Selling a home in today's unstable economic climate is no easy task. However, homeowners who "stage" their home may have competitive advantages over those who simply open their doors to potential buyers.
"Staging prepares any home, occupied or vacant, and regardless of price, condition or location, to go on the market for sale," said Courtney Tyler, a certified home stager and owner of Courtney Tyler Interiors in Exeter. "Using a proven set of professional guidelines obtained through training and certification, staging prepares a home to sell faster and for a higher price."
Research indicates staged homes spend 78 percent less time on the market than non-staged homes and, according to U.S. Housing and Urban Development, a staged home sells for up to 17 percent more than a non-staged home.
"Staging is really about creating a lifestyle that will appeal to prospective buyers," said Tyler. "The goal is to create a neutral space that projects a feeling of welcome and warmth, one that is void of clutter and free of accessories that are personal to the seller. This is critical because before any prospective buyer can envision themselves living in a home, traces of the sellers' life need to be removed.
"When a home is staged, it is easy for prospective buyers to envision their lifestyle being carried out in the home," Tyler added. "By doing so, they are able to make that special connection with the home - a connection that will resonate with them above and beyond the other homes they will look at - and move them to make an offer."
Although this may sound simple, Tyler explains "setting the stage" for the sale is quite challenging for most homeowners.
"The reality is that most sellers are overwhelmed tackling the obvious functional improvements that may be needed," she said. "These include items such as finding and repairing the leak in the roof, scraping and painting the peeling exterior paint, replacing the wobbling unsafe deck stairs and railing, or installing a new basement ceiling due to the washing machine leak on the first floor.
These tasks themselves take a lot of time and energy, often difficult to handle if the homeowner is employed full time and/or busy with family obligations, according to Tyler. Once these tasks are finally done, the thought of staging is exhausting and the homeowner is at a loss without the knowledge for such an undertaking.
Staging is a skill that requires training and practice and should be performed by a certified staging professional to achieve the desired results — less time spent on the market and a higher sales price.
"It is very difficult for anyone to view their home as a product," Tyler said. "Because the stager does not have the emotional connection with the home, she can objectively see the home through the eyes of prospective buyers."
So, when should you stage your home? Ideally, Tyler says staging should take place prior to appraisal as staging affects how the appraiser perceives the value of the home. It should also occur before marketing efforts begin and before the home is placed on MLS (Multiple Listing Service) or other Web sites.
These activities yield the best results if the photos used were taken after staging took place. Keep in mind, 90 percent of home buyers view photos of homes and rooms online before deciding which homes to visit, Tyler said.
"If you already are working with a real estate agent, and the listing is posted on MLS, consider temporarily removing the listing from MLS and refrain from showings until the home is staged and new photos are taken," she said. "This will provide you and the agent an opportunity to generate new interest in the home."
Courtney Tyler Interiors is fully insured and serves most of Northern New England. Tyler is an I.R.I.S Trained and Certified Stager and Redesigner and is a member of the Home Stagers Guild, Interior Redesigners Guild and RESA (Real Estate Stagers Association). She can be contacted by phone at 603-303-5229 or by email at ct_interiors @comcast.net. Visit www.courtneytylerinteriors.com.
Article Source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20110906-BIZ-109060322