Home Staging: Putting Your Home’s Best Foot forward
By Lisa Scontras
Inventory of homes for sale on Oahu is on the rise. Statistics released in May show the number of active listings increasing for the 12th consecutive month.
More homes on the market means there’s more competition to find a buyer. As the summer nears (typically an active home-buying season), competing in this market requires knowing how to put your home’s best foot forward.
Home staging is a technique to help the potential buyers see what kind of fit the home might be for their own family.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 83 percent of agents say staging a home makes it easier for buyers to visualize a property as their future home, as well as decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market.
“Buying a house is more than a financial decision; it is an emotional decision as well. Buyers aren’t just making an investment in a property, they are purchasing a place to call home, raise their children, to begin a new chapter or retire to a new season of life,” said John Smaby, NAR president.
“The goal is to help the potential buyer to imagine the furniture placement and their own lifestyle — to visualize themselves in the home,” said Yuki Takenaka, Realtor and staging expert at List Sotheby’s International Realty.
In other words: you don’t want buyers to see your home, you want them to see their home.
In a competitive market, it may not be enough to just declutter and depersonalize. Takenaka agrees that staging basics are essential, but “there is more to staging in today’s world than there was even a decade back. As with anything, you must evolve with the times and now staging has become more advanced and the expectation for staging has grown. Now, the home needs to do more than look clean, but needs to give off a good energy, create a lifestyle that coincides with the buyers.”
Staging highlights a home’s best features, whether it is a view, a home theater or a beautiful yard, especially calling attention to features competing listings may not have.
According to Judith Whit-field, Realtor® and staging expert at List Sotheby’s International Realty, “Staging can help a buyer to focus on the unique qualities and craftsmanship of a home.”
It may make sense to really play up a feature like a great outdoor living space or extra-large corner lot. Similarly, if you have a great view, don’t hide it with window coverings.
“The strategic placement of furniture can make a room look more spacious, and the simple addition of color, by the way of pillows and artwork, can define the mood you’re trying to create,” said Lynn Plantz Realtor Associate at Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties.
Takenaka points out that home staging techniques work for any price range.
“You want the property to get the highest potential price. Home staging plays a key role in that,” she added.
Whitfield said, “If you don’t know where to start, get help from your real estate agent. They can offer suggestions and point you in the right direction to getting the ‘wow effect’ that will help to sell your home.” And that’s good advice.