Long Island real estate is hot right now.
There are more prospective buyers than available listings, meaning houses sell fast and for serious sums of money.
Nonetheless, from a seller’s perspective, that sale can’t come quick enough. On average, houses stay on the market for 68 days before finding a buyer. That’s over two months of waiting!
Anyone on Long Island is unlikely to want their house sale to take that long.
Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to speed the process up. One of the best ways to sell your house quickly is to stage it well for viewings.
The layout and design of the home make all the difference. You can’t assume the current set up is what would-be buyers want to see. Instead, there are some handy tricks of the trade to help maximize its appeal.
Want to find out what they are to maximize the chance of selling your Long Island home in a flash? Read on to learn the top home staging tips to keep in mind.
The Definition of Staging a House
First thing’s first, let’s take a moment to address what we mean by staging a property.
Having a definition upfront should help showcase why it’s so important.
Think of staging as getting yourself dolled up for a classy night on the town. We’re assuming that you wouldn’t leave home in your every day work jeans!
You’re more likely to pull out all the stops to make yourself look like a million dollars. You put on your finest clothes, wear expensive cologne or perfume, adorn yourself with jewelry, and so on.
Why? Because you want to stand out and attract the right kind of attention. You want to turn heads and be admired by others. You want to look good, feel good and ooze self-confidence.
Staging a home is exactly the same!
It’s about strategically altering the layout and decorations to maximize aesthetic appeal. Staging it for viewing is about pulling out all the stops to convince a buyer to part with their cash. The better it looks and feels, the quicker you’ll sell, and the more money you’ll get.
Check it out:
40% of buyer’s agents say staging impacts a would-be buyer’s perception of a home; 83% believe staging helps people visualize themselves living in the property. That is the difference between getting an offer, and not getting an offer.
Clearly, this process can make a real difference when done right. However, a lot goes into effective staging. Learn how to do it in the next section.
How to Stage Your House the Right Way
You can’t just tidy up and shift your furniture around to impress prospective buyers (though both will help!). Far more goes into mastering this process.
Here’s everything you need to know about staging a home for maximum effect.
1. Clean, Tidy and Declutter
Cleaning and tidying your house should be the first port of call.
It makes total sense. Can you imagine being impressed with a house that’s full of dirt, grime, mess, or the scent of last nights dinner in the air? You’re more likely to feel disgusted by it.
First impressions are all-important when showing prospective buyers your home. Do everything in your power to make the initial impression positive and hopeful. A sparkling clean house goes a long way to succeeding.
Go above and beyond to create a clean and clutter-free environment. Now’s the time to have a clear out of all the possessions you no longer need. You want to showcase the space available to somebody. An essential part of that is to rid yourself of unnecessary clutter.
Get rid of (or put into storage) all items and possessions that take up space. Houses with lots of available space sell far quicker. It’s of paramount importance to maximize what you have.
Nicely, a successful space-saving purge of possessions will make the deep cleaning process far easier. It’s time to break out the vacuum cleaner and feather duster. Set to work making your house shine!
2. Remove and Replace Furniture
Let’s stick with the theme of creating space for a second.
Removing a proportion of the furniture in your house will cultivate the illusion of more square footage. Sure, it can be a hassle to remove furnishings when you’re still living in the home; storing it can get expensive too.
Nonetheless, it’s worth the effort if you can afford it. Think of the process as an investment. That extra space you create might pay for itself if you find an eager buyer quicker as a result.
The state of your furniture is a key consideration too. The whole point of a staged home is that it looks its best. Cast a critical eye over your furnishings.
While Great Drandpa’s Lazy-Boy chair probably has great sentimental value to you, it just shows up as old in the eyes of a potential buyer. Tired and shabby pieces won’t do the house justice. It’s an unwelcome distraction that detracts from the quality of the actual property, and all distractions must be avoided.
Consider renting showroom-style furniture instead. They’re brand new and can shed the space in a more favorable light. A far cheaper option (that’s great if you’ve already moved actual furniture into a new property) is pop-up furniture.
These cardboard/plastic furnishings create a sense of space and potential.
3. Arrange the Furniture Effectively
Don’t just put the furniture you end up using anywhere.
You might like it pressed up against the wall and pointed towards the television. However, that might not be what’s best for the actual room!
You could choose to ‘float’ the furniture instead. In other words, move it away from the walls and anchor it all together with a feature rug, or coffee table.
The overall goal should be to highlight the qualities of a room; make it seem as big as possible. Try and form a natural pathway through the house as well. Remove anything that could become an obstruction or distraction.
Channeling people in this way takes them on the journey you want them to have through the house.
4. Depersonalize the Home
The next step is to depersonalize your property.
You could have lived in it for years and made that house your home. It’s full of your personal items, family photos and mementos of old. It makes total sense. After all, this is your house! You’ve furnished and decorated it according to your wants, needs, and whims.
Alas, that isn’t conducive to a quick sale. Or, more accurately, a depersonalized space is more likely to sell faster. A case and point is your typical homeware showroom.
They’re neutral and impersonal by design; constructed as a mere example of what you could do. You see no personal touches like fridge magnets from past vacations, notes from loved ones, pictures of relatives on the walls, and so on.
Instead, they’re generic and standardized. The intended result is that you can imagine yourself in it!
By comparison, a room filled with somebody else’s idiosyncratic interests, items and stories feel distinctly like their space. It’s far harder to picture yourself happily living there.
Take steps to strip your house of personal touches in advance of a showing.
5. Think First Impressions
We’ve already noted the importance of first impressions.
It’s worth re-emphasizing though. People form them in a mere 7 seconds! That’s about as much time as it takes to walk up the path to your front door.
Within moments of entering a property, you can guarantee someone’s formed their impression of it. You can also assume that their first impression will color their perception of the rest of the house.
Those first few seconds are pivotal in cultivating a positive viewing experience. As such, you should pay special attention to the parts of your home people will come across first.
Think about the garden path, the mailbox, the front door, the entranceway, the hallway that greets you upon entering, and so on. Take steps to maximize the visual appeal here. Of course, cleanliness and lack of clutter (put those shoes and coats away!) are key.
Consider additional steps like putting up attractive pieces of artwork, removing obstructions, painting the front door, and manicuring the lawn.
6. Transform Your Spaces
You have to squeeze every last drop of potential from your house.
Part of that process entails making the most of the space available. Almost every household will have cubby holes and box rooms that aren’t being used. There might even be basements and attics that are empty and lack a particular function.
Look around your Long Island home for spaces that fit this description.
Next, make the effort to transform it into an asset. You don’t have to go to crazy lengths or spend a lot of money. Sometimes the simplest touches can create a charming new part of the property.
With a few cushions and a throw pillow, that random nook by the French windows could become a treasured seating area. Put some dumbbells and a bench in the basement and you’ve got yourself a gym. That attic space could become a nursery or even another bedroom!
Now, you can guarantee that adding another bedroom to your house will make it more appealing. Consider your current layout to identify any scope for doing exactly that. Remove the furniture in your study, for example, and add a bed.
Voila, brand new bedroom. You’ll enjoy a quicker sale and a higher price in the process.
There were 13,000 homes for sale on Long Island earlier this year. Transforming your spaces in this way will help yours sell before the others!
7. Maximize Light
There are two things that make or break a house’s appeal:
Space and light.
As we’ve covered the importance of space in previous points, let’s turn to the importance of light. It boils down to this: the more light, the better; natural light has the greatest impact on buyer perception.
It’s true that some people thrive in the gloom. However, the vast majority prefer to live in a light and airy environment. There’s nothing better than having masses of natural sunlight flooding into your living areas.
Sufficient lighting is inherently mood-enhancing. Even better, it provides an impression of extra space too. Both qualities are obvious positive attributes when showing people around. Remember, you want people feeling happy and excited by the house!
Stage your house in a way that maximizes light. Open the curtains and shutters, replace broken lightbulbs with brighter natural light bulbs, and turn everything on when showing people around.
Combining natural and unnatural light sources ensures you create an impression of a light and open home.
8. Paint the Walls (in Neutral Colors)
It doesn’t take much to add value to a property.
Applying a fresh coat of paint provides a prime example. A new paint job can have a dramatic effect on restoring a room to its former glory.
Walls can feel old, tired and weathered over time. Paint can fade, crack and discolor. The effect is a shabby aesthetic that detracts from an otherwise attractive space. Painting over them is an inexpensive DIY job that you can do in an afternoon.
As such, it’s one of the simplest ways to make your house more appealing when getting your home ready to sell.
However, not all colors are equal in the eyes of a buyer. You might be a colorful person that loves the bright lilac walls in your living room. Alas, not everyone will share your enthusiasm for it.
A better approach is to paint your walls in neutral colors. White, cream or even light beige tones are a safer pallet when staging a house. It’s about keeping everything impersonal. Neutral colors help people put their spin on the space.
It’s quite literally a blank canvas upon which they can base their decorative choices.
Selling a Home? Time to Stage It
Long Island real estate is in high demand at the moment.
The demand far outweighs supply, putting sellers in prime position for a quick and lucrative sale.
All the same, you should never rest on your laurels and assume smooth-sailing. There are still thousands of homes for sale on Long Island. If you want to shift yours fast, then you need to do what you can to speed the process along.
One timeless way to sell a house with ease is to stage it properly for viewings. Hopefully, this post has highlighted the key considerations for doing exactly that. Good luck!
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