Occupied home staging can yield some of the best returns on investment (ROIs) when selling one’s home. Studies have shown that staging of any kind can increase the speed and asking price of the sale - a great ROI. Occupied staging further improves the ROI of staging, as one saves on rental, storage and vacating costs.
However, occupied staging must be done properly in order to reap the benefits. There is a fine line between occupied staging and simply showing an occupied home. The difference between the two often lies in consulting a staging expert. Below are seven mistakes that are easily made when it comes to occupied home staging; avoid them with the help of a consultant!
1. Design Is too Personal
One key to staging is allowing potential buyers to see themselves living in your home. As a result, design should remain neutral and personal items should not be visible.
A consultant can help determine proper decor and identify personal effects that should be removed. For example, bold wall paint colors should be replaced with neutral tones, family portraits should be removed, and your mail, medicines and valuables should be put away.
2. Design Does Not Speak to Target Audience
Although design should be neutral, it should speak to the target audience. What do we mean by that? Well, a home is often designed for specific scenarios, and a neighborhood often attracts certain demographics.
For example, one’s home could be an apartment in the city that attracts young professionals, or a four-bedroom home in a neighborhood that draws families. Your ideal buyer wants to easily imagine themselves living in the home. A consultant can help identify this target audience and add design touches that can appeal to the demographic’s tastes.
3. Rooms Are Used for Unintended Purposes
Since it should be easy for prospective buyers to see themselves in a home, rooms should be used for their intended purpose. For example, a master bedroom should not be used as a children’s playroom. (And an empty bedroom should not be used as a craft or storage room). An experienced consultant will identify these areas of the house and design accordingly.
4. Furniture Does Not Suit Room
An advantage of occupied home staging is that you can use your own furniture. However, you have to be careful. Is the furniture arranged in a way that best showcases the space? Is it practical and neutrally designed? A consultant can help identify furniture pieces that will be suitable for staging, how to arrange the pieces and recommend rental items to bring out the best in the room.
5. Storage Is Unattractive and/or Reveals Personal Items
Since you’ll live in the home during occupied staging, you’ll obviously have some personal items in the house. However, these items should be properly organized and stored. One should assume prospective buyers will examine storage spaces (closets and inside kitchen cabinets). A consultant can recommend ways to organize personal items in a way that is attractive and impersonal, yet functional.
6. House Lacks Fresh Touches
“Freshness” is an essential attractive feature of a house. This feature can be in the form of cleanliness, bright, natural lighting and/or finishing touches like a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen table. A consultant can help you prepare your home and add fresh touches to make your home as appealing as possible.
7. Not Consulting a Staging Expert
It’s almost impossible to be objective about your own home Trying to stage one’s own home while living in it without the help of a consultant can decrease or eliminate the ROI of occupied staging. Consulting an expert can save time, costly mistakes and maximize one’s ROI – resulting in a better sale!
To take advantage of the ROI of occupied staging without the risk and frustration of simply showing an “occupied home,” contact Nancy Safran, owner-operator of Show House Home Staging. We’ll help facilitate a frictionless process and help you get the highest ROI for your sale!