The year 2020 forever changed how homebuyers view and purchase their homes. As restrictions limited in-person business, many buyers began visiting and purchasing new homes virtually. Now, as restrictions begin to ease, 1 out of 3 people will prefer to take a virtual home tour going forward instead of visiting a home in-person.
This trend has made the art of home staging more important than ever before. The ease by which buyers could once imagine themselves in a physical space is gone. Instead, sellers must be prepared to stage their homes to create an enticing mood and ambiance that can be felt virtually by prospective buyers who may purchase based on pictures and 3D virtual tours alone.
Staging can seem overwhelming and out of reach for some home sellers, but there is actually a lot of flexibility. Projects can range from inexpensive lawn care to more substantial undertakings like interior paint updates. Fixr.com analyzed 2021 National Association of Realtors® data in order to share the most highly recommended home staging projects that a homeowner should consider based on their budget.
Prepare Your Flooring
Flooring is an integral part of every room in a home and often takes the most abuse as it handles foot traffic, spills, and other daily messes. With the potential for cleanliness and overall condition to be lacking, 73% of realtors suggest carpet cleaning ($600) be at the top of your staging list. Refinishing hardwood ($1,600) is recommended by 69% and updating grout ($1,000) by 35%.
These types of projects are usually quick to accomplish and will make any photograph more attractive. For those online listings that are able to entice buyers to take an in-person tour, the first impression you make to buyers stepping onto your clean and well maintained floors will be well worth the investment.
Deep Clean and Declutter
Life is busy! Our daily responsibilities and to-do lists are constantly growing and it can be easy to turn a blind eye to the clutter and dust that may be accumulating around us. Unfortunately, buyers are not as forgiving as we are when it comes to a messy home, which is why 85% of realtors suggest having your entire home professionally cleaned ($220). While this is certainly a task you can take on yourself, hiring a professional will ensure all the nooks and crannies (and those spaces between your blinds!) are taken care of. Once the dust is gone, it is time to think about decluttering. Decluttering ($450) is not an easy task, especially if you’re living in the home while selling, but it can pay off in the long run and almost all (93%) realtors recommend this service.
Update Your Interior Space
Interior painting for the entire home is recommended by 63% of realtors, but it comes with a lofty price tag of $8,700, if you hire a professional. This is the most expensive project recommended, and not every homeowner will be able to find room in the budget. If it’s not in the budget for you, or if most of the home’s paint is in good condition with appealing colors already, consider a lower cost project that focuses on individual rooms only and lowers costs to approximately $450 per room. Updating that hot pink bedroom into a neutral calming office space will do wonders for your interior color palette!
Depending on your personal style and the quality of your current furnishings, you may also want to consider furniture rental to replace or complement your own pieces for photos and in-person showings. Selecting furniture styled and sized to fit your room will create an inviting environment to buyers and can be done on many budgets. Some homes may only need one or two pieces while others may require an entire room to be staged. Furnishing an empty room or adding unique furniture to your own belongings can help homebuyers envision themselves in that space.
Improve The Curb Appeal
If your online listing has swayed buyers to schedule an in-person showing, one way to set your home apart from the competition is to make a killer impression when they arrive. Manicuring lawns, landscaping updates and enhancements, and exterior painting are the top recommendations by realtors for staging projects.
Keeping a trim lawn ($60) is a low cost way to impress homebuyers and 55% of realtors recommend scheduling the one-time service just before an open house. For those sellers with bigger budgets, consider a weekly service to ensure any drive by potential buyers or private showings are met with a well-manicured inviting look.
Other recommended landscaping projects include adding a front path ($400) and repaving your driveway ($2,500). If the budget allows, consider updating the exterior paint ($5,000). Exterior paint projects are recommended by 78% of realtors and the clean fresh look will make your home stand out.
Depersonalize Each Room
Spending up to $500 for a professional to come into your home and remove traces of “you” may seem a bit steep, but 68% of realtors recommend doing just that. Hiring a professional for this task comes with the upside of eliminating the sometimes emotional aspect that comes with depersonalizing a space. Allowing another without personal ties to your objects will have the best outcome and ultimately provide a space for buyers to envision themselves with their own personal belongings. However, it’s also possible to do this completely on your own if you create a plan and stick to it.
Staging comes in many shapes and sizes but it’s always important: Help the seller achieve the highest sales price in the quickest time. While still an important part of staging, simply furnishing an empty room is no longer the sole focus. Staging projects now include everything inside and out of the house. Selecting the projects which are most needed for your specific home and which fit into your budget will contribute to appealing online listings and impressive in-person showings, and ultimately, sales!