According to Wikipedia, home staging is the act of preparing a private residence for sale in the real estate market place and the goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money.
Buying and selling is hot right now, even in these cool months. And many of the same rules apply, inside or out. There are things you should look at if you are a seller, and things you should look at as a buyer. If you are selling, reverse your way of thinking so the things you look to clean up and improve on to make a place look good are exactly what a buyer will look for.
For example, if you decide to not do things like replace burned-out bulbs to make a space look bright, a buyer will look at this and wonder why you would not do something about this dark room. Are you trying to hide something?
Always be two steps ahead of what could be an obstacle.
As a seller, start with the basics. Look for a great Realtor. This should be non negotiable. When you want a job done right, go to a professional. And as a buyer, a Realtor will work hard to find you everything you need in a home.
It is also worth calling a home stager. You want information from a different perspective, from someone with no ties to anything in the home. A buyer can also ask a stager many questions, like what they would do with a space. Sometimes the buyer just does not have a vision of how a space could look.
There are many lists out there that tell you what to do before you sell — like declutter, have a good neutral colour paint (nothing too dark), great curb appeal is important, etc. — but what about the bones of the property? What have you done to keep things updated, like the electrical, furnace maintenance, roof repairs, plumbing and basement cracks? These are the things that can affect the price someone will pay for your house.
I have been a home stager for eight years and I firmly believe in the benefits of what I do, but what I say to clients is keep the staging real. Don’t put away everything. It will make your space look sterile and very empty. You still have to live there while the process is happening.
Staging your home can be beneficial. But be realistic. State up front what you need help with and everyone involved can come together to reach the common goal — selling the property.
Paula Huntley is a home stager and redesigner with Smart Staging Solutions. She’s based in Kentville.