By: Christel Silver Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
We all know how important it is to have your home clean, bright, and repaired of small and bigger issues and uncluttered before you try to sell it. Taking the extra step of staging your home might make the difference of selling faster and receiving a higher price for the home.
Wikipedia defines home staging as: “an act of preparing a private residence for sale in the real estate marketplace. 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. Staging techniques focus on improving a property’s appeal by transforming it into a welcoming, attractive product that anyone might want. People usually use arts, painting, accessories, lights, greenery, and carpet to stage the home, to give potential buyers a more attractive first impression of the property.”
A house that “shows” well and is priced well will sell, and sell quickly. The first impressions count, even from the moment a potential buyer drives up to a house. When a house first goes on the market, it usually receives a lot of interest from real estate agents and the buying public. Staging is very important for vacant houses as empty rooms actually make the space look smaller. It is more challenging to stage a home when the owner still resides in it, but an experienced stager can improve the house dramatically. One of the costliest mistakes made by home sellers is to ignore the visual psychology involved in gaining a buyer’s immediate attention. Potential buyers become interested in a property when they walk in and feel, “I could live here.” They imagine it as their home.
Your Home could be updated and in immaculate shape—you are proud of your Hummel collection. Each piece acquired over time has a special meaning, but to your buyer, it is a collection of your things, and it draws the attention away from the main event. Our homes are personal. The goal of staging is to make the home speak to everyone else, in an inviting and positive way. The best stagers will work with what you have, rearranging all of your belongings, in order to present the property in its best light. Sometimes this means moving some of those belongings into the garage.
So why can’t you stage yourself? Just move some items into your garage? Only a third party specialist can accomplish the goal to change your home into a neutral and appealing property. For sure the professional staging is an inconvenience for you. It can be upsetting to watch your life rearranged to suit the tastes of others. But if selling your home in the shortest amount of time and for the most money is your goal, staging pays off.
My own kitchen counter top is at this moment the permanent home to a toaster, a can opener, a coffee pot, a second coffee machine (Keurig), a butcher block of knives, a canister of utensils and spices, a basket of fruits, and some decorative china. This arrangement is functional for me, but to the buyer it might suggest a lack the cabinet space.
Home staging is effective because it is presenting a well cared for home with a positive first impression. It attracts the attention of the prospective buyers. Many home staging companies offer a free estimate—the cost will vary on the size of the house. You can always ask your Realtor® for a recommendation.
About Christel Silver
Christel Silver is a full time Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty servicing the East Coast of South Florida. In 1985 she was licensed in Maryland and Washington DC as a Realtor and later as a Certified Residential Appraiser and Associate Broker and has been in Florida since 2001. The National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) President appointed her (2010-2014) as the President’s Liaison to Germany, where she grew up and worked at the Justice Department for 17 years prior to coming to this country. The Germany Real Estate Organization (IVD) has an agreement with the NAR and she is an International member of this organization. Christel is a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), and a certified speaker teaching CIPS classes. Having been President for the Florida Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Chapter, she is now serving as a Regional Vice President helping Chapters to grow, currently for Virginia, Central Virginia and Maryland. Fifty percent of her business is in the International arena. For more information visit www.silverhouses.com.