First impressions are absolutely critical when it comes to selling your home. Everything from the lawn to the exterior to every room on the inside must look its absolute best. In fact, most potential buyers have an opinion about a home within just 7 to 10 after walking through the front door. And that, of course, is why staging is so important. Multiple surveys have found that staged homes sell faster and for more than homes that haven’t been staged. With that in mind, we offer these staging hacks to help you sell your house this summer in New Jersey.
Understand What You’re Trying to Accomplish
In anything we do, understanding why we’re doing always allows us to do a better job. And it’s no different when it comes to staging to sell your house this summer in New Jersey.
According to industry experts, “home staging is the art (and the science) of maximizing the appeal of a home to prospective buyers. The goal is to help a home to sell as quickly as possible, for as much money as possible. The process is proven to work – in fact, studies have shown that while staging requires an investment of 1% – 3% of the home’s asking price, it typically generates an 8% – 10% return!”
The three main goals of staging are to . . .
- Create a blank canvas – You should strive to “create a neutral, tasteful environment that showcases the potential of the home. The goal is for the prospective buyer to be able to immediately visualize how he or she would personalize the home.”
- Make it seem more spacious – A big part of staging involves removing clutter and unnecessary items and then strategically organizing what is left. The result is a house that seems more spacious and roomier.
- Play up the positives and minimize the negatives – Just as your listing photos should highlight your home’s best features and divert attention from blemishes, staging aims to bring out the best in a home and draw attention away from what isn’t so great.
Declutter . . . Everywhere
The first practical step in staging to help you sell your house this summer is decluttering . . . ruthlessly and everywhere. You’ll start, of course, with general decluttering in the larger rooms and living areas. Then you’ll move on to smaller areas like closets.
And make no mistake: buyers will be poking into closets. So clear those closets out and move what you don’t absolutely need to storage. A good tactic here is to remove and pack up all your out-of-season clothes to make closets and storage areas seem larger.
Less is More for Furniture
The staging rule of thumb for furniture is that less is more, especially if you want to sell your house this summer.
“Removing all but a few key pieces of furniture not only makes your house look clean, it will also make the livable space appear much larger and more open. For instance, in a bedroom, keep it simple. Display a bed, bedside tables, and maybe a dresser or two.”
While you should try to declutter all areas, professional stagers say that you may be able to get away with storing extra furniture in the garage. “Most people,” they say, “will overlook a messy garage because they understand that you are moving, and will generally only look at the outside of the garage.”
Update Fixtures and Replace Bulbs
And taking care of small, seemingly unimportant things as part of your staging efforts can also help you sell your house this summer in New Jersey.
“Even on a budget, you can create a home that looks like it’s straight out of a luxury magazine. A quick and easy way to decorate on a dime is to update old fixtures. The kitchen is a great place to start. Knobs, handles, drawer pulls, and light switch plates are small, inexpensive details that give your home a nice, high-end sheen.”
Also, be sure to replace burnt-out light bulbs. Optimal lighting is an important part of making your home appear spacious, appealing, and inviting. “Proper lighting can make the difference between a buyer seeing your house as a dark dungeon, or a warm and inviting place to raise their family. . . . [A] well-lit room will help [buyers] better see the area as a whole and the space it provides.”
Strive for Comfort
Today, people are spending a lot more time in their homes than they were not long ago, and, as a result, they want a comfortable look and feel. So when staging to sell your house, be sure to strive for that comfort factor.
In the early 2000s, buyers were looking for an open living concept, but that is changing. In the aftermath of COVID, people “are realizing that they need privacy and quiet to work or go to online learning.” Many many buyers want room formats that allow every family member to have an office.
Buyers still like to see up-to-date furnishings, but not the preponderance of white that was popular not long ago. So avoid furnishings that look too “cold.” And avoid an impersonal look – strive rather for a look that will “make people feel like their lifestyle could fit in with [it] on a daily basis.”
Consult a New Jersey Agent
It’s also wise to consult a New Jersey agent for staging tips and tactics that will work best in your market. Buyers want different things in different local markets, and an experienced local agent can give you some expert guidance. Your agent can also recommend a good professional stager if you choose to go that route. So if your goal is to sell your house this summer in New Jersey, be sure to contact us today at (908) 320-7995.