Staging Your Home: Part Three of Five Series with Kevin Htain of Identity Home Staging
We sat down recently with Kevin Htain of Identity Home Staging who stages our properties here in Southern California. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience in creating beautiful environments that sell — so much so that we decided to break down his tips into 5 parts! His company provides custom staging and design to Residential and Commercial properties along with staging and setting up special events. He is certified as a Lifetime Master Stager and you can join him on Facebook and Pinterest.
The best way to make a property appeal to most home buyers is to create what we call a “builder’s standard” product out of your home. Turn it from your home into a product, take that product, market it and sell it for top dollar. In order to do that you need to surrender your property completely and understand it is no longer yours. That’s the first and the biggest step really. Here are the top 5 do’s and don’ts for making your home appeal to buyers.
1. Stage the property completely. You want to show off your property in its best light, and buyers who enter partially staged properties sometimes only focus or remember the staged portions of the property. Buyers respond better to more fully staged properties, and since buyers are touring multiple properties, the more fully staged property will always last longer in their memory. Remember that staging is a “differentiator” which sets your property apart and above the competition.
2. Hire a professional cleaning company to really detail your property. You can’t successfully stage a property if it remains dirty. You could have a perfect staging, but it could be busted by a dirty property. That’s the truth — having your property professionally cleaned is always a great investment.
3. Price your property in accordance to its staged condition and make sure you market your property as a staged product. This one is for the agents and sellers alike…
HOT TIP: there is a market for staged products and the market is now savvy to what Home Staging is about. Most of our agent clients now market in their property description that the property is “staged towards buyers’ taste” because it shows that the property is turnkey, clean, and that it has been inspected and treated by a Professional Home Stager. This speaks towards relocation buyers- they love staged properties because they are move in ready. Believe me, a lot of local buyers out there can sure appreciate having the exact same staging experience as relocation buyers.
4. Go about it alone. You need a professional, neutral and objective eye to help you through this process. Even when I staged and sold my own property (with The Rudy Group, BTW) we hired another stager to work with me to prepare my house for sale. It was crucial because even I didn’t see some of the more customized features that spoke more about my taste and lifestyle rather than what typical buyers are seeking. For example, I had this blue painted wall in the dining room that I needed to neutralize, but for some reason even I struggled with the idea of repainting it.
5. Take it personally. You have to surrender to the idea that your property is no longer yours, and when you begin to look as your property as a product, you will realize that all your personal objects aren’t enhancing the value of the product you are selling. Anything that doesn’t enhance the value of the property are items that we wouldn’t be staging with anyways, so it’s a great time to pack them away. These items include:
- Personal photos: Anything with eyeballs basically. Reason? If it has eyes, it basically commands you to look back at it, and if you’re too busy looking at the people in the photos (which you aren’t going to be buying) you aren’t focused on the property (which you are buying)
- Diplomas or anything with your name printed on it: Those personal items clearly say “mine” and it doesn’t convince buyers that you are ready to sell your property. Diplomas and bills reveal information like your occupation or how many TVs or fish aquariums you have running in the property. That information is inconsequential and unnecessary for buyers to know in order for them to be interested in the property.
Check out Kevin’s other articles in the series: