When looking to entice serious, prospective buyers, there are plenty of things you can do. In a previous post, we discussed ways in which you can improve your curb appeal but what about the inside of your home? Hiding clutter and personal items, adding a crisp coat of paint, and displaying bouquets of fresh-cut flowers can certainly increase your chances. In our experience though, the most effective way to achieve success is to have the home professionally staged. Whether your home is completely empty or you’ve lived in it for years, a professional staging service can create a look that will appeal to the greatest number of people. We’re all familiar with the idiom, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but the reality is, we do! So if you’re looking to sell, we encourage you to seriously consider this service, whether it’s real life staging or virtual. Here’s why…
First Impressions are Everything
For the same reasons we stress the importance of curb appeal, we encourage clients to think about the first impression prospective buyers will get upon entering their home. First impressions truly are everything and can make or break a showing. You want buyers to be excited and in a good mood immediately upon entry, as opposed to having to redeem their interest a few rooms later. If the buyer has to go through the entire house before they see something they like, you’ve probably missed the window. A professional stager can critically examine the site lines upon entering your home and ensure that it is optimized to give you the best chances for a great showing right from the get-go.
Above are the before and afters of virtual staging we had done for the great room of a Rosedale home. The room is so fabulous and such a major feature of the main floor that we felt it was incredibly important to attract potential buyers online by showing the space at its best.
Take Out the Guesswork
Think about the furniture in your home and the clothes in your closet, chances are you purchased the majority of these pieces because they were displayed effectively. If you were to look at a stand-alone slipper chair, it’s hard to imagine what to do with it. For that reason, most furniture stores will stage the chair with a sofa, area rug, coffee table and maybe even accessorize the chair with a pillow and throw. For clothing, there’s a reason why boutiques frequently change the outfits on their window-display mannequins. They know that the chances of them selling a hot-pink blouse, for example, are far greater when they show their customers how to style it versus simply hanging it on a rack. It’s the exact same thing when it comes to selling your home. Staging your home takes out the guesswork for prospective buyers and eliminates the question of, “but what will I do with this room and how will I furnish it?!”
The bedroom featured above has great potential but it takes vision and experience to know what to do with it. With the help of our virtual stagers, we were able to transform the space and show how it could look with a few tweaks!
Get that “WOW” Factor
For homes that are already empty, have limited square footage, are outdated or in need of serious renovations, it can be harder to achieve the “wow” factor, when left as is. Effective staging allows people to see a home’s beauty and potential, as opposed to focusing on what it is lacking. An effectively staged home can make limited square-footage appear ample, flooring that has seen better days can be accessorized with an area rug, a condo with a seemingly useless small den can be made appealing to someone who needs a home office or a nursery. We work closely alongside our preferred stagers to think about who it is we are trying to attract and how to best stage the home appropriately to appeal to their specific needs.
Recently, a client of ours was looking to lease their condo. The unit was unoccupied and therefore empty. Although it was freshly painted and in good condition, we felt that it might be difficult for potential tenants to visualize themselves in the space. With COVID restrictions in place at the building though, traditional staging wasn’t an option so we went virtual for the entire unit! Above are the before and afters, which resulted in a two-year lease contract at asking price.
Quicker Sale, Higher Price
Similar to curb appeal, it’s hard to put an exact return value on staging but past experience has proven to us that it’s worthwhile. All the aforementioned points ultimately culminate to a quicker sale and a higher selling price. By effectively staging a home, you’re taking out the guesswork and allowing buyers to visualize themselves and their lifestyles in your home. This eliminates doubt and speeds up the process. Having a home that gives a great first impression and has that “wow” factor, builds perceived value, and is more likely to earn your asking price and beyond.