Don’t be swayed by staging!
As buyers agents, we’re well used to looking past the “first impressions” or staging of homes for sale. After all, selling can be as much about selling the lifestyle and “feel” of a place as well as the amount of floorspace and location. Creating a vision that attracts more buyers in turn creates competition for a property- which is exactly what you want as a seller. Well presented properties often sell faster, and for more than their comparable counterparts, and though there’s no hard evidence to support this, it’s no secret that most buyers consider those sellers who go to the extra effort here are usually serious sellers. After all, you’d hardly get your place styled or staged if you were only “testing the market”.
However, to avoid being “wow-ed” by all the bright lights, dazzling art pieces and carefully configured cushions and bed throws, it’s vital to consider the spaces without all the glitz and glam. When inspecting a property that appears to have been professionally styled/staged remember to do the following:
* Measure the floorspace or use the floorplan (if available) to set out your own furniture- rooms can often look larger due to clever furniture placement and/or subtraction of necessary items such as dressers, side tables and storage cupboards
* Open wardrobe cupboards and storage areas to accurately gage the amount available. Staged properties often have the bare minimum on display which can create a false impression.
* Consider bed sizes especially if you have king or queen beds to accommodate.
* Walk into each room and only look at the floors, walls and ceilings. If you pretend that the room is empty you will be able to gain a clearer idea of “real” space.
* Check out the garage/underhouse storage areas as sellers often use these as dumping grounds for the excess “stuff” that was removed from the house for staging. It will provide you with an idea of what else may or may not fit in the house should you move in.
Staged homes may present better and certainly add that extra something over properties that haven’t been as well-styled but it’s important to focus on what remains when you settle on the property and it becomes yours, without the fancy scatter cushions and wicker daybeds. Keep practicality and functionality at the forefront of your mind and you will make better buying decisions.