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Staging – Key to a Successful Home Sale
By Jim Perry
Last week, the legendary Groundhog Day groundhog Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow and ‘predicted’ an early spring for 2020. For those of us who are fortunate enough to live in Southern California, an early spring isn’t big news as it might be in other states – but it is always good news for homeowners and home shoppers. This is because for homeowners looking to prepare or ‘stage’ their homes for sale as the home shopping season begins, these next few weeks offer a terrific opportunity to get a head start on a number of details that will benefit the sale and enhance the value of the home considerably.
‘Staging’ is a real estate term that means making a home as attractive as possible to a potential buyer and usually involves upscaling the home’s landscaping, exterior and interior. Because first impressions only happen once, the right staging gives homeowners the best chance to make a great first impression and optimize the value of the home.
The first step in staging a home for sale will be to store all but the day-to-day essentials – especially if there will be any remodeling going on. So, before transferring items from room to room, or from a home to commercial storage, preparing the garage will often be your most important first step. One easy way to free up space without spending additional money on storage is to hold a garage sale for those items that might have value to someone else but are no longer useful to you, your family or circle of friends. Your first step will be to check with your local authorities and find out if your community requires permits for garage sales and find out their policy on signage. Many communities have regulations concerning where, how and when signs may be posted and when they need to be removed. Consider any online options and your local newspaper classified columns as well.
Contact local charities to donate any items you’ve decided to give away. Some charities have strict guidelines about what they will or won’t accept – especially with furniture, appliances and electronic items. Some charities will send a truck by to pick up the donations they will accept like furniture and appliances. Remember to get a receipt from the charity so you can deduct the donation on your income taxes.
If you will be using commercial storage, check with your storage company to find out what moving companies they recommend because some companies discourage certain movers.
Once you have freed up some space, take a walk around your home. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for sprucing up your home’s appearance. In addition to painting walls, doors and trim; consider painting the home’s “fifth wall” or ceiling. Ceilings offer unique possibilities for dealing with a room’s general character, its size or even a lack of natural light. Ceiling height makes an important first impression and will be evaluated by anyone looking at your home. When painting ceilings, designers often caution against using the same color or pattern on both the walls and the ceiling as they tend to make a room feel small and closeted, so consider contrasting ceiling and wall colors. Deeper shades will a make large space seem cozier while softer tones like beige or white will open a smaller space up.
Installing new light fixtures or fans can be a great investment. Whether utilizing custom or stock fixtures, designers often showcase lighting as a work of art rather than just a functional element. Recessed lighting, pendant lamps and chandeliers are often paired with other ceiling details to offer new possibilities. Ceiling fans stand out as the one of the most popular decorative items, with a vast majority of buyers rating them essential and desirable according to the latest What Home Buyers Want Survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Staging will be a critical part of any home sale. Take the time now to address all the elements of home staging to make your home sale as successful as it can be.
The Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter seeks to advance the opportunity to attain the American Dream of homeownership. For more information on home improvements or remodeling, visit www.NAHB.org and search ‘remodeling’. For more information on buying, selling or just enjoying your home, visit www.BIABUILD.com on the web.
And have a great President’s Day weekend.