The real estate market in Canada is white-hot right now. That’s especially true of Ontario, where soaring prices signal a hefty payday for sellers. In short, it may be an ideal time for older adults, previously on the fence about downsizing your home, to get the most from your biggest investment.
Whatever your reason for selling – and despite unprecedented demand – it is still best practice to declutter, organize and or stage your home for sale. According to a study conducted by Home Staging Resources, 85% of staged homes sold for 6-25% more than un-staged homes.
You can take that statistic with a grain of salt (after all, it was a home staging organization that solicited the study), but don’t dismiss it out-of-hand. Even research from neutral parties like the National Association of Realtors supports the merits of home staging, citing increased attractiveness to buyers, shorter time on the market, and a modest increase in value.
It makes perfect sense: Appearance has a marked effect on spending habits. When you buy an apple at the grocery store, you choose the clean, unbruised one at the back. Conversely, you are less likely to give a restaurant your business if it appears unclean, untidy or visually unappealing. The same principle holds true for a buyer making their biggest investment. Neat, uncluttered rooms make the space look bigger and more appealing.
Not sure where to start with staging? Don’t worry. In this post, let’s explore six straightforward tips for staging your home to make it more attractive, competitive and valuable.
Before Staging, Consult Your Pre-Listing Checklist
A “pre-listing checklist” is a helpful document that itemizes all of the organizational tasks you should accomplish before putting your house on the market.
At NEATSPACES, we provide our very own pre-listing home organization checklist that you can follow. It’s a free resource replete with experience-backed tips and best practices. Before you think about staging, read through the checklist and see how far along your home is; the house may need a lot of work, or it may only need minor, aesthetic upgrades. Understanding the scope ahead of you allows you to prepare adequately for the task at hand.
Declutter Your Home
The pre-listing checklist focuses mainly on decluttering and organizing because those are the essential, basic facets of staging. Speaking with The New York Times, real estate expert Jeffrey Stockwell put it best when he said: “real estate is aspirational, and buyers want to see themselves someplace better… If they walk into a cluttered, messy space, there’s none of that feeling…”
Further, decluttering and organizing give buyers the impression that less work needs to be done. An organized space appears “move-in ready.”
If you feel overwhelmed at the seemingly insurmountable task of decluttering a family home for sale, call NEATSPACES. The experienced, knowledgeable members of our declutter company will help you edit and organize your belongings in a compassionate, non-judgmental fashion. Together, we’ll implement organizational systems that work well and look attractive to prospective buyers.
Credit: Curtis Adams Via Pexels
Edit Your Furniture
As part of our joint decluttering efforts, let’s turn our attention to furniture for a moment. Has your house become a museum for decades of in-fashion furniture – Mid-Century chairs, retro sideboards, 80’s stereo sets and contemporary IKEA pieces? While each piece may have a purpose in your daily life, not all furniture items should make the cut for home-staging.
You want your furniture to appear focused and streamlined. Moreover, you don’t want to crowd rooms with furniture. Realtors often talk about giving your home “breathing room,” or open space in which prospective buyers can imagine their new lives.
If your house is stacked with furniture, let the experts at NEATSPACES help you edit. We can coordinate storage space to temporarily house your furniture or work with you to sell, donate or discard items. And if you are a realtor looking to declutter a home for staging, contact us for support — realtors and NEATSPACES make an effective team.
Accentuate Your Home’s Attractive Elements
With a clean, clear home, you can begin finessing the aesthetics. One of the key objectives of home staging is to highlight a house’s attractive elements.
If you’re particularly proud of high ceilings, you might hang high curtains or lean a tall, statement-making mirror in the space. If your home enjoys abundant natural light, you may consider open, sheer window treatments that don’t obstruct the sunlight. If your living room features charming elements like wood beams and a fireplace, you can choose to lean into the rustic aesthetic with wood furniture, naturally textured materials and cozy artwork.
Start the process by pinpointing what makes your house special. A great realtor can help with this process, as they have a finger on the pulse of what buyers want.
Make Every Room Purposeful
Put yourself in the homebuyer’s shoes. Viewing someone else’s house – and picturing your life within it – can be a potentially disorienting attempt at mental and emotional connection. Buyers want a clear picture of what their life will be like if they buy your home.
For this reason, staging experts often dispense the following tip: Give every room a clear purpose. When buyers can’t figure out what a room is for, they have a tough time forming an emotional connection to it. They struggle to picture what furniture they will put there, and how they will use it. Conversely, staging each room with a clear purpose allows prospective buyers to quickly form a mental impression and emotional connection.
Consider Curb Appeal
It isn’t just the inside that needs pre-listing TLC; your home’s exterior may also leave an indelible impression on prospective buyers.
“Curb appeal” is a relatively common real estate buzzword. It describes the perceived attractiveness of a house as seen from the curb. Curb appeal is often the first impression a buyer gets, and, as such, it needs to be memorable. Curb appeal projects include pressure washing the driveway, landscaping the yard, cleaning the siding, washing the windows, and making a small investment in new house numbers.
Home staging is an essential step in selling your home faster, more competitively and for more money. But it takes time and effort. With the help of a quality realtor and an experienced decluttering and organizing company, you can cruise through the staging process toward a more attractive and marketable home.