Why is it that some homes sell in what seems like minutes of being listed and others stay on the market for months?
One possible reason is the listing photos.
When it comes to home buying, there are really two “sales” that take place. As the majority of today’s buyers get started with their home searches online, the first impression that they get of a home comes through the photos that are posted. This is the first “sale,” and your listing photos are your best marketing support in selling your home!
But this isn’t the end of the line; the second “sale” occurs once they come to visit your home in person and fall in love with it. This is easier if a home is staged rather than empty or cluttered.
But how can you make sure that your listing photos show your home off at its very best? And if a potential buyer does come out to see your property, how can you help them envision your house as their next home?
Home staging is a great way to make your home shine. By rearranging furniture, removing clutter and adding some special touches (whether you do this or hire a company to do it for you), you may find that your home sells faster, and for more money.
Staging has some statistics to back up its effectiveness, too. Data put out by the National Association of Realtors in their 2017 and 2019 Profile of Home Staging indicates that when sellers utilize staging :
- 29% of seller’s agents reported an increase of one to five percent in dollar value
- 21% reported an increase of 8 to 10 percent in dollar value
- 5% reported an increase of 11 to 15 percent in dollar value
- 39% stated that staging a home greatly decreases the amount of time the home is on the market
So, as an estimate, let’s say that professionally-staged homes sell for 5% more than non-staged homes. 5% of a $200,000 home equates to an additional $10,000 in your pocket. If staging costs on average $500 (the median noted by NAR), the investment brings a clear return.
While the correlation between staging and final selling price isn’t entirely clear, staged homes do appear to create more buyer interest, can lead to a higher selling price and decreases the time a home is on the market. Staging your home can help you show off your home in the best light, giving buyers inspiration and helping them envision themselves living there
Take a look at 6 tips to make your listing shine:
- Make necessary repairs ahead of time
Before you list your home, make sure to wrap up any unfinished home projects, ensure holes in the wall are spackled, lightbulbs are in working order, and ensure your place is in good overall shape. Buyers will absolutely be looking at these elements as a reflection of how well your home has been cared for over the years, and you don’t want to raise any red flags unnecessarily.
- Declutter and remove personal items
Make your house look its largest and most spacious by removing non-essential furniture items, knick-knacks and decor from the rooms in your home. This includes your living areas, bedrooms and your kitchen countertop.
Additionally, while we all enjoy having family photos and sentimental items displayed, it’s important to allow buyers to envision themselves in their new home, rather than making them feel like visitors in someone else’s. Replace photos with art and consider moving clothing items from the closets to storage.
Less can be more, and by removing what is not needed, you allow your home to shine to potential buyers. This may also have the added benefit of giving you, the seller, a jump start on the packing and moving process.
- Re-imagine your space
Take an objective look at your home and see it from a buyer’s perspective. Maybe you have always used that extra bedroom for storage, but if a potential buyer sees it transformed into a comfortable guest bedroom for out of town family or a play space for their young children, suddenly that extra room takes on a whole new life.
- Think neutral
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to home decor. This is important to consider when presenting your home to potential buyers.
While bright, bold colors may make a statement, neutrals such as white, grey, greige, tan, etc. are typically a better choice when looking to list your home. Neutral palettes blend well with a variety of decor styles and can help your potential buyers envision their own belongings in your space – which is the ultimate goal.
A fresh coat of paint could potentially make a huge difference in how long your house could remain on the market; think of it as offering buyers a clean slate.
- Add some special touches
When selling, you want buyers to see your house as their next home. Well-placed fresh flowers, potted plants at a front entry, or candles in the kitchen or bathrooms can make a house feel much more inviting than a stark, empty property.
- Consider hiring professionals
As we’ve discussed, staging your home may help you sell your home more quickly and for more money, but the process can be time consuming. Professionals are available to make this part of selling your home a breeze! They’ll be able to arrange your furniture (or bring in their own, if you’ve already moved out) and bring in decor to help your home looks its best.
See an example of what a staging company can do for you below:
Additionally, some sellers have started hiring professional photographers to take their listing photos to add even more appeal to their property’s online listing. As mentioned, your home’s listing photos are your best marketing support – you want to make sure buyers are excited to come see your property in person!