Homebuyers have grown accustomed to seeing and now expect to see picture-perfect, magazine-ready homes when they shop – both in listing photos and in person. And, besides, multiple studies have shown that staged homes typically sell faster and at better prices. Staging, then, is an essential element in preparing your home for listing and sale. So be sure to check out our 6 staging tips for home sellers in New Jersey.
1. Understand Staging
If you understand the purpose of anything, you can use it better and get better results. That’s why we recommend as the first of our staging tips that New Jersey home sellers gain at least some understanding of staging and what it is meant to do.
Staging basically involves making a home look its most buyer appealing by means of strategically arranging furniture and décor. Its real purpose is to allow and enable potential buyers to visualize your staged house as their own home – to imagine their belongings in place and actually living there. A 2017 National Association of Realtors survey found that “49% of buyers’ agents believe staging affects most buyers’ view of a home. And 77% of them say it’s easier for people to visualize a staged home as their own.”
Effective staging, as we mentioned, can also help you sell faster and increase your sales price. That same survey found 29% of agents reporting that “the sales price for staged homes [was] between1% and 5% higher than unstaged homes.” In addition, 39% of sellers’ agents “reported that staging a home reduces days on the market.”
2. Declutter and Clean
This may seem too obvious to include among our staging tips for home sellers in New Jersey, but you’d be surprised how many sellers neglect it or don’t do a thorough job.
Here’s why decluttering is so important: “The most essential task when staging a house involves purging and cleaning – a clean, empty as possible house looks bigger.”
A good decluttering and cleaning should entail at least the following:
- Removing all knick-knacks and personal items (which means actually boxing them up and getting out of your house)
- Deep cleaning the entire house, making sure the kitchen and bathrooms especially sparkle
- Airing out your house do get rid of offensive odors and scents
3. Strive for a Light, Bright Look and Feel
Buyers find bright rooms the most appealing. They seem both more inviting and roomier. Besides, you want buyers to be able to see all the hard staging work you’ve done. This means, then, that you need to maximize both natural and artificial lighting.
You can begin by cleaning windows, opening blinds, and pulling back curtains, as well as removing those heavy drapes. In addition, you should clean or replace dirty fixtures and dingy shades and add additional lighting where needed.
4. Stage the Important Rooms First
As far as New Jersey staging tips go, this one is important because you may run out of time and you want to take care of first things first. So be sure to stage the important rooms (from a buyer perspective) first. You certainly don’t want to waste time and money on rooms that don’t matter so much.
Heres what staging pros recommend: “[I]f you don’t have the time or money to stage your whole house, you can get the most bang for your buck by staging certain rooms. The NAR survey found the living room is the most crucial space to stage, with 55% of agents surveyed thinking it’s ‘very important’ to stage it. Next comes the master bedroom, followed by the kitchen. Your last priority can be any extra bedrooms.”
5. Remove/Rent Furniture and Arrange It
All staging experts always offer as one of their staging tips that you should remove about half your furniture to make rooms seem bigger and have more buyer appeal. But then your remaining furniture should have that necessary showroom look – but, sadly, that’s not the case for most of us.
Of course, you don’t want to have to go out and buy new furniture, so a better option is to rent furniture instead. You can rent nice-looking new pieces much cheaper than you can buy them. If you’re staying solely for the purpose of getting great listing photos, another option is simply to use pop-up furniture.
More important, though, that furniture has to be strategically arranged. “Once you’ve settled on the furniture that will occupy the staged home. Position couches, chairs, and tables away from your walls. This is a design technique called ‘floating’ the furniture. Anchor the space with an area rug, even it the room has wall-to-wall carpeting. This creates a cozy, intimate space, ideal for chatting with friends and family.”
6. Add Finishing Touches
Finally, you should add some finishing touches, those little extras that really make a difference. Once the major staging is done, work on adding finishing touches that will complement and perfect, say, the furniture arrangement. These things include a bowl of fruit in the kitchen, fresh flowers in vases, accent pillows on the couch, and folded towels in the bathroom.
Ultimately, staging is an art and requires a great deal of experience. Your best bet, then, might be to hire professional stagers. Your local real estate agent can also help you out with additional staging tips for selling in New Jersey. Find out today how our qualified agents can help.