Lori Dennis Celebrity Luxury Interior Designer | Blog

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Stage to Sell – Top 5 Tips on Home Staging

May 27, 2016

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It only takes a few seconds to make a first impression.

Staging your house to sell requires a completely different approach than how you might decorate your home.  For starters, think of it as property – a house that you would like to sell rather than the home you like to live in.  Changing those 2 words (House and Home) in your vocabulary will do wonders to your perspective.  Just like when you sell your car, if you want a maximum on your return, you fix a few things that show wear and tear, remove personal belongings and give it a deep detailed cleaning.  Your goal should be to sell your house in the least amount of time for more than the asking price.

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Here are a few STATS:
– The cost of staging is typically between 1% and 3% of the list price and generates about 8% to 10% return.

– Staged homes sell 50% – 80% faster than un-staged home, eliminating carrying costs.
These 2 items alone support the argument that staging pays for itself.

– 90% of buyers first view potential homes on the internet and form an opinion within 7 seconds of seeing it.
Knowing this, staging your home to not only look great in person but also in photographs is key.

Follow these Top 5 Tips on Home Staging and get into the mindset of potential home buyers:

1.  De-Clutter and Edit
Remember Coco Chanel’s famous quote: “Once you’ve dressed, and before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.”  The same applies in this situation.  Less is more.  Way more.  When people walk into the space, they want it to feel inviting, comfortable, peaceful and clean.  Remove furniture that is crammed into a room.  Take out personal photographs, memorabilia and chachkies that add unnecessary layers.  Clear off your counters of stacks of mail or things to be put away.  People want to want to see the house and architecture, not your things, and they want to be able to envision themselves living in your house and making it their home.

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2.  It’s not Personal
Your overall goal would be to appeal to the masses, so keep it neutral.  Your space should be attractive to both men and women, young and older, and cross cultural.  You wouldn’t want to exclude any potential buyer.  Think of it like this – you’re selling the most delicious vanilla ice cream. But that doesn’t mean that it has to be boring.  Clean and contemporary paint colors that won’t scare people off would be a warm white or soft grey.

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3.  Rearrange Existing Furniture
Create an open floor plan in the public spaces so the room feels larger.  Place furniture in a symmetrical layout so it implies balance and peace.

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4. Time to Update
Perhaps it’s been awhile since you’ve fixed up your place, so it might need a little make-over.  If your budget is tight, simply clean the house, de-clutter and rearrange the furniture making everything feel lighter and brighter.  Replace your sofa pillows, bedding, bathroom towels and shower curtain and purchase new planter pots for the front and backyard.  If you have a little money to spend you could revive the landscaping, replace the light fixtures and update the plumbing and electrical systems to current standards.  With an even more flexible budget, you could paint the exterior and interior.  Paint is always the biggest bang for your buck and makes a home feel completely new again.  Purchasing new flooring or lightly remodeling the kitchen and bathroom will give you more return on your investment.  Remember to keep it neutral with your selections, perhaps with a transitional, broad style that appeals to the masses.  Now is not to time to get fancy – you can do that in your next home.

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5.  Hire a Stager and Rent Furniture
Why hire a home stager?  You may not have the time to stage your home yourself, especially if it’s completely empty, or  maybe you’re just at a complete loss as to where to start.  Or maybe you think your home is fine the way it is, in all it’s stunning glory.  Well, it might be helpful to get an outside eye with a fresh perspective.  Depending on your needs, you can hire a stager for a few hours to give you quick tips and help you rearrange and edit, or pay them a flat fee and they will stage a few rooms or the whole house.  We promise you, it’ll be worth every penny.  When your house sells faster than you ever imagined and you’re toasting with your celebratory glass of champagne, you’ll be thanking me later.

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