“Staging” is about setting up and decorating each room of your home so that it looks as attractive as possible to potential buyers. Studies show that a property is more likely to sell quickly and for a better price if it is effectively staged.
Even if you haven’t heard of staging before, you probably already know the basics, such as eliminating clutter and making sure everything is clean and “guest ready.”
However, there are some home staging “secrets” by staging professionals that you may not know. Here are a few examples:
Increase horizontal surface space. Make sure desks, countertops, coffee tables, end tables, etc. are as free of items as possible. Give the impression that there’s lots of room available on horizontal surfaces.
Flowers. Fresh flowers or flowering plants placed in a couple of rooms, such as the kitchen and living room, can have a dramatic impact on how inviting that room looks. Just don’t overdo it.
Don’t be daring when you paint. You may love the idea of a bright yellow and green combination in the family room, but not everyone will share your daring sense of style. If you paint, stick to neutral shades.
Less is more. Be brutally honest about the amount of furniture you have in each room – including wall hangings. Is there a desk, side table or other piece you can put away in storage? Think about ways to make each room more spacious. Space is king!
Ultimately, the best staging advice is to use your common sense. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer as you walk through your home. Ask yourself, “What changes will make this room even more attractive?”
Lifestyle is a very important criterion when shopping for a new home. After all, a home and its surrounding area are the places where much of your lifestyle is going to be experienced.
So when considering a new home, think about the lifestyle to which the property is going to lend itself. Ask yourself:
- How much entertaining do we do?
- How important is it to have good schools located nearby?
- How long will the commute to work be?
- How big of a backyard do we require?
- Do we need a rec room?
- How easy will it be to get to golfing, dance lessons, baseball practices, movies and other activities my family and I enjoy?
- How important is it to be in a quiet area?
- Do we want a local park nearby for jogging, playing with the kids, and walking the dog?
This list is just an example. Ideally, you’ll create your own list of questions to ask yourself when considering a particular home.
You’ve spent a couple of weekends viewing homes. You’ve found a few that you like, but none were quite “it”. Then, finally, you visit a property that seems perfect for you. It has most of the features you’re looking for in a new home. You quickly fall in love with it.
But it’s not yours yet. You have to make an offer. The amount you offer will play a huge role in whether or not you get the home, and the price you’ll pay.
At this point, you might be tempted to put in a really low offer in the hopes that you’ll get a bargain.
But that’s usually not a good idea.
First, the seller (working with his or her REALTOR®) probably knows the current market value of the property. So your low-ball offer will not make a good impression.
Secondly, there might be another offer that comes in at the same time — one that’s closer to the listing price — and you might risk losing your chance to buy the property. So be cautious with the low-ball game. Chances are, you’ll lose. A good REALTOR® can help you make the right offer for the property you’re interested in purchasing.