Sim­ple, in­ex­pen­sive stag­ing strate­gies

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - REAL ESTATE -

Stag­ing has long been part of sell­ing a home, and for good rea­son. When sell­ing a home, it makes sense for sell­ers to make their homes as ap­peal­ing as pos­si­ble, even if a re­cent study in­di­cates that stag­ing may not com­pel buy­ers to of­fer more money.

Re­searchers at Old Do­min­ion Univer­sity and Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity found that stag­ing did not have a sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect on the ac­tual re­vealed mar­ket value of a prop­erty. How­ever, home­own­ers should not in­ter­pret that as a rea­son to skip stag­ing. In fact, the study’s au­thors note that stag­ing gave buy­ers more fa­vor­able im­pres­sions of a prop­erty, which might ac­cel­er­ate the sell­ing process.

Stag­ing a home need not be dif­fi­cult. In fact, home­own­ers can em­ploy sev­eral sim­ple and in­ex­pen­sive stag­ing strate­gies to en­tice buy­ers to make of­fers on their homes.

• Clear out the clut­ter, es­pe­cially in bath­rooms and clos­ets. Clear out the clut­ter in each room in the house be­fore host­ing an open house. Note that it’s not just bed­rooms and liv­ing rooms that should be made to look open, spa­cious and clut­ter-free. A lux­u­ri­ous, ho­tel-qual­ity bath­room that’s open and airy can im­press buy­ers, as can or­ga­nized clos­ets that are not jam packed with cloth­ing, shoes and other wardrobe items that have a ten­dency to take over clos­ets the longer some­one lives in a home.

• Let the sun shine in. A home that’s bright and airy tends to ap­pear more spa­cious and liv­able than one in which the win­dows and blinds are closed. Be­fore host­ing an open house, open the blinds and crack some win­dows if the weather per­mits.

• Start right in­side the front door. A wel­com­ing, clut­ter-free foyer or pri­mary entryway makes a strong first im­pres­sion, im­me­di­ately giv­ing buy­ers an idea of what it will be like to wel­come their own friends and fam­ily into a home should they buy it. If you hang your coats on a coat rack in a foyer or entryway that does not have a closet, re­move the coat rack be­fore host­ing an open house. Coat racks can make the space feel cramped. If there’s room, place a small ta­ble and bench just in­side the door.

• Take care of the yard. You only get one chance to make a first im­pres­sion, and the first thing buy­ers will see when they pull up out­side your house is the ex­te­rior of your home. Land­scap­ing is im­por­tant, and a well-main­tained yard sug­gests to buy­ers that own­ers have taken pride in their homes, and that may ex­tend in­side the home. Make sure the grass is freshly cut, shrubs and trees have been trimmed, bald spots in the lawn have been ad­dressed, and ex­te­rior liv­ing spa­ces have been cleaned and cleared of clut­ter.

Stag­ing a home sounds com­pli­cated. But there are var­i­ous sim­ple and in­ex­pen­sive ways to make a home more at­trac­tive to prospec­tive buy­ers.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF METROCREATIVE

An invit­ing, clut­ter-free foyer or entryway can make a strong first im­pres­sion on prospec­tive home buy­ers.

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