During these COVID times, there are many restrictions in place when you place your house on the market. Depending on the area you live, open houses (opening your home to a large group of people at the same time for a day or more) and home showings are by appointment only. Safety comes first and limiting the number of people in a house and following strict guidelines of mask-wearing help to limit the spread of COVID.
The key to showing a home successfully is to know that your house must be marketed with broad appeal to a targeted audience. Targeted simply means ‘directing’ your house to a select group of people who can:
- Afford the price of your home
- Be in the location that the prospective buyer is looking
- Appeal to the sense of style and décor of that buyer
Finding a Certified Home Stager & What to Expect
To prepare for showing a home, several steps must be taken and the first is hiring a professional and certified home stager that will work within your budget guidelines and help you to prepare your house for sale. Checking with the Real Estate Staging Association will assist you in locating a company that you can interview for this job.
A professional and certified home stager has been trained and is experienced in walking a homeowner through the steps to begin preparation to sell the home. Some realtors will perform this task, yet many refer their clients to home stagers who are trained to walk the entire property and give advice and direction on exactly what needs to be done within the house and on the property before going on the market. This may include painting, removing excess or dated furniture and accessories, repairing leaky faucets, replacing lighting, and providing direction to assist in curb appeal.
These consultations, also called Walk & Talks, are normally an hour or more long, and allow the homeowner to interact with the home stager to get questions answered and to listen to feedback on how to show a home by preparing their house to put it on the MLS.
Once those directives from the home stager have been met, it is time to stage your home. If your furnishings are updated, clean, and trending, it is very likely you can use your furnishings with the home stager providing direction and complementing it with additional decor accessories. However, if the furnishings are dated, in need of cleaning, or simply unappealing, it will be a bad reflection on your home when people view it. Look to the home stager to bring in trending furnishings that will appeal to your potential buyer.
Prospective buyers are looking for a home that is a step above where they live. A well-trained and experienced home stager already knows to bring in furnishings that are a step above what the neighborhood reflects. Furnishings and the proper décor accessories stylishly staged will help to create a powerful emotional appeal to the buyer. Statistics show that houses that have been staged will show much better and sell faster than similar properties in your area that have not been staged.
A house that has been staged and then professionally photographed also helps when buyers are looking at the MLS. Getting the buyer to your house and then showing a home is critical to getting it sold.
It has also been determined that houses that are professionally staged also give a potential buyer the feeling that the rest of the house has been maintained well. Staged houses are hard to forget – standing out in the buyer’s mind above the rest.
On staging day, to prepare for showing a home, furniture, artwork, mirrors, plants, and décor accessories will be brought in to prepare to arrange and show off all the focal points of a home.
Home stagers know that the focal point of each room is critical for showcasing the attributes of the home. Furnishings will be arranged to create the most amount of real estate space and to bring attention to that focal point, whether it be a fireplace, a view, or a bed.
Showing a Home | Home Stager Cost
The home stager cost will depend on your budget and the direction your home stager provides for the number of rooms to be staged. The minimum number of rooms is normally three, including the dining room, living room, and master bedroom. When possible, and when the real estate is very competitive, I recommend staging all the rooms, if your budget allows.
I’ll never ask a client to go out of their comfort range financially to stage their house. This is why the Walk & Talk is so important in the first phase of putting the house on the market. It provides you direction on what to do first, works within your budget, determines what can be used for furnishings and décor accessories that you already have, and what needs to be brought in to make showing a home the most appealing to the broadest market.
The home stager cost is provided by your home stager in the form of an estimate, normally within 24 hours of seeing your property. Be sure to download The Consumer’s Guide to Real Estate Staging on the Real Estate Staging Association’s website. It’s a gold mine of information for you!