Now that the temperatures have dropped and you've been thinking about selling your home, it's time for a refresh to list it in time for this season’s crop of eager buyers.
We asked three local home staging companies how to turn “But, what do I do?” into “Wow! Look at this place!” Put their advice into practice for a home that sells for your asking price…or even starts a bidding war.
photo courtesy of marilyn hazan designs
Buyers seek turnkey spaces, says Marilyn Hazan of Marilyn Hazan Designs. Make yours inviting and ready to go.
Marilyn Hazan Designs
Stager Marilyn Hazan says:
Aim for turnkey. Desert buyers seek turnkey homes that are updated and in excellent condition. The closer yours shows to that, the better. It might be as simple as removing clutter and rearranging furniture and artwork to painting, changing the flooring, updating the lighting, and accessorizing with panache.
Wow them at hello. First impressions only happen once. Don’t settle for making a “good enough” effort before your listing goes live. After being staged, my homes usually sell to one of the first three people who see it. The better your property shows, the faster it will sell and the more money you will make.
Photo courtesy of Powerhouse Staging Company
A fresh, neutral color scheme and natural light from open blinds give homes for sale a broad appeal, says Tianna Woods of Powerhouse Staging Company.
Powerhouse Staging Company
Stager Tianna Woods says:
Declutter. Are you selling your house or your stuff? The way you live in your home is not the way you sell it. Edit, purge, and donate unwanted items. Order a storage container and pack up personal items (photos, collectibles, rarely used appliances, electronics, toys, seasonal clothing) and warehouse them. This will ease your moving-day stress and help buyers to envision themselves living there.
Neutralize your color scheme. Bold colors turn buyers off. Brush on a fresh, neutral color for the broadest appeal. The right color can help homes feel larger or cozier. Painting is the best bang for your buck to renew any room.
Make it light and bright. Open blinds and draperies to let in natural light. If light fixtures are older than you, or just plain ugly, replace them (including ceiling fans).
Don't take it personally. Once you commit to selling your home, emotionally detach and think of it as a product. People buy an aspired lifestyle. Make your home the most appealing product on the block the moment it debuts. If your home is not memorable, it’s going to be invisible.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DESERT HOME STAGING
Know your buyer and stage your home to appeal to that demographic, says Teri Allen of Desert Home Staging
Desert Home Staging
Stager Teri Allen says:
Check your perspective. Take a good, hard look at your house from a buyer's perspective. So many sellers think that buyers will see all the great things about their house and overlook the imperfections. In reality, it's the other way around. Buyers focus on impressions. The bad ones count most and can prevent a sale. Walk through and imagine what you would want to see as a buyer.
Follow the C’s. Cleanliness: Your house should look, smell, and feel immaculate. Clutter: Don’t kid yourself: people cannot see past all of your “stuff.” Confuse people, you lose people: No pool tables in the dining room. Each room should have a smooth flow and a clear intended function.
Discover your ideal buyer. Consider the different buyers looking for a midcentury modern home in Palm Springs, a family home in Cathedral City, a vacation rental in La Quinta, or a retirement home in Sun City. They are all looking for completely different things. Take this dynamic into account and work on impactful “lifestyle staging” to attract them.
Understand that shoppers seek an emotional connection. Your home will be about how it makes a buyer feel. Don’t let them get distracted by “unique” art or outdated décor — or worse, a vacant home that lacks warmth, style, and energy. Make it your goal for buyers to fall in love — because that's the magic moment they decide to make an offer.
photo courtesy of POWERHOUSE STAGING COMPANY
People buy an aspired lifestyle not a house cluttered with personal affects, says Tianna Woods of Powerhouse Staging Company.
“Help! I Need a Stager!”
DIY staging isn’t for everyone. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” Woods says. “Most professional stagers provide a variety of options from consultations on what you can do to prepare a home before listing it to redesigning an occupied home or staging a vacant property. How much does it cost? Less than your first price reduction!”
Allen agrees that staging is the best investment a seller can make in anticipation of a profitable sale. “You can generally estimate about 1 percent of the asking price for staging a vacant home depending on the extent of staging and the amount of furniture and décor it requires to make a positive and memorable impression,” she says.
“In the Valley, home staging is critical because out-of-the-area buyers rely heavily on online listings,” Allen adds. “They'll make decisions on whether or not to consider a property based on your photos. An empty house or a cluttered or dated interior will prompt them to click away in a split second if they don't like what they see — and never come back.”
For occupied homes, Allen says a staging evaluation runs about $300. A staging “refresh” can run $1,000 and up depending on the amount of work to be done and additional purchases of décor and accessories needed.
Home staging companies:
Lisa Marie Hart is the editor of Home & Design for Palm Springs Life.