Make Sure Professional Home Staging is Part of Your Marketing Plan
Professional home staging can mean the difference between a home’s fast sale for top dollar and a home sale that lingers for less. Having your home staged by a professional is one of the most important things you can do prior to putting your home on the market.
“We spend more time prepping a home for sale than the time a home is actually active for sale on the market,” said real estate broker John Wichmann. “Getting a home show-ready and photographing it well presents a home at its best and helps accelerate the sales process.”
Jennifer Herz, a professional home stager and architectural photographer, agrees. “Home staging and great photography are the two most important considerations when preparing your home for sale.”
A professional home stager not only prepares a home for buyer walk-throughs, they also help stage a home for visual appeal that translates well in photographs. According to NAR (National Association of Realtors) data from the 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, more than 44% of home buyers begin the search process online. In other studies, it is estimated that 90% of home buyers use the internet at some point in the home buying process.
No matter how well designed your home is, a second eye can see things you as an owner are bound to miss. A professional home stager has the skills of an interior designer, with the added ability to design for mass appeal and salability.
A professional home stager will address:
- Curb appeal ─ updating your entry will help drive traffic to your door; power washing, paint touch-ups and well-chosen plants help make a great first impression
- Clutter clear out – the golden rule is to clean out clutter by half!
Declutter closets, pantries, toys, kitchen counters, and anything unnecessary or unsightly
- Clean lines ─ limit 3-5 items per shelf, create vignettes in an odd number of groupings at varying heights, pack or donate small nick-knacks; larger “chunky” items will photograph well and show better
- Furniture placement ─ all walkways need to be open; some furniture may need to be removed or placed in storage
- Visual space – make sure your home looks as large as possible
- Recommended repairs or renovations ─ home repairs, upgrades or alterations that will increase your home’s value and salability; a remodel makes sense when you know you will recoup the investment – an upgraded, attractive kitchen can make your home irresistible
- Colorful accents, artwork and extras ─ a few well-chosen decorative items to display for maximum appeal
- Odors ─ strong smells from pets or cooking can be a turnoff, a home stager can make recommendations for your situation
Staging a home for sale helps bring out a home’s best features and downplays its shortcomings.
“Since 80% of all home buyers can’t see the potential of a space, home staging helps highlight a home’s possibilities,” said Jennifer Herz.
Jennifer recommends visiting model homes for a visual idea of how your home should look when you put it on the market ─ you want to keep things simple with a few key pieces and accessories. Home builders invest a lot of money in staging because they know it works!
If you are preparing your home for sale, consider selecting a real estate agent that also offers home staging in their sales/marketing package. JW Real Estate Group includes both professional home staging and professional photography in every marketing plan they create.
Jennifer Herz has more than eight years of experience in home staging and currently works as an architectural photographer at Spacecrafting, a company that specializes in photography for real estate.
Photos by Jennifer Herz