buying & selling
You CAN Sell Your Home! Staging your home for a sale
“You can’t sell it if you can’t see it.”
Home staging pioneer Barb Schwarz pretty much sums up the whole idea of staging your home to sell with
these words. When buying a home, people tend to think
visually. Most buyers will not buy a home until they can
move in mentally. They want to envision themselves living
in the home, and they can’t do so if the home is filled with
clutter and too much furniture. “The way you live in your
home and the way you market and sell your house are two
different things,” Schwarz says.
Think of your home as a product, and selling your home
as a presentation—you are visually presenting a product to
potential buyers and need to display all the benefits and features it has to offer.
“Staging is Marketing 101,” says Cynthia Ivie, master
simplifier and president of White Space, a Chicago-based
staging company that specializes in relocating homeowners.
“Staging isn’t about selling or showcasing your personality,
but the personality of your home. You want people to come
off the street and envision themselves living in their home.
If there is personal memorabilia or clutter in the home, or
if the home is dirty, it is harder to sell. Collections don’t sell
a home. Open space does,” she says.
A cluttered or dirty home says something about the owners.
“Buyers suspect the owners haven’t taken care of the home,
so they wonder what is ready to break down,” Ivie says.
“That can cost the owner in bids that are anywhere from
$40,000 to $50,0000 below the asking price, or the house
simply doesn’t sell at all.”
Following a few simple rules for staging your home to
sell can really pay off.
Set the Stage
Among the first things experts suggest is to clean the
home thoroughly. Think of cleaning your home to sell like
detailing your car to sell. In addition to dusting, vacuuming
and mopping, remove stains, repair dents and scratches. Go
beyond the basic clean and really make your home shine.
“People get hung up with their busy lives and kids’
schedules and don’t always notice the dust on the ceiling fan
and light fixtures. So do a deep clean first. A clean home
smells different,” Ivie says.
LEFT: © ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/ TONY CASANOVA; RIGH T: © ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/M. ERIC HONEYCU T T