You may have a great eye for interior design. Your home looks and feels exactly the way you want it to. You redecorated, painted the whole house, hung new window treatments and bought all new furniture. But when it comes time to put your house on the market, the key is making it look and feel exactly the way that will appeal to a potential buyer.
Even if you were a professional interior designer, you will have decorated your home to suit you and your personal tastes. A stager can look at your property objectively with the goal of appealing to the largest number of potential buyers.
There are some distinct differences as well as similarities when considering and discussing the concepts of designing to dwell and designing to sell. Good home staging is indeed based on good design principles‚ and then some. The way a potential buyer will view your home is from a different perspective than the way you view your home while living in it.
Design elements such as artwork, paint color and collections, as well as styles of furniture, are potentially very personal. A seasoned stager will be able to edit these items and suggest paint colors to create a universally appealing look. Ideally, a stager can take it one step further and research the demographics in your area to identify your potential buyer and create a look that will appeal to that
The biggest mistake to avoid when staging your home is the belief that investing money preparing your home to sell is money spent unwisely. Nothing could be further from the truth! You wouldn’t try to sell your car without detailing it, so why would you try to sell what is probably your biggest financial asset without merchandising it properly?
There is a quote that I love from Barbara Corcoran regarding this:
“For every dollar you do not spend upfront on repairs, it costs you $3 in the negotiation.”
Buyers may be looking for reasons to negotiate. Don’t give them any. A beautifully presented home that is professionally staged will make buyers fall in love at first sight. Statistics show that staged homes sell faster and for top dollar. Remember, you never have a second chance for a great first impression, especially with a home sale.
A key factor in staging your Hamptons home is portraying the desirable Hamptons lifestyle to your targeted buyer. Here in the Hamptons, the lifestyle that immediately comes to mind revolves around the beach, the water, the vineyards, vacation, farm stands and so on—all those things we love about the East End. When potential buyers walk into a property, you want them to be able to envision themselves living in the home and to recognize the great lifestyle that goes along with living here—
regardless of the season. You can achieve this in subtle but unmistakable ways.
Buzzwords to keep in mind when staging your Hamptons home are casual, relaxed and elegant. I typically navigate toward natural fabrics and finishes, linens, sisal and furniture that is comfortable yet elegant. Windows should be dressed lightly to allow for views of the outdoors and show off sunny interiors. Gourmet kitchens, landscaped exteriors, and outdoors living spaces all contribute to the expectation of ease of lifestyle that your home for sale should portray. Professional stagers know how to achieve all of this, netting you a great return on your staging investment.
Remember, no one wants to buy your house. They want to buy their own house.
Allegra Dioguardi is the owner of Styled & Sold Home Staging LLC. To see more on home staging techniques, visit styledandsold.com.