Staging in a Pinch

Let’s talk about staging. Staging is when you decorate and design a house in a way that makes the listing look good and helps potential buyers visualize what living there could look like, easily giving your listing a little extra punch. Now, you can hire professionals to stage a home for you, which is always a great option, since professional stagers do an awesome job curating the perfect layout through the use of carefully placed furniture, accessories, and decorations throughout the house, but, sometimes that isn’t an option. Luckily, when you don’t have time or space to get a listing professionally staged, there are small steps you can take to show a listing in it’s best light through quick, easy, DIY staging tricks.

First, the biggest thing that can be done to make a house look good is cleaning up, and making sure the listing is free of clutter. Nothing can derail a listing quite like a messy house, and a simple clean up can do wonders. An organized house helps buyers see all that the house could be, and gives the impression of a house that has been well-cared for and maintained.

“Decluttering is important,” said Scott Hofer, professional stager and owner of Scott Hofer Home Staging & Art LLC. “A seller’s items are not important to the next buyer, and having a home that is impeccably clean is a must.”

Second, be aware of what lifestyle potential buyers might be looking for with your specific listing.

“Staging a home creates a beautiful space, but that is just part of the process,” said Hofer. “A home should be staged to the demographic and lifestyle of a potential buyer so that they can envision themselves there.”

Awareness of who your buyer is most likely to be is key. Whether you are making an educated guess based on location, size of home, number of bedrooms, or anything else, taking the steps to cater the appearance of your listing to the demographic of your buyers can have a dramatic impact on success in listing. Selling a two-bed bungalow in Broad Ripple? Try arranging it in a way that would appeal to someone in their late 20’s or early 30’s. Listing a 4 bed, 3 bath house in Noblesville? Tastefully stage a playroom with children’s books or toys, helping a growing family envision living there.

Lastly, focus first on primary living areas when staging. Generally, what sellers pay most attention to are the main living areas of a home, which typically is the living room and kitchen, but can be other areas such as well-designed finished basements, exceptional master bathrooms, or beautiful backyard spaces. Consequently, if you are pinched for time, concentrate on making those areas look best first since those will be the parts of a home that attract sellers most. If the best part of the home is a backyard deck with a custom fire pit, put firewood and s'mores supplies alongside patio furniture. Similarly, if the finished basement has a movie projector with recliner seats, put out popcorn and soda. Don’t stress about staging the mud room half-bath if you’re short on time, make the big selling points look good, and sellers will notice.

Staging is important, and if nothing else, “stage” your listings by tidying up, being creative in small ways, and thinking about what potential buyers will care most about. Those small steps add up, and go a long way in getting a listing to the finish line.

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