agent, has already helped you set the listing price in line with recent comparable sales. It is the best play on Broadway! The buyer writes an offer. After some negotiating, you’re under contract… bam! The curtain closes! But wait. There’s a standing ovation, the curtain rises, you’ve made an offer on your new forever home. It’s been accepted! Happy ending — for all!
A few stats regarding home staging:
• A professional staged home can increase a home’s value as much as 5-10 percent..
• Staging helps a home sell 6-10 percent faster.
• 83 percent of buyers’ agents surveyed said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as their future home.
• The most common home improvement items agents recommend to their sellers regarding staging are de-cluttering the home, a whole house deep clean, removing pets during showings and getting the carpets cleaned.
• Staging the living room was found to be the most important followed by the master bedroom and then the kitchen.
Are you getting ready to sell? Be a Broadway hit! Selling a house is really like putting on a Broadway play. A great director, like me, will help you put on the best performance to garner rave reviews which equals offers.
Gail Pelto is a Rotary Club of Destin and Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation board member… and yes, a powerful, full-time real estate agent with Keller Williams. Call her direct at (850) 374-0454 or email Gail.Pelto@kw.com for real estate questions. Want to know what the value of your property is today? Let Gail guide you.