With summer already upon us, we stand in the thick of Bainbridge Island’s first major selling season of 2014. If you are preparing to add your own property to the Bainbridge Island home listings, the International Association of Home Staging Professionals would like to draw your attention to some statistics that bolster their members’ proposition. None is more compelling than this one: non-staged homes remain 79 days longer on market than their professionally-staged neighbors.
Still, since not everyone hires a professional staging company to work their magic, you’d think there would be a few DIY alternatives that would well worth doing. Of course, there are: and some go beyond the most well-known staging rules that are basic to any home sale:
1. De-clutter (then de-clutter again). The stagers’ single most important line item remains this: de-clutter. There is little cost to de-cluttering a home (usually no more than a storage unit’s rental). The professional insight is that once you have done it, go back through the house and do it again! That second round might only involve boxing up a few remaining personal knick-knacks, but it can also suddenly reveal items that clash with a room’s overall color palette.
2. Light(en) it up: Neutral colors are the rule for staging a home, but good light can be equally important. Make sure every room is well-lit, with clean windows, bright light bulbs (some do dim over time), and plenty of lamps or fixtures. If possible, disperse the height of lighting sources by mixing floor and table lamps, windows and overhead fixtures.
3. Find the focal points: The largest item in the room does not always have to be the focal item. If you have an antique chest or a captivating painting, see if you can arrange the room so that it’s the first thing your eye picks up as you enter the room. A strong focal point gives a sense of character to a room. It works to your advantage, since the focal point naturally emphasizes the strongest feature of the room.
These are approaches that do take some time and effort—but imaginative staging really does make an impact on perceived value, and, as a result, time-on-market. For more Bainbridge Island home selling insights, give me a call anytime to discuss your own real estate plans!