Home improvement and staging strategies

Improving and staging a home allows sellers to market their properties with a distinct competitive advantage. Staged homes often have a greater chance of selling for maximum price. There’s an aesthetic quality innate in successful home improvement and staging efforts which afford sellers an opportunity to present their properties in a manner appealing to a larger audience of prospective homebuyers.

There are benefits to having a well-staged home and simple improvements can help a seller attain a quick sale while reducing the amount of time the property is listed on the market. However, improvement and staging doesn’t have to be expensive. Sometimes the smallest changes have the profoundest of impacts, allowing a home to be turned into a showplace.

Well-staged properties must first be meticulously cleaned, decluttered and organized. Sellers should take the time to pack items, placing them in storage to make the home feel open and inviting. Yet sellers should also set aside functional décor and furnishings proving useful to the home’s staging efforts. It’s important each space within the home be depersonalized, so prospective homebuyers have the opportunity to envision themselves as residents. Homeowners should remove inconsistencies in design and color while addressing needed repairs potentially hindering a prospective buyer’s opinion. For these reasons, sellers must willingly scrutinize their home’s existing aesthetics before undertaking additional steps.

A freshly painted interior, in neutral tones, has the power to make a significant impact. Yet, where appropriate, the subtle application of contrasting colors can positively enhance visual space. Typically, a home’s interior is benefited by a single perpetual design theme. Therefore, to attract a prospective homebuyer’s attention, paint color, tile work and flooring should provoke a feeling of uniformity. The home’s contiguous living spaces should functionally complement one another. Establishing a common flow will unify the home while allowing undefined areas such as basements, attics and lofts to be transformed into connected living spaces suitable for use as an office, entertainment area or retreat.

Homeowners spend a significant amount of time in a home’s main living areas. Living rooms and family rooms each serve as entertainment and gathering space. When staged properly, these areas will elicit a feeling of social connection. Sellers should therefore orient the home’s furnishings in a manner encouraging interaction while remaining proportionally attentive to allowable space. In addition, homes offering a fireplace are highly sought after and sellers are encouraged to accentuate these areas.

Kitchens and bathrooms also hold an influential role in determining a home’s value. When properly staged, well-equipped kitchens and bathrooms have the ability to capture a prospective buyer’s interest. Many buyers place an intrinsic value on home’s possessing modern qualities. Minor enhancements to hardware, faucets and lighting in each of these rooms can make a significant visual statement. New plumbing fixtures, cabinetry, counter tops and appliances can further enhance a kitchen’s or bathroom’s appearance while potentially benefiting resale value. Improvements culminating with subtle accents such as fresh flowers and new towels provide a discernible finishing touch.

The staging of bedrooms is typically focused around the incorporation of simple furnishings and décor. Each bedroom should feel open with appropriate furnishings to prevent the space from feeling congested. New comforters, sheets and accent pillows are excellent means of incorporating simple enhancements resulting in a dramatic change to a bedroom’s appearance.

Yet, the staging of a home isn’t limited to the interior, as a home’s exterior appearance also may influence a prospective homebuyer’s first impression. A buyer’s initial perception of home’s livability is often determined through emotional connection. For these reasons, a home with an attractive outdoor living space has the ability to pique interest even before a guest enters the home.

To enhance a home’s presence, sellers should consider painting the exterior a neutral but appealing color. However, sellers should also remain attentive to the home’s landscape, ensuring the lawn and surrounding foliage is trimmed and well-manicured. Planting flowers is another excellent means of enhancing color, while the addition of mulch and bark accentuates a home’s groundwork and protects vegetation. Where appropriate, strategically placed patio and deck furnishings can further highlight exterior entertainment areas.

The entryway is a home’s exterior focal point, as such, the entryway should be free of clutter allowing the space to open. A prominent front door should command attention, but also serve to draw guests into the home. The process of improving and staging a home’s exterior space culminates with the placement of a new welcome mat.

Improved and well-staged homes purpose each space around their intended use, incorporating design elements, abundant lighting, décor and colors serving to draw attention. Sellers are strongly encouraged to highlight their property’s architectural features while removing barriers that otherwise may detract from a feeling of cohesion.

It’s important to remember, the purpose of staging a home for sale is to create an emotional connection between prospective buyers and the home. However, sellers shouldn’t feel as though they need to expend a large sum of money to achieve this desired effect. Establishing symmetry and orienting each space in a manner reflecting its intended purpose is a simple and worthwhile endeavor. To attain the highest and best offer, sellers should emphasize their home’s features in effort to attract the widest range of would-be homebuyers.

Sean and Aimee McDonald, Realtors with RE/MAX North Lake Tahoe, can be reached at 775-250-8335 or mcdonaldrealestateteam@gmail.com.


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