Most buyers expect to see clean homes during their tours. And it would be hard to overlook a pile of dirty laundry on the floor or unwashed dishes in the sink! Yet all too often, sellers think that a clean house is enough to seal the deal for potential buyers. This simply isn’t true. When it comes to a real winner, you’ll need to show off more than dust-free bookshelves and vacuumed carpet. Homes that get offers at asking price—or higher—succeed because they put in extra effort.
Listing a Clean Home
Listing a clean home is a huge priority. No well-respected realtor would tell you otherwise. You make the beds, put the dishes away, and make sure there isn’t a trail of dirt in the entryway. These are some of the hard and fast rules when it comes to home listings. It also helps to tuck away any personal belongings. Even family photos can send the wrong message to buyers. Feeling like they’re touring someone else’s house, rather than their new, potential home can be distracting.
Getting rid of clutter is a great first step when getting ready to list a home. But a clean home is just the beginning. Sellers should understand that a clean home doesn’t attract the same attention as a staged home.
The Difference with Staging
Anyone can list a house that’s relatively clean. But tidying up only goes so far in the housing market. What’s considered “clean” by most people’s standards doesn’t feel the same when a house is up for sale. An organized closet, for example, might feel neat and tidy for the homeowner, yet a buyer might view it otherwise. A walk-in closet can suddenly seem cramped or crowded when full of clothes.
Professional staging helps home give the right impression. Instead of triggering subconscious signals that a room is too small or awkward, staging works to set a tone that’s welcoming. This goes beyond just being clean. Wiping down the counters in the kitchen won’t feel too special for a couple looking to buy. A bare room, although clean, feels more neglected than inviting. That’s why furniture and accent pieces help liven up a space. Strategically placing a few interesting objects in a room helps direct your eye to all of the room’s best features. This happens in the kitchen, as well as any bedroom or bathroom.
How Do You Know It’s Ready?
Cleanliness can be subjective, and staging can be, too. So how do you know whether your home is approved for a great showing? Well, it helps to study pictures of the home’s interior. Going with your gut reaction tends to be best. When you view photos of your home or another listing, do they look polished? Would you feel comfortable walking through the spaces, and do you think you could kick-back and relax?
For example, hanging artwork on the wall and filling a couch with pillows that have different textures and pops of color make your home’s photographs interesting and inviting. Buyers falls in love with homes through pictures even before they walk through the front door. Having a stager who knows how to style a home goes far beyond the basics of tidying up.
A professionally staged home speaks to you on an emotional level. Of course, you should also be able to look at it from a practical perspective. You can quickly tell if a home’s furnishings are outdated. Staging helps you avoid those pitfalls. A designer also works to place each item in a functional space so no room feels too crowded or empty. Everything has a purpose in staging. Whereas cleaning just gets rid of dust, dirt, and clutter, professional staging works to elevate a home by highlighting its best features. Instead of removing the negatives, staging adds some real positives to every room. While you need definitely need to clean for a great listing, staging is truly what sets homes apart!