Founder of Domaine Staging, LLC
Many home sellers are now using the services of a professional home stager. When the house sits on the market for over 3 months, they realize that homes in our current market, with so much inventory to choose from, cannot be sold as is. Reduction in price won't guarantee a sale either, They see the value in staging a home, removing clutter and "de-personalizing" -because it is proven that a home that is staged sells faster, and gets top dollar. According to stagedhomes.com, a staged home sells in just 24 days versus the 177 days on the market of the average unstaged home. Yet too often I see homeowners-and even some professional stagers, forget about the first impression a house makes - from the outside.
My experience has shown me that staging a home should be done from the outside in. As a prospective home-buyer drives up to the property, they will form an impression of the house-and if the house is going to sell-that impression needs to be a good one! Simple things like new cushions on the lawn furniture, and a newly mowed lawn give the house a clean and fresh appearance. New mulch and landscaping assure the buyer that the yard has been well-cared for. And planters with blooming flowers or a seasonal wreath provide a warm welcome. Bigger improvements such as repairs to the driveway, or patio and new lighting can pay for themselves immediately in the higher offers that come through! Don't forget about the windows, it needs to be sparkling clean - free of cobwebs and check to make sure there is no wood rot on the windowsills.
A professional home stager will be able to look at the outside of the home with the same keen eye as we do the inside-looking for ways to declutter, tidy, and give the best impression. Everything from little touches to larger projects, such as a Metro GreenScape paver patio can increase the actual and perceived value, make it unique and sell that home quickly.
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* according to Stagedhomes.com. ASP, the only recognized designation by National Association of Realtors (TM).