When it comes to staging a home for sale, it’s important that sellers create an inviting atmosphere that will appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. Today, due to historically low interest rates and government incentives such as raising the Home Buyer Plan maximum to $25,000, first-time buyers account for a substantial portion of Canada’s home buying prospects. The good news is, sellers looking to attract this coveted demographic group don’t need to do a complete design overhaul. Staging a home for first-time homebuyers is easier than you may think.
Below are seven simple staging tips from Coldwell Banker to help boost a home’s appeal and give owners the competitive edge necessary when selling a home.
- Stage rooms with one purpose. Extra rooms that have a jumble of mixed uses can confuse and even deter first-time homebuyers. Staging rooms with one purpose is vital. Keep in mind that these buyers are generally young couples with few or no children, so rooms should be presented as areas well equipped to meet their current needs. So turn those playrooms into dens, storage rooms into a home office or the second kids’ bedroom into a guest room.
- Tackle the easy “do-it-yourself” projects. In a recent Coldwell Banker survey, 81 percent of brokers said today’s first-time home buyers consider move-in conditions to be very important when searching for homes. To ensure that a home is in tip top shape, make sure to replace outdated kitchen and bathroom fixtures, apply a fresh coat of paint to a worn wall and refinish the kitchen cabinets. Providing a sleek and modern look wherever possible can make a huge difference in the eyes of first-time homebuyers.
- Be informed about current style trends: Ask your local Coldwell Banker sales representative about the styles seen in homes that are selling in the area, and purchase a current interior design magazine for ideas.
- Focus on the living areas. A living roomis an area in which potential first-time buyers should be able to envision themselves entertaining friends or gathering with their family. With that in mind, homeowners should make the area appear as large and functional as possible by removing any unnecessary furniture and decorations.
- Make sure the master bedroom appeals to both sexes. The master bedroom of a couple’s first home is often the first bedroom they will share. When staging this room, make sure that it appeals to buyers of both sexes. Remove any feature that seems too gender-specific and paint the walls a neutral colour.
- Clear the room of family portraits. First-time homebuyers are looking for a home they can picture their family living in, not the previous owners. Coldwell Banker recommends taking down family portraits, personal collections and knickknacks. Removing these items will also eliminate clutter and ensure that people are looking at the house for sale, not at the photos from the last family vacation.
- Don’t forget to spruce up the yard. First impressions often play a role in a consumer’s decision-making process. In fact, 21 percent of participants in a recent Coldwell Banker survey knew their home was the one for them before even walking inside. Make sure the home’s exterior is inviting by trimming the bushes, mowing the lawn and painting faded window trim. Couples looking for their first home often have less yard work under their belts and will appreciate the seller’s attention to detail.