Tag Archives: Home Staging Tips

Do I Need to Stage My Home When It’s a Seller’s Market?

I know many people are asking that question and wondering if home staging is needed when inventory is low and homes are selling quickly. The answer may depend a bit but if you don’t stage, may you be leaving some money on the table?  Money on the Table

Let’s say you list your home ‘as is’ and you put the asking price a bit lower so you don’t have to do much of anything. You get an offer within a few weeks, maybe a few thousand below list but overall the percentage is still really good. Ok great!

But now let’s say you bring in a Home Stager, at the very minimum for a Home Staging Consultation, to give you a list of top things to do to get your home in top selling condition. She may suggest some fresh paint, or a couple new light fixtures, some repairs.

Now let’s say you are moving to your new home first and you are wondering if you should list the house empty or stage a couple key rooms with furniture. Will that matter?

Sold Sign

Let’s take a look at an older home I consulted on for a Realtor.  I did recommend some paint, a couple new light fixtures, new vinyl flooring in the kitchen and staging it with fresh modern furniture when they moved out. Here is the email I received from her shortly after is was listed:

 

  • Listed as coming soon 5/8
  • Active listing 5/22
  • 38 showings 5/22, 36 showings 5/23, 10 showings 5/24
  • Received 32 offers!
  • Inspection completed, now pending closing June 30

That’s 84 showings and 32 offers!!! PLUS it sold for $25,100 over list price! Which was over 10% of the list price. Unbelievable!

So yes the market is good. Would the house of sold anyway without staging? Absolutely.  Would the sellers have received 32 offers and sold for $25K over list without staging? We will never know for sure but I don’t think so. Don’t take a chance on leaving money on the table.

 

 

Wood, Wood and More Wood. But Should They Match?

In the 80’s and 90’s the trend was for all woods to match. Your floors matched your trim, which matched your doors which matched your kitchen cabinets and even went as far as having all the wood pieces in your furniture being the same color.

 

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At that time Honey Oak or Golden Oak was the big deal and there really was a sea of oak when you walked into homes from that era. You still see a lot of these oak stains in cabinetry and trim but many people are tired of it and it is considered very dated.

What you want to see in a home now is contrast. So if you have two wood pieces next to each other one would be darker than another.

For example:

If you want a dark stained island, make sure your floors are lighter.

 

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If you want wood cabinets, make sure your floors are lighter or darker than your cabinets.

 

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It’s okay to mix in painted pieces as well. A white kitchen, gray island, and dark floors.

 

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The same rule applies to your furniture. If things don’t match they add character, interest and bring depth to a home. It makes it feel like it has been acquired over time rather than purchased all in the same section of a furniture store. Note the dining table above contrasts with the floor.

 

Below, the cabinets don’t match the island, which doesn’t match the floor, which doesn’t match the kitchen table, which doesn’t match the locker system way in the back and so on.

 

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It is difficult for some to get past the rule that all the woods should match. I get that. But start slow and practice. Perhaps it is as simple as adding an end table that is different in stain color or is painted. If a couple things match that’s okay. Just try to have the larger pieces show a contrast, each piece standing out instead of blending in.

 

Whether selling or dwelling, if you need assistance in making new wood selections call in a professional designer or home stager to walk  you through the process.

 

What Today’s Home Buyers Want

Better Homes & Gardens did a Home Buyer Study to see what millennials are looking for in their first home. The ‘next-gen’ buyers may give you some insight on what to do to assist in the sale of your  home.

#1 ) Purchase With A Plan to Stay

36% of these potential buyers see themselves living in that home at least 10 years. I remember when that statistic was 4-5 years. What does that mean? It means that the view of a starter home has changed. These buyers are now investing in more expensive homes with more square footage and areas with good school districts. These sets of wants were typically on the lists for ‘move-up’ buyers so now there is more competition at that level. Now empty nesters are looking to the smaller start-up homes.

 

calendar-1255953_1280       #2) Home Buying Process Takes Longer

Not only is the loan process taking longer, making it even more important to get preapproved, but buyers are taking more time in looking. In 2012 first time home buyers took an average of 3 months from research to closing and repeat buyers took 2 1/2 months. Those same buyers are taking 5 months and 4 months respectively. One reason for this may be because everyone starts their home search online and there are more resources than ever now to do that. The buyers are educating themselves by researching builders, reading articles and doing more research.

 

#3) Buyers are Looking for Move In Ready

Ten years ago buyers would seek out fixer-uppers. Outdated kitchens and baths didn’t scare them, nasty old carpet covering up wood floors wasn’t a big deal. Now 52% of buyers want a newly built home or one that doesn’t require any renovations or repairs before moving in. They are willing to do cosmetic changes or upgrades, they just don’t want to deal with extensive work.

 

#4) The Kitchen Being the Most Important Room is Stronger Than Ever

The kitchen motivates the buyer more than ever and I know it did me! Islands are really big right now, both in wish lists and the ability to seat people. High end appliances with custom cabinets, double ovens for entertaining are all on the list. 66% of buyers selected  a state-of-the-art kitchen as their most desired luxury.

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#5) It Has To Be A Good Investment

Today’s buyer is looking to make good choices and 65% see buying a home as a good investment for their future. To maximize their investment they need to look at such things as the area (up and coming and growing) and the size of other houses in the neighborhood.

If you are in the market to buy a new home, or selling your home, these trends can help you to determine what your competition looks like.

 

Read full Better Homes & Garden article here.