The best tips for staging your San Diego home when selling begin with an old slogan: “Love at first sight”. In real estate sales, appealing homes possess “curb appeal”, a positive emotional attraction from buyers on the street.
Big Block Realty published a guide about creating buyers’ positive impressions. Also, another post described how initially “buyers decide on emotion rather than practicality”.
This post goes beyond those explanations.
Best Tips for Staging Your San Diego Home when Selling
Financial advisors claim that prospective home buyers first consider two things:
- What they want in a house; and
- What they need in a house.
In other words, house hunters declare “wants” and “needs” in that order. It’s the “wants” that initially attract them to a house from the street. For instance, “That house looks really nice” means “This one looks like my dream home”. That’s curb appeal in its rawest form.
We will show you tips for staging your San Diego home when selling.
Let’s begin with defining “What is home staging”?
Home staging makes homes look stunning. Real estate marketing practices improve a home’s visuals making it look appealing in photos, videos, and during previews. Take a dark drab room and make it energetic with brightness for a “homey” feeling.
Professional home stagers inspect homes inside and outside to advise home sellers about making them appeal to buyers.
Tip: A good listing agent knows how to save sellers money by offering their experience with home staging for free. We recently published a post titled, “Use an Experienced California Real Estate Agent” showing other benefits too. The home staging suggestions may include:
- Moving around existing furniture to create an illusion of extra space;
- Adding candles, fresh flowers, colorful throw pillows, better lighting, etc. for special touches to make a room “homey”;
- Cleaning every room, curtains, and carpets along with the front and back yards;
- Removing all clutter inside and outside including closets, cabinets, and drawers;
- Organizing the garage and storage spaces to look ready to use;
- Hiding personal items so buyers vision their items in each room;
- Using electric deodorants or reed diffusers to make every room smell nice;
- Repairing everything in need, buyers don’t want a house demanding repairs;
- Remove all signs of pets because some buyers don’t like them or are allergic to them; and
- Painting over out-of-fashion colors and using neutral ones to appease most buyers.
Do you see what home staging does for your home?
It cleans, organizes, brightens, and makes the home smell good.
Staging Vacant Homes
If your home for sale is vacant, home staging becomes essential.
Take a look at the two examples below showing how vacant rooms transform into appealing ones for buyers.
Quality photos: This is a good time to point out the benefits of using high-quality photos. Don’t use your smartphone camera. Poor quality photos do not impress buyers.
Why Staging Your San Diego Home is Worth It?
Do you want to sell your San Diego home faster at top dollar?
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune on March 30, 2021, the average San Diego home price last January was $710,000 (source: CoreLogic data). The Tribune claimed, “San Diego home prices rose the third fastest in the nation to start the year at 14.2 percent.”
Using the NAR staging price increases with San Diego’s average home price means increases of $7,100 (at 1%) to $35,500 (at 5%).
Would you like those price increases?
How Does Home Staging Help Buyers?
NAR reported on April 6, 2021, their survey of buyers’ agents showed that:
- 82% reported home staging allowed buyers to better visualize the house as a future home;
- 76% stated that buyers knew what they wanted in a home before they began looking for a new home;
- Over 70% claimed that photos, virtual tours, and videos became more important after the COVID-19 pandemic started;
- 63% reported TV shows explaining the home buying process positively affected their business; and
- 31% claimed home staging greatly reduced the time a home typically remained on the market before selling.
So, home staging gives sellers higher sales prices and faster sales.
How Important is a ‘Homey” Feeling?
According to the same NAR survey, 77% of potential buyers found home staging made them imagine living in the home. Buyers who feel emotionally attracted to a house usually purchase it.
Home staging creates an initial emotional appeal through photos, videos, and virtual tours. Later, when the buyer visits the home the attraction turns into love.
“Love at first sight” leads to previews resulting in sales.
How to Stage Your Home Inside and Outside
Since first impressions count, every room and the outside need staging. Let’s look at the most important rooms and the outside to see what they need.
Home Staging Your Outside
Look at your home’s exterior in the eyes of a buyer. Their first impression must impress them. Here’s what to do:
- Mow your lawns – And keep them mowed because you never know when a buyer drives or walks by;
- Spruce up the front and back gardens – Trim the bushes and trees, and add new plants. See that the outdoor furniture looks nice. Fix cracked walkways;
- Make outdoor improvements – Fix your staggering gutters, repaint your front door and fix your fences, make the driveway and patio look new with jet washing;
- Make your pool brilliant – Step up your back pool cleaning and maintenance, make the water look crystal clear, and throw out old or worn pool furniture;
- Create an attractive backyard – Within your budget, landscape the back (and the front too);
- Paint old or worn siding, fences, and outdoor structures to look new; and
- Don’t forget the roof and chimneys – Old and worn roofs scare buyers who fear leaks. Make sure the chimneys work and look sturdy.
Home Staging Your Interior
Entrance hallway – The first thing a buyer sees when entering your home makes a big impression. Repaint the hallway as most are small and cost little to do. Replace the doormat, clean the rug and improve the lighting. Make your hallway sparkle.
Refresh the walls – Repair all cracks or bulges. If your interior needs painting the cost is worth it. But, use neutral colors so buyers have more options for decorating rooms.
Make your living room cozy – It’s one of the most important rooms where people go to relax in comfortable chairs and sofas with practical tables and good lighting. Use features and focal points like a cozy corner to curl up into and relax.
Rooms with a view – Show off your best views from your windows. Wash all your windows regularly so they look brilliant.
Natural lighting – Make sure the windows allow natural lighting.
Re-arrange your furniture – Store your large furniture and replace them with compact ones like a “settee” (an elegant and slimmer profile than sofas) complimenting the coffee table. Rent classy small furniture to make rooms appear larger and comfortable.
Curtains may clash – If your curtains clash with wall colorings or look outdated or tattered, replace them. Clean your curtains and open them to let the room look brighter.
Use your storage spaces – Move the clutter into your storage spaces, Buyers seeing cupboards and wardrobes stuffed with things instantly feel your home lacks adequate storage space.
The Most Important Rooms for Staging Your San Diego Home when Selling
Kitchen – The heart of a home is the kitchen where the family eats and friends linger over coffee or tea. Store away small appliances leaving more counter space for buyers to visualize how their small ones fit. Kitchens must remain clean and sparkling with no dirty dishes or clutter. Clean all appliances with no smelly fridge or dirty stove.
Bedrooms – Make the master bedroom look like a lifestyle improvement to the buyers. Keep other bedrooms minimal with a bed, dressing table, and bedside tables with lights. Remove clutter including the closets and hide the toys in the kids’ bedrooms.
Bathrooms – Cleanliness sells bathrooms. Make sure all tiles, fittings, glass surfaces, and fixtures shine with no signs of rust or mold. Re-grout the tiles if damaged or dull-looking. Repair leaks and replace poor shower sealants. Remove personal toiletries so the bathrooms appear clean, shining, and neutral. Place a couple of candles in the corner of the bathtub and a potpourri bowl on the counter to smell good.
Garage – Must look clean and organized with shelves and storage space that buyers like.
The best tips for staging your San Diego home when selling won’t cost you much.
Budgeting: Knowing what your closing of sale fees in advance helps you to budget for your home staging. We recently published a post titled, How To Understand California Escrow Costs 2021 explaining your estimated closing costs.
Necessary repairs and re-painting become unavoidable expenses. But, the rest of these home staging tips won’t break your budget like:
- Staging homes arouse buyers’ emotions. Curb appeal arouses instant love at first sight. Home staging increases buyers’ offers from 1% to 5% earning you thousands of extra dollars;
- Homey rooms appeal to buyers. Clean and organized homes with minimal furniture allow buyers to visualize living there; and
- Nice aromas attract. Kitchens and bathrooms free of bad smells become inviting. Make every room smell sweet.
Therefore, home staging cleans, organizes, brightens, and makes your home smell good.
When 77% of potential buyers find your home, staging allows them to imagine living there. They feel emotionally attracted to your home and end up wanting to buy it.
“Love at first sight” with your home increases the odds you will sell it to that buyer.
Need Help with Staging Your San Diego Home before Listing?
When listing with us, SoCal Lifestyle Realty agents offer their home staging experience for free.
Contact us to learn how we can help you with staging your San Diego home for a faster sale at a higher price.
Steven Rich, MBA – Guest Blogger