Whether you’re leaving Hawaii or headed our way, selling your home is one of those to-dos that many are eager to mark off their list. However, even if you’re selling during a hot market, staging your home is something you don’t want to skip. Here’s why:
First and foremost, staging can get you a higher sale price.
higher dollar value offered after staging
In fact, according to a study from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), staging raised the dollar value offered for a home between 1% and 5%, according to 23% of buyers’ agents and 23% of sellers‘ agents who responded to the survey.i Another 18% of sellers‘ agents even reported that staging increased the dollar value between 6% and 10%
Additionally, staging can also mean a quicker sale.
According 31% of the sellers’ agents who responded to the NAR survey, staging significantly decreased the time that homes stayed on the market.ii
less time on the market for staged homes
In short, putting some time and effort into staging your home can offer you two big benefits. And, as you’ll see, it can even help you get a head start on your move.
Now that you know what staging can do for you, let’s dive into our seven tips for staging your home to prep it for a sale.
What Parts of a Home Commonly Get Staged? iii
Tip #1: Consult an Expert
As professionals ourselves, we know personally how valuable it can be to have an expert on your side when it comes to the relocation process. Before you dive too deeply into staging your home, connect with a listing agent in your area. (Referrals from friends are often a good place to start!)
By working with a pro, you’ll benefit from their knowledge in several areas, including how your property shapes up to other comparable ones, what buyers in your area are looking for, and what improvements will give you the most bang for your buck.
By the way, if you’re new to home buying and selling, you should be aware of the differences between the real estate professionals you’ll encounter:
Take your time finding a listing agent you like and trust. That way, you’ll be able to use them as a solid sounding board for all of your staging ideas.
Tip #2: Start with a Deep Clean
Begin with the basics. If you’ve lived in your house a while, it’s probably time to give it a big top-to-bottom deep clean. You might think your house looks just fine, but, remember, you want a complete stranger to walk in and be wowed.
Consider hiring a crew of professionals for a day to get all of those nooks and crannies spic and span. Don’t forget to give extra attention to:
Bonus: The Smell Factor
All that cleaning will also have another welcome side effect: It will leave your home smelling fresh and clean, not lived in.
Sometimes buyers can be turned off by unfamiliar smells when touring homes. In addition to cleaning, consider opening some doors and windows to let in fresh air before a showing. A few vases of fresh flowers can also create a pleasant aroma before a big open house.
Tip #3: Depersonalize the Space
This one might be hard to swallow, especially if you’ve got a deep emotional attachment to your home—or you spent a ton of time personalizing your home with your own brand of personal décor.
While you’re staging, your goal should be to make your home a blank canvas. This allows potential buyers to more easily envision their life in your home.
of buyers’ agents said staging made it easier for buyers to visualize
In fact, 82% of buyers’ agents who responded to the NAR survey said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.iii
So what exactly does this mean?
- Put away personal photos. (More on that below!)
- If you’ve made some bold decorating choices including striking art, patterned wallpaper, or colored accent walls—tone it down. Pull down the wall hangings, strip off the wallpaper, and embrace neutral-colored walls.
- Consider white linens for showings. That includes white towels for the bathrooms and white sheet sets for bedrooms. Clean, white textiles can offer these rooms a fresh look, and they’ll rarely turn off a buyer.
Tip #4: Declutter and Downsize
Some people like to decorate every available horizontal space in their houses. Others prefer the minimalist look of empty shelves and surfaces. Personal preferences aside, a house filled to the gills with art, tchotchkes, souvenirs, and décor can make a space look small and crowded.
You don’t want your buyers to feel claustrophobic, so it’s time to declutter. That means, in addition to depersonalizing your space, you’ll also want to clear off as much horizontal space as possible. That includes things like coffee tables, end tables, bookcases, shelves, mantles, and counters.
In fact, it’s probably a good time to do something we recommend before every move: downsize. If you’ve lived in your current house for any length of time, you’ve probably accumulated a number of possessions you don’t even want anymore.
- As you start decluttering, consider each item as you remove it from sight. Is it something you want to move to your new home? If not, don’t just blithely put it in a box destined for storage. Instead, put it in a separate box so you can sell or donate it.
- When it comes to the items you want to keep, why not use this chance to start packing for real? Wrap your items carefully in packing paper, put them in sturdy cardboard boxes, and label them. In addition to staging your home for a quick sale, you’ll also give yourself a jump on the moving process.
Not sure where to start or how to prioritize? Living rooms and kitchens are the most popular rooms for staging, according to the NAR survey. If you’re on limited time, start with those two. If you have some more bandwidth, move on to the next popular rooms: master bedrooms and dining rooms.
Tip #5: Do Some Easy Upgrades
Some sellers are up for a big renovation to maximize their asking price. For example, a kitchen upgrade or a bathroom redo can really enhance the value of a home.
However, other homeowners can’t stomach the idea of all that construction. If you fall into this category, a few easy upgrades can give your home a little extra polish without those weeks of noise, dust, and activity.
Tip #6: Downplay Any Pets
Not everyone is an animal lover. Plus, although your dog might make you think of long walks in the woods and snuggles on the couch, your dog may make potential owners think about pet hair, dander, and, well, accidents.
In addition to cleaning up any messes made by your pets when you do a deep clean, it’s also a good idea reduce the outward signs of your pets. For example, before a showing, put away things like:
- Food bowls and water bowls
- Pet bedding and blankets
- Crates and pet gates
In addition to adding to the clutter around your home, pet accessories can also remind prospective buyers that pets have lived in their potential new home. Although we’re certified pet lovers, to some, that might not be a turn-off. Ultimately, the more you can downplay the pets on property, the greater appeal your home will have to a wider audience.
Tip #7: Don’t Forget the Outside
First impressions count. When a potential buyer arrives at your house, you want them to be excited about seeing more. However, if your front yard or landscaping needs a little help, that probably won’t happen. A scruffy exterior can even discourage people from looking at your home—or depress the price.
increase in value for well-landscaped homes
By the way, the opposite is also true: An attractive exterior can mean a higher sale price. To put it into quantifiable figures, a study from Virginia Tech suggests that well-landscaped homes can fetch prices that are 5.5–12.7% higher than homes with no landscaping.v That’s a pretty sizeable difference, and likely well worth a little of your time and money.
So, as you’re looking for some quick ways to refresh your property before putting it on the market, make sure to give the outside some attention, too. That way, potential buyers will arrive at your front door with a positive inclination toward your home.
Another Step Toward Your Next Home—and Your Future
Selling your home can be a sentimental affair, especially if you’ve enjoyed a number of milestones in your house. However, selling your home and relocating somewhere new offers you the chance for a fresh start—and an exciting journey ahead.
Need some help moving to your new home? Whether you’re leaving Hawaii, arriving in the Aloha State, switching islands, or even making a local move, we can help. Just get in touch with our experts for a free quote. We have teams and warehouses on all four major islands to assist you.
Tell us about your move!