Friday Dec 02, 2022

Dressing Your Home for Success – The New York Times


Even in today’s red-hot market, where buyers are fighting tooth and nail for a limited supply of homes, how a property looks — in listing photos and in person — is important. This is where staging comes in. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s a seller’s market or a buyer’s market,” says Monica P. Murphy, the owner of Preferred Staging, a home staging company in Potomac Falls, Va. “What staging does is it makes your home more presentable.”

Over 40 percent of buyers’ agents said staging had an effect on how most buyers perceived listings, according to the 2021 Profile of Home Staging from the National Association of Realtors. The survey — of 2,347 real estate agents — also found that 23 percent of sellers’ agents said staging increased a home’s value by 1 to 5 percent; an additional 18 percent of agents reported an increase of 6 to 10 percent.

“What we consistently see, year after year, is that if a home is staged and decorated well, it has a positive impact on buyers,” said Brandi Snowden, director of member and consumer survey research at N.A.R. “Staging can even make buyers overlook flaws in a home.” More than half of sellers’ agents said that staging a home greatly or slightly decreased the amount of time that the home was on the market, the trade association’s survey showed.

The bottom line: Staging can be a smart investment for home sellers. Preparing to put your house on the market? These tips can help your property sell quicker and for more money.

Whether it’s dog toys, exercise equipment, sports memorabilia or other tchotchkes, clutter can distract buyers and make it difficult for them to focus on your home’s best attributes. “I always tell people that the way you live in your home and the way you sell your home are two completely different things,” said Melinda Bartling, a real estate agent and stager in Overland Park, Kan. Personal items, like family photos, can make it challenging for buyers to visualize your property as their future home, she added.

Pay particular attention to closets. “Demonstrate you have more space than you need by removing items from closet floors, editing contents by half or less and leaving some shelves empty,” Jennifer Storo, the owner of Stage to Sell, a home staging company in Boston, recommended.

But don’t just throw all that clutter in a closet or garage. Your home’s storage areas should look spacious, Ms. Murphy said. Instead, stow items temporarily in storage units; they typically cost $90 to $290 a month, depending on the size.

Foliage can add aesthetically pleasing texture to the living space. “A few strategically placed plants make accessorizing easy, evoking nature and fresh air,” said Ms. Storo, who suggested choosing trending varieties such as succulents, philodendrons and ferns. One decorating approach: “Bring height and style to spaces with tall glass vases of three or four statement stems,” she said.

If you don’t have a green thumb, zero-maintenance artificial plants and flowers are the way to go, she added: “Live plants …….


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