According to the National Association of Realtors, the median days on market for homes sold in September 2015 was only 49 days, down slightly from 56 days a year ago.
It is taking an additional 41 days to close the sale.Staging is the number one marketing tool that can impact the length of time a home remains on the market.
Set a budget – Set aside funds for repairs, house cleaning upgrades and external storage to remove unnecessary items from home, if needed. Less is more with staging.
De clutter – Walk the home and decide what you need and don’t need. I emphasize “need” because “wants” will come into play later. Label items to keep, give away or trash and make sure to dispose of trash immediately. You will need boxes to start packing out-of-season clothing, personal items pictures, awards, etc. You may want to allocate money for monthly storage for items that you want to keep that will not be used as a part of the staging process.
Curb appeal – Invest in basic landscaping of yard and flower beds. The front of home is the first impression which impacts whether a potential buyer will come in or just drive by. Work with what you have and update areas of the home, as needed.
Changing something as simple as a light fixture and updating address numbers are low cost ways that can change the look of home. Adding flower pots, a swing on the front porch and other accents are valuable enhancements.
Deodorize/neutralize – The nose is very powerful. Buyers don’t want to smell the odor of pets or the age of the home. When selecting a deodorizer, select scents that are light and fresh to accommodate for potential buyers with allergies.
Staging: Positioning or preparing a property to appeal to the psychological needs of buyers by creating a flow throughout the home.
Staging is not decorating; it’s opening the space to appeal to anyone’s taste. Below is a chart I use to stage each room showing my goals for each room.
Area of Home Message It Should Convey
Curb Appeal Neat well manicured
Kitchen Organized, good work area, heart of the home
Staging should be done before a home is put on the market. Newly listed homes garner more traffic from potential homebuyers than homes that have been on the market for longer periods of time, so be prepared to showcase your home’s appeal on day one.