Successful Staging Strategies Part 1 of 2
Patrick Clancy of Bali Property Exchange offers 15 useful insights into how to best prepare your villa for sale in this 2 part series on successful staging strategies.
Now that you have chosen the agents whom you would like to market your villa for sale, it is time to prepare the villa itself for presentation. Below I present the first 7 tips in my Top 15 Staging Rules to help ensure that your property is being shown in its best possible light.
The Staging Industry – yes, it is an industry unto itself – has been evolving over the last 20 years, out of a collective series of experiences, practices, and plenty of trial and error. Some real estate agents offer staging services, believing it is a very important part of marketing a home. Some believe it works well in some markets and neighborhoods, but not in others. Certain high-end markets around the globe have designated staging companies that have been established to liaise with real estate agencies to present high value properties in the best possible light for the widest range of potential buyers.
- Remove personal items from bathrooms.
- Used items like bars of soap, razors, and toothbrushes should be put away. The most common reasons: Many buyers feel these personal items are “disgusting”, add to the clutter, are too personal, and prevent the buyers from imagining the house as “theirs”. The bathroom is a very personal space and many buyers already feel uncomfortable. Putting away personal things helps increase their comfort level. The same goes for bedrooms.
- Use rooms for their intended purpose
- The dining room should contain dining furniture and not be used for an office, for instance. Buyers can’t always visualize things differently than what they see. They may not realize the intended purpose of the space. Using rooms for other purposes can imply that there isn’t enough space.
- Remove evidence of pets
- Food bowls, litter boxes, beds, toys etc.
- Why? This type of clutter makes buyers worry about several possibilities such as lingering odors, contaminants, allergens, damage, etc. Buyers may imagine any of the above when none exist. Although it is hard for those of us who love our fur children to even imagine, the presence of pets can be off-putting to people who don’t like pets.
- Turn on every light in the house during showings.
- A well-lit space is one of the least expensive, yet most powerful tools in staging. It makes the space look larger and creates a positive emotional reaction. A well lit room also indicates there is nothing to hide. Make sure everything is clean, clean, clean, because the light will show every dirty spot!
- A house on the market should be furnished.
- Empty houses feel cold, furnished houses feel warm and welcoming. Furnishings can make space seem bigger. The opposite can also be true, so be sure not to over-furnish. When you’re going to move anyway, it’s a great opportunity to start packing up while paring down at the same time.
- Assume that buyers have no imagination. A well-furnished room shows buyers how the room is used or how their belongings would fit in the space.
- Remove garbage cans.
- Trash cans are smelly, unattractive, and take up space. The presence of a trash can indicates there is no hidden space for it.
- Don’t have any personal photographs on display.
- It’s hard for buyers to imagine the home as “theirs”. They may focus on the people who live there, rather than the home. Just like the personal items in a bathroom (or bedroom) photos can make them feel invasive.
- Potential home buyers may be judgmental or biased. (and they might not even know it!)
Tune in next week to learn what other staging tips you can use to make your villa more “sell-able”.