Staging brings out the best version of a home.
As a real estate photographer, your job is to capture the best version of a home through your images. You're going to want to make your photos speak to potential buyers and convince them that buying the house is the right choice for them.
But regardless of what equipment you use, what techniques you use, and how skilled you are, you won't be able to convince potential buyers if you photograph homes that you haven't staged. Today, we're going to discuss what staging is, why it matters, and how you can get it done. Check out our guide below.
What Is Staging?
If you want to sell a home for the best price as quickly as possible, you're going to need to stage the house before uploading any photographs to listings.
Staging a home ensures that buyers see the household in its best light. Remember, photos online will leave first impressions on potential buyers. And in an industry where first impressions can make or break a sale, it's easy to see how necessary staging is.
Staging is essentially the process of decluttering, updating furniture, and getting rid of personal items in a home. Staging allows potential buyers to see the potential of a space and visualize how they can make a home their own.
What Are the Benefits of Staging?.
1. Sell the Property Faster
The price of a home plummets the longer it stays on the market. Fortunately, staged households spend 72% less time on the market, according to a Real Estate Staging Association study.
You can increase the chances of a property selling quickly if you stage a home before listing the property.
To reiterate the point made earlier, staging a home presents it in the best possible light. And of course, potential buyers are always more likely to make an offer on an attractive home.
2. Help Buyers Visualize
Everyone's on the internet nowadays, and buyers are actively looking for listings on the web. Some of the things potential buyers pay most attention to on online listings are the photos you take.
By uploading photos of staged homes, you help potential buyers visualize their future living in the home. You help people see themselves living in that particular home. When buyers are looking for a home, they want to visualize the property as a suitable fit for their family.
Nearly 80% of buyers claim that staging a home made it easier for them to visualize the listing as a potential future home, according to a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors.
Helping potential buyers visualize is one of the reasons why homes are staged with neutral decor. Unusual wallpaper and risqué accessories may have been fine for the previous homeowners, but the decor should be neutral when selling a property and should appeal to the masses.
When staging a home, you’re essentially removing traces of the previous owner so that a new potential owner can easily visualize themselves in the home.
3. Sell at a Higher Price
According to the National Association of Realtors, staging increases offering prices by 1$ to 5% compared to homes that aren’t staged. Notably, only a mere 1% of surveyed realtors claim that staging had a negative impact on offering price. With not much to lose and a lot to potentially gain, it’s safe to say that staging is worth the time, money, and effort.
4. Focus on Key Spaces
According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, not all rooms in a home are equal when it comes to staging. Forty-seven percent of realtors claim that seeing a staged living room is vital for potential buyers. On the other hand, only 19% of realtors say the same for bathrooms, and only 8% say the same for guest bedrooms.
Sellers only have limited resources to put towards staging. There isn't an unlimited budget to spend on furniture and lighting. Knowing what rooms are most important to potential buyers allows you to prioritize spaces and concentrate your efforts on the areas that matter most.
Since potential buyers consider living rooms the most important spaces, you can focus your effort on staging the living room and taking outstanding photographs of the space. You can then avoid wasting time on rooms that don't matter too much, such as guest bedrooms.
How Do I Stage a Home?
Clutter presents two significant problems in homes that are for sale. First, clutter distracts buyers from a home's features. Second, clutter makes the home look as if it doesn't have enough storage space. So, get started with staging by putting away knick-knacks.
Bear in mind that potential buyers will also be interested in a home's closet space. So, merely tossing everything into a closet to hide it away may not be the best course of action. Box up what isn't needed.
As we mentioned earlier, potential buyers need to be able to visualize themselves in the home. So, you’ll need to remove family photos and refrigerator art before setting up for photoshoots. Additionally, be sure to put away any toys and similar items.
3. Remove Foul Scents
A whole host of things can make a home smell. Pets, kids, last night's dinner, a mildew-covered bathroom all contribute to the home's smell. The homeowners are probably immune to the foul scents because they've lived in the property for so long. So, it's your job to find any foul odors and work with the homeowners to get rid of these scents.
It's not likely that potential buyers will like whatever wallpaper the previous owners had set up. So, the best bet is to tear down any wallpaper and paint the walls instead. Don't paint over wallpaper. The result will look shabby and will send red flags to the buyer about all the work they'll have to do to about it later on.
The paint you use should be warm, neutral colors that appeal to the masses. The hue should also project the homey image you’re trying to convey.
This should go without saying, but you should take advantage of a home's natural light. Natural light will make all photos you take look significantly better. Open all curtains and blinds before taking any pictures and add supplemental lighting if needed.
Make sure furniture is the right size for the room. Also, make sure rooms aren’t cluttered with too much furniture. Furniture that’s too large will make a room look tiny. On the other hand, furniture that’s too small can make a room feel cold. And this will show in your photographs.
Although staging is optional, it really shouldn’t be. If you want a listing to sell faster, you’re going to need to show potential buyers through your photography that a home is attractive and would be a joy to live in.
But before you even think about going room to room to take photographs, you’re going to need to stage the home. With the tips above, staging will be a breeze for you.