March 22, 2011
To Stage or NOT to Stage….
by Teri Conrad
You’ve been through all the gorgeous Show Homes in the new developments – You’ve SEEN it with your own eyes! If you’re like me you fall in love and say “Oh honey – I love this one”…and then he slowly brings you back to earth when he says, “No you don’t – you love all the STUFF!”
I LOVE a well staged home with beautiful modern, sleek and sexy accessories. The eye jumps from one deliciously yummy item to the next – barely enough time to notice that really it’s just 4 walls and a floor!
That’s the power of design! We are visual beings …anything that pleases the eye is going to maximize your value…so the name of the game is ~ Make The Investment short term for long-term gain! If you play your cards right you can even have some quality pieces for your next home.
My top 10 suggestions for most Bang for Buck:
1. CLEAN the house! Can’t be said enough but odors and grime are a real turn off! If you have pets ~ try to have them stay somewhere else during the selling process. If that’s not possible then keep them confined to one area. Air fresheners are great – but most people can still smell the odors under them. Same is true for smoking- keep it outside!
2. DE-CLUTTER!! Personalized items like pictures and trophies etc. are only distracting. You want the Buyer to imagine themselves in the space. Also make sure to clean off all surfaces of any extras – like magazines/papers/bills/ nick knacks to a minimum. Pick your absolute favorites and store/junk the rest!
3. Fresh Paint! I’ve said it before but paint is probably THE best improvement you can make before you put your house on the market! Covers up all the odors and brightens and brings up to date ~ get a professional in to do the whole house with some new modern colors! Best investment you’ll make!
4. New linens/towels ~ You’d be shocked what a difference a new duvet cover and some tossed pillows can make – add some lovely new fluffy towels in the bathroom and leaves it feeling fresh and clean!
5. Lighting! Lighting is HUGE! Do yourself a favor and buy a few extra lamps – use for back lighting behind plants for some drama and ambiance and brightening up dark corners. There are some absolutely gorgeous new chandeliers and table lamps now that add glorious richness to any space.
6. Flooring. If your carpet is tired or your floors have some wear ‘n tear then you may want to consider new floor coverings. They have a way of making the whole space seem new!
7. Refresh Kitchen Cabinets: If your cabinets are outdated you may want to invest in some new front faces and hardware…an easy and cheap improvement.
8. How are your countertops? Kitchens and baths are what sell the home and if your kitchen is dated you may be leaving money on the table. Brand new granite or even new linoleum can be a huge improvement – or maybe a fresh backsplash.
9. Less is more – take out any big pieces in the bedrooms that aren’t necessary. Put stuff away in storage if you can. The less in the room the larger the space will seem. Be careful not to make it feel ‘sparse’…you still want a cozy feeling.
10. Warm it up: Use throws, cushions and drapes to add texture, color and warmth. Use mirrors to reflect lighting and add dimension.
I’ve had many clients resist doing the work or spending the money before they list their homes only to have the property sit longer and finally sell for less. Staging your property is well worth the investment.
You’d never see a show home sitting empty with the lights off!
About the Author
A modern Realtor® for 4 years, Teri is passionate about and embracing Web 2.0, utilizing online marketing initiatives and social media to maximize exposure and sell properties! She earned a diploma in Radio Communications from British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) which positioned her well with the knowledge and experience to anticipate the new media and new technology world. Teri’s background is in marketing and selling radio advertising for Rogers Communications Inc.
Teri founded the Fraser Valley Social Media Meetups to share her knowledge and facilitate learning and networking in her community of Langley, BC, as well as sits on the Communications and membership committees of the Langley Chamber of Commerce. Teri also consults with clients who need guidance with their social media strategy and content management. Most recently, Teri was asked to speak at Inman’s Agent Reboot Conference in Seattle and Portland. Known as @TLCHOME on Twitter… Teri is happily married and has 2 great sons and a step daughter.