There are many things a home seller can do to make their home more appealing to Canadian buyers. And when it comes to home selling, some sellers empty out the property entirely while others use part or all of their current furnishings to entice a buyer to make an offer. However, most real estate professionals believe that staging is the best way to make the emotional connection a buyer needs to truly desire the property. And whether a seller is selling in a competitive housing market or just wants to make as much money on the sale as possible, good home staging can help. The good news is that staging doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive to set a property apart from its competition.
The Benefits of Staging Your Home
When you stage your home it is like giving your place a whole makeover. Quite often your live- in furniture will be removed and replaced with other pieces that will make your home more spacious. Walls can be painted neutral colors and aesthetic pieces can be placed around the home in strategic areas.
It's estimated that staging your home can often raise the asking price by 6% to 15%. It's a way of appealing to the emotions of a home buyer to make the home more appealing to the eye. The aesthetics are what people will see first when they enter your home and this is what will lead to a faster sale. It's a way of showing buyers the space that's available in the home without a lot of clutter and unwanted furniture in the way.
Staging brings a potential buyer all the more closer to a final vision of what their furniture could look like in the home. When you can place a vision in front of a buyer, it's easier to secure a sale. This is especially true when it comes to luxury homes and houses that have a higher price tag than average.
Sometimes home staging is all it takes to sell a home that has been sitting on the market for too long. In some cases it is the make-break point that leads to a quick sale when there is no logical reason for the home to be lingering on the listings from one month to the next.
Home staging isn’t meant only for the higher-end home either. If you have a home that isn't selling quickly and you know it needs a facelift, staging may be a wise investment. If you don't have the budget to afford this service, you could also consider hiring a home stager for a consultation only. This will cost anywhere from $200-$300 and may be exactly what you need to see a faster sale.
Ways to Visually Create More Space
Many people think of adding square footage to create more space. But that doesn't have to be the case. You can make your home appear bigger without going through the hassle of renovating and remodelling. With just a few home modifications, it is possible to make more from less. And remember, often what the eye needs is the illusion of spaciousness not actually more space.
Here's how to create the illusion of space without adding square footage.
Think diagonal views.
Think back to geometry and how the hypotenuse of the triangle was the longest of the three sides. Apply that to the sightlines within your small-house design. Your house will appear much bigger than it actually is if you are able to stand at one corner of the house and look to the far corner without any obstructions. Also, if you have a room that will be tiled, place the tiles on a diagonal. It makes the space seem larger visually, pushing the walls out.
Think like a sailor
Sailboats usually have no wasted space and that's what you should aim for. Look for opportunities for built-ins, such as building bookshelves in staircases, unique space-saving cabinets, drawers under beds, etc.
Use lighting to open up space and add interest
In creating the feeling of more space, it is important to give your house an airy feel. Use simple window dressings to bring in natural light and steal space from the outdoors and give it to the interior of the house.
If possible, use recessed spot lights as they are both visually appealing and have a low profile that is perfect for a small space.
Play with the furniture
Try to move furniture away from the walls if the space allows. It will give a feeling of more openness when a sofa isn't butted against a wall. If you're buying new pieces, try to purchase items that are on legs versus feet. The higher a piece sits from the floor, the more visual space is present. Also, armless furniture pieces give an illusion of extra space so consider an armless sofa or slipper chairs.
The bigger a piece of artwork is, the bigger the feeling of a space. A wall filled with many small pictures seems cluttered and less dynamic versus a wall with a large piece of art, which makes a bold statement. Also, "lighten up" your corners by using lights and plants. It will look stunning at night, casting shadows on the ceilings and giving an illusion of more space.
Use mirrors to reflect light
When using mirrors in a space, make sure that whatever the mirror is reflecting it is pleasing to the eye, or at least doubles the amount of light let into the space. In addition to mirrors, use other materials that reflect light and space (stainless steel, chrome, etc.). A glass table with stainless steel legs will allow light to bounce off it.
Colour your world
The colour of a room’s walls has the power to create a mood and affect the room’s appearance. Use just one or two colours per room for visual simplicity that expands a space. Also keep in mind that white, neutral or pale colours best reflect light, visually "pushing back" walls. Cool blue and green hues will make a space seem larger and airier. Warm reds and yellows cozy a room and can make it appear smaller.
Let there be height
Use at least one tall element in a room to draw the eye upward, towards the ceiling. Not only does this maximize the vertical space in the room, but it also draws the eye up to the less crowded ceiling space above.
Minimize the amount of furniture you have in each room
It is both wise and essential to select furniture and accessories that perform multiple tasks. The smaller your space, the more this applies, especially with furniture. Storage is an obvious second job for many pieces of furniture.
Every room has good proportions which make its space flexible enough to create any environment you wish. Compromises in decorating, colour techniques, furniture arranging and lighting considerations can all contribute to the illusion of space. By following some of the tips above, you can create a visually larger room.
Staging the Home’s Exterior With Curb Appeal
The home exterior is important to ensure that buyers get the right first impression of your home when they come for a showing. Your garden should be growing, the trees should be full, your lawn should be green and lush and on most days the sun is shining on all of this beauty. Home staging can be done on both the exterior and the interior to make your home stand out from the rest of the crowd.
A staged home can sell 78% faster than other homes that haven't been staged so follow these tips to make your house look super!
Keep up with the lawn maintenance
Think about the curb appeal that you want to present. A little lawn maintenance goes a long way when you're presenting your home in the summer. At any time a buyer may be driving by your home and you’ll want him to see it at its absolute best. Keep the lawn mowed, trim your hedges and prune your trees!
Make sure your house number is visible
Make sure that your home is easy to find by potential buyers. Look at your home numbers in both the daytime and in the evening. Are they easy to read? If not, it’s very simple to replace them and doesn’t cost a lot. You don't want anyone to have a hard time finding your home. It can be frustrating if someone is trying to look for your home and can’t see the numbers. The last thing you'll want to deal with is a potential buyer that is frustrated before he even enters your home.
Keep your porch and deck clean and tidy
Declutter your deck and your porch if you have to and do any necessary repairs. Many potential buyers will be paying special attention to the places where they can spend some time outdoors when they're looking at your home during the summer months. You can also stage your deck by adding summery pillows to your patio furniture!
Other Landscaping Considerations
Proper staging begins the moment the property comes in sight of the buyer. This is commonly called, "curb appeal". Here are a few steps to take to make that first impression that much more impressive:
- Repave the driveway
- Use lighting kits for the walkway
- Repaint the trim or outside of the home
- Keep the lawn nicely mowed
- Add colorful plants
- Clean or repaint the front door
Sellers can even politely ask their neighbors to spruce up their own front yards so the buyers know they're in a nice neighborhood. (Or sellers can offer to do the extra work themselves for their neighbors.)
Appeal to Other Senses as Part of Your Home Staging ProcessAre you planning on selling your Calgary home? Bake some hot-from-the-oven fresh cookies or bread to see the offers arrive in droves. Marketing research has shown that smells can influence our buying behavior and turn on impulsive decision making.
This sense of smell phenomenon is based on research rather than myth. One study showed that the smell of cookies baking made women purchase more clothing. In another study a mall pumped a sweet citrus fragrance through the air and sales rose from $55 all the way up to $90 per customer. The smell of your home plays a distinct role in the house sale and if you're smart you'll use this knowledge to your advantage.
Would you like to go a step further? Market your home by sound as well. Studies have shown that major chords somehow encourage people to buy more than music in a minor chord. Choose some music to play that includes a lot of these major chords the next time someone makes an appointment to see your home. Of course, you won't want to play the music too loudly. You'll just want to have some quiet background music playing in the home as the smell of cookies makes its way from room to room.
Bake cookies or bread
You know that feeling you get when you walk into a bakery and smell the delicious odours that are coming from the baked goods? You can achieve this in your home by simply doing some quick baking. Put on a quick batch of cookies or make a loaf of bread to make your home smell like a bakery and to tantalize the senses of the potential buyers that are in for a viewing. When the oven is on, make sure that all the doors to the various rooms in the house are left wide open so that the smell can make its way into all these rooms as well.
Neutralize pet odors
There are products on the market that are all-natural and will leave an extremely pleasant smell behind while lifting up the pet odours that have made their way into your carpet or upholstery. Look for specialized products for pets that contain papaya enzymes in your local pet supply store. While you can purchase commercial products at the grocery store, these are more chemical in nature and often only mask the smell without getting rid of it completely. Plus, they can leave behind a strong chemical smell that many home viewers may find overwhelming. Stick to the natural products and your home will smell great!
Light scented candles
Put out your best smelling candles and light them up for a mild air-freshening aroma. Scented candles work a lot better than canned air fresheners and they're available in a multitude of different scents. You can even purchase candles that smell like homemade bread or chocolate chip cookies are baking in the oven.
While you are making your home look as good as it can be, don't forget to make it smell great as well. There may be some lingering odours in your home that you have become used to but others will notice when they come to see your home.
If you're trying to sell your Calgary home, one of the things that will make it more appealing is getting it to smell fantastic. When a person first walks into your house, townhome or condo he'll be using all of his five senses to assess it. Studies have shown that smell can be one of the first senses that gets activated in many people before the other senses start to kick in.
Turning Your Home into a Hot Commodity
It can be quite a mystery for a person that is selling property for the first time to really understand what it's all about. Basically, it is a selling game and you need to get into the spirit to do it right.
Your home to you is not exactly the same as what others are seeing. You may not be viewing the home as it actually is and may be looking at it from the viewpoint of the memories it contains. Potential buyers are not going to see the same picture since to them it is a house and only that.
You are going to have to get into their head space to find out for yourself what they are seeing. You will have to put all of your memories aside and look at it as a true observer. If this is too hard for you to do you will have to get a friend or neighbour to help you out.
There may be a lot of faults in your home that you can't really see for yourself but you can be sure that others will. There is a new game being played and to do it right you need to become a player yourself. Look at your home as a commodity. Would other people be interested in owning this property for sale? Why?
Highlight the focal points of the home and add some extra touches to make it look its best. Tell your real estate agent what you think the best features are and he will tell you what he thinks. Together you can make a wonderful team and get the property off the market quickly and into a buyer's hands.
Consider the Buyer Perspective
Home buyers want to think about their own visions while touring the home, so keep the color palette as neutral as possible. Sellers want buyers to be inspired by their staging finesse, not necessarily to copy it piece by piece. Fill up closets about two thirds of the way to showcase how much space a buyer will have to store their things. Sellers should also keep in mind who's most likely to tour the home before deciding whether to turn their third bedroom into a home office or a nursery. As a result, home sellers should also consider removing family or personal photos and personal items or collections.
Home staging may not be an exact science, but there are ways that Auburn Bay home sellers can use the above tips to generate more interest in the home. The more impressed a buyer is when they first walk through the doors, the more motivated they'll be to make an offer the seller can't refuse.