How you showcase the functional space in your home will have a huge impact on the final presentation. Presentation and price determine if you will have a quick successful sale, or your home will sit. Buyers are looking for well maintained, organized, clean, functional space. Too much clutter in any room will take away from its function and the room’s appeal!
An abundance of furniture in any room makes the room appear smaller. When you have an office set up in a family room or kitchen, the abundance of furniture needed to accommodate the various functions, often overwhelms the space. Whether it is a home office or an exercise area, it needs its own separate designated space. Buyers do not want to be walking around your Bowflex to see your ensuite bathroom! Keeping the natural traffic flow rhythms open and accessible is very important to how a house shows. Buyers can rarely imagine a room as it “could” be, and often cannot see past what is “already there”. You want buyers to leave your home thinking “Wow — what a fantastic home — it’s gorgeous and there’s lots of room for our things!” Not… “what an obstacle course! It’s a way too small for our needs!”
The office in the dining room is probably the most common misused space we see when selling a home. How you use the space in your home should accommodate your needs for living in the space. However, when showing the home for sale the rules change. It becomes all about the buyer’s perception and what buyers want to see.
When buyers are looking for a new home, they often have a growing family and want to have a dining space for family dinners and holiday gatherings. When you have a desk, file cabinets and papers all over the dining room, it is almost impossible for the average person to imagine how many people could sit around a table. If the amount of clutter is overwhelming, it also visibly takes away from the perceived space in the room. If you do not have a dining room set, it is easy to rent one. It will make a world of difference in how the room is showcased! There are many styles of tables available that can properly showcase any space! A Home Stager’s job is to select the best size and style to fit your space! Then make it look fabulous with the right touch of décor and accessories!
Another common misuse of space is the exercise equipment in the bedroom. Yes, we all like our exercise equipment in a convenient location to encourage us to exercise. However, buyers are looking for a master bedroom that is a spacious, private haven to get away from the outside world. When you have a bed, nightstands, dresser, exercise equipment, etc, suddenly a large room becomes overwhelmed with stuff! The buyers cannot “see” the private escape they are looking for!
Minimize the amount of furniture. This places the focus on the abundance of space in the room. Move the exercise equipment to a vacant room or basement, if possible. If not, just put it in storage for a few weeks and go for a walk every time there is a showing! You’ll still get the exercise and your home will look spectacular!
One of the best examples of a multi- function space I have worked on, was a large bonus room or media room over the garage. It had a large screen TV, a wall full of bookcases and a sitting area for reading, exercise equipment, sofa and chairs, as well as an office area! Just looking at it all made your head spin! The first question should always be “what is the function of this room?” We had the buyer place almost all of the items in storage and staged it with a stylish sitting area to enjoy the large screen TV, clearly defining the space as a high-end media room. Removing that amount of “clutter,” also visually doubled the size of the room! The transformation was amazing, and the house sold in a bidding war in a matter of days.
Statistics say buyers first look at listings online to determine which homes they want to go see in person. This makes your interior pictures the key to generating traffic for showings. Interior pictures sell buyers on viewing your property. A lack of interior photos leaves too many questions for buyers. The lack of interior photos often leaves buyers with the impression the home requires WORK and EXPENSE!
Off go the buyers scrolling through the next listing, yours is not on the viewing list. Remember, most buyers are looking for a home in move-in condition. They are often young families with dual careers and young children. They simply do not have the time or finances to take on a “project.” You will always get a better price if you take the time to get your home into move-in ready condition. Many of the REALTORS®’ descriptions include “move-in condition” or “just move in and enjoy!” That’s because they know what buyers are looking for. So take the time to get your home “move-in ready” and then post some fabulous listing pictures.
Before you get the pictures taken for your homes’ listing, take a good long look at your home. Are the functional uses in each room clearly defined? Are they easily accessible, current and appealing? Finally look at the pictures! If they don’t blow your socks off — they won’t blow the socks off your buyers either!
Call a home stager to give you some tips or rent the furniture that will show off your home to perfection! Even if you have had it on the market, you can still update your interior pictures at any time to generate the showings necessary to get that traffic through to generate those offers! After all, home staging is always less expensive than dropping your list price $10,000 or more! Finally, go onto the internet and have a look at the other homes selling in your area. If yours doesn’t stand out, take the steps necessary to make your house the one to see! Happy Selling!