Staging your home while still living in it. (Guest Blog)
How you live is not how you sell…so how can you enjoy living in your staged home when it’s for sale? To this day, this is one of the most common questions I get from home sellers and Realtors alike.
Staging your home for sale doesn’t always mean bringing in fancy furniture pieces that are “off limits” to your household. You are still living in your home, not an art gallery, so you need to feel comfortable in it. Rather, it’s about working with you and how you live in the moment, staging your house in a manner that supports your day-to-day living and your goal of selling for top dollar in as short a time possible.
So, once your home has been staged, what can you do to still feel like you’re living in your house and not a Norman Rockwell painting?
Building a Cohesive Flow for Buyer
Start by understanding your space and how to best present it. When I work with clients, we focus on building a flow throughout the whole home to bring a cohesive theme and feeling. The purpose? To understand the buyer’s point of view and what they’re looking for when house shopping. This starts in the two areas most frequently used:
Master bedroom and ensuite
Once we understand the flow of the home from the buyer’s perspective, we can create a theme and feel that it presents these spaces in the best light. From there, we enhance the other areas of your house to meet our goal of cohesiveness for a perceived increase in value. From there, steps are taken to prepare your house for staging.
Living Once Staged
Your home stager should be mindful of what your family’s daily life is like so you’re able to keep some routine – of particular importance for families with children and pets. When staged effectively, you’ll be able to maintain aesthetics while still enjoying your life in the moment. Below are a few simple ideas for you to maintain the beauty of the staged feel.
Think of a freshly made bed. There’s nothing that can make you think clean freshness that you just want to soak up quite like it. That’s the feeling buyers want to have when they walk into the bedroom and see a bed. While it’s a little more time consuming than simply yanking up the covers, I recommend changing between two sets of duvets, pillows each morning – one set you sleep in, the other you’ll use strictly during the day for showings. The idea here is that you won’t be doing this bed changing very long. Just like the gym – short-term pain for long-term gain!
Part of the staging experience should include creating space for quick storage of daily-use items. For instance, put your bathroom toiletries in a bin that you can quickly tuck under the sink. When you don’t need it, leave it stored away, creating more space on the counter and visual appeal for buyers. Bins are also excellent to use in play areas for quick and easy toy storage.
This is a great opportunity for you to start packing, putting away items that you won’t be using in the near future…or perhaps get rid of them if they have a large layer of dust?
One of the most difficult parts of selling if you have a pet is making it look like you don’t have one. Sure, fish are super easy to “pick up after,” but what about those furry family members who take up a bit more space, and shed, and eat, and…you get the drift. Unlike (some) children, pets won’t clean up after themselves.
Small steps, such as storing food and water dishes, picking up pet beds and putting them in the basement or garage, helps to show as much square footage as possible. This makes your space look bigger, along with letting buyers move through the house with ease. At night, bring the beds back out and let Rover and Mr. Sprinkles drift off in comfort.
Is the Effort Worth It?
Holy smokes! You get your house staged and then you have to do this work to maintain it? Won’t buyers realize that you are currently living there? I mean, this does seem like a lot of effort, right?
Think of it this way, The Real Estate Staging Association conducted a study, showing that homes that were staged spent 90% LESS TIME on the market than homes that were not. There is a perceived increase in the value of the space when staged because it shows better, tapping into the emotions of the buyer. Realtors themselves see the financial value behind staging, noting an increase in dollar value between staged and non-staged homes.
The truth is that selling your house is not a convenience. However, there is a way to find a balance between selling your home and finding the joy in moving towards your future home goals.
If you’re thinking of selling your home and are unsure of how to start using your space, start with a consultation to build a game plan on how to stage and live in the same space. The benefits are far beyond aesthetics, often resulting in greater (and quicker) sales, stability in the selling process, and your peace of mind. Ready to ask some questions? Connect with me today!
Alternatively, have a great tip that helped you during your sale? Comment below!