As an investor, your job isn’t over until the property is sold. You can do everything right up until that point, but unless you can generate a sale you still have work to do. Of course, there will be times when you don’t have to do much to generate interest. Other times, however, you need to think outside of the box. To that end, staging your property is a great way to generate interest. It doesn’t work for every property, but it can certainly make or break a deal on select homes. If you are on the fence regarding staging, here are four tips to help you get the most out of it:
1. Clean, Clean, Clean: Staging is the act of preparing your property in the best possible way to generate interest. This can be done by adding or removing furniture, changing the appearance of the property, and making minor improvements. Regardless of how you plan on staging, you need to start by making sure the property is impeccable. Even if you consider yourself a clean person, there is a difference between a good professional clean and something you will do. With a professional clean, you get the areas that you may have never even thought of. The blinds, behind the toilet, inside the stove and bedroom closets are not places that you may think to look, but they could make a difference. It is widely acknowledged that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. Why not get these areas cleaned by a professional? You can still go forward with your staging ideas, but you need to start by cleaning the property.
2. Wide Appeal: The idea behind staging is to generate as much interest as possible. It is important to keep this in mind when you consider what type of staging you are going to do. What appeals to you may not appeal to others. By painting the living room red, you are limiting yourself to a specific kind of buyer. You want to keep everything you do on the neutral side, appealing to both male and female buyers. A male may love the way the basement looks, but if his wife isn’t on board with it, they may look at other houses. It is also important that you stage according to the area. There is a fine line between following all the latest trends and being just like every other house. You want your house to be in line with the area, only slightly nicer. There should be a definite wow factor when people enter the house. If the house is over furnished with items that would never fit the area, staging can be counterproductive. Stage to your market, and make it as appealing to as many people as possible.
3. Landscaping: Everything can look just the way you want it on the inside, but if the exterior is a mess buyers may never know. Staging is about presenting an overall picture of your property. This picture starts with the first impression. Dried up grass, overgrown bushes and weeds in the driveway make your home feel old and outdated. If you are going to spend money staging the interior, you need to make sure you do something with the landscaping. Some of these fixes will not be cheap, but they can be the best thing you do to sell your home. Drive up to your property and write down the first thing you notice. The difference between plush green grass and dry patches in the yard is night and day. A few fresh flowers and plants by the front door adds appeal and changes the perception of the house. If you are going to stage, don’t ignore the landscaping.
4. Exterior Maintenance: In addition to the landscaping, you should take a look at the rest of the exterior. Seemingly small items like the condition of the shutters, the front door, or the garage door makes a big difference. In most cases, these can be easily remedied by putting on a fresh coat of paint or just power washing the exterior. Bigger exterior items can include a new front door, or replacing old hand rails. These may cost a few hundred dollars, but if they help find a buyer, the return can be thousands. Whether you like it or not, prospective buyers will look at every inch of the property – both inside and out. In today’s market, they are often looking for perfection.
Simply putting your home on the market and waiting for offers to pour in may not work in a buyer’s market. You need to focus on the little things to make your home stand out. Staging is one of the ways to do so. Hiring a staging company is not enough. You need to look at the overall presentation of your property, both inside and out. Spending a little extra time and money to get everything perfect before you list will give you a leg up on your competition.