There is something to be said about a neat and tidy house when you are sorting through house after house looking for the perfect home for you and your family. This is something that should be kept in mind when selling either a personal home or an investment property. There are a few other things you should keep in mind when it comes to selling real estate. One of those things is that staging sells homes.
Seriously, there is something cold about an empty house. It could be painted impeccably and meet every possible standard a family has and yet feel cold and anything but homey when walking through the home for a real estate tour or inspection. This can be easily overcome by contacting a local furniture rental store and picking out furniture that will match at least the primary rooms of the home in order to make the home appear leaved in and homelike.
The primary rooms that you will want to appear 'lived in' are the living room, dining room, master bedroom, and all bathrooms. These are the rooms that essentially sell homes and it is important to make them appear neat, orderly, and well cared for. If you have the funds for every room in the home then by all means do so. It is a huge selling point, particularly for those who are trying to sell homes quickly. If the home doesn't sell after the first two weeks or month (you decide the time limit) then you may want to remove the 'staging' furniture in order to eliminate the expense. I would strongly encourage you to keep this furniture as long as the home is being shown fairly regularly though.
You will want to do so much more than simply putting furniture in the property you are trying to sell. You want to create an atmosphere or warmth and comfort. This means you want to have prints on the walls, mirrors, plants, and pillows. You do not have to purchase items particularly for this process. You can use things from your own home in order to establish this atmosphere of homelike comfort. Be sure not to use sentimental favorites or very valuable pieces, as not all people who will view the property being sold are honest. It's a sad reality but something to consider all the same.
Other things that may help an empty home sell are scents. There is nothing quite like the smell of cookies in the oven or flowers in bloom to make a home feel 'homey'. These scents can be easily accomplished with well placed scented candles, potpourri warmers, dry potpourri, fresh-cut flowers, and electric room air fresheners. There are few things that will turn off potential buyers more quickly than an overpowering fragrance however so keep this in mind when selecting the method of fragrance. Having some fragrance in the home also eliminates the problem of an empty house taking on the 'empty house' scent that so many do over time. In other words, this is yet another part of the staging process that works for many trying to sell homes.
The short answer to the question of whether or not staging sells real estate is "yes". Staging a home can absolutely lead to a higher offer and a quicker sell, even in today's sluggish market.
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