Nearly every real estate professional agrees that proper staging can make a huge difference in both the sales price of a home and the amount of time that it remains on the market. However, in a busy market with sellers who may have limited time and resources, how are sellers supposed to know which rooms are most important to highlight to potential buyers?
A new report released by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) has some very enlightening results to report on which rooms are critical to emphasize. In the NAR’s most recent 2015 Profile of Home Staging, 49 percent of respondents believed that staging made a major impact on the decisions made by their buyers, while 37 percent believed that staging helped increase the purchase amount that potential buyers were willing to offer.
Even more revealing is the order of importance of specific rooms to highlight for potential buyers. Let’s examine the top five rooms that buyers want to see.
- The Living Room. This is the centerpiece of most homes and provides the clearest emotional connection, especially to families with children. Living rooms can best be highlighted by using brightly colored accents, using plants to allow the space to breathe, and arranging furniture in vignettes that elicit feelings of connectivity and togetherness.
- The Kitchen. Kitchens are often the priciest room in a home with some ambitious cooks spending up to $150,000 on remodeling. Use knickknacks in odd groupings as well as carefully curated highlights such as an open cookbook, or bottles of oil or wine to make the space appear warm, clean and appealing.
- The Master Bedroom. Buyers are attracted to master bedrooms that appear spacious, calm, neat and elegant. For home staging, the master bedroom should be made to feel as if it is a suite in a luxury hotel, equipped with high-end accoutrements and no personal items. Neutral colors and a couple of nicely framed pieces of tasteful artwork can also help buyers see themselves in this space.
- The Dining Room. Dining rooms are tricky, because some are cozy spaces more akin to breakfast nooks while others are chandelier-clad dining halls at which to gather your clan. Stage the space appropriately to its mood and use flowers and subtle accents to draw buyers’ eyes to a focal point in the room.
- The Bathroom. Believe it or not, staging the bathroom goes beyond simply ensuring that the bathroom is professional-level clean. The effect you want to produce is that of a spa-like experience. Contrasting materials, tranquil colors and Asian accents can all help you transform the mood of any bathroom.
Finally, you will also want to pay attention to children’s bedrooms and any guest bedrooms to ensure that they are equally warm and welcoming to potential buyers. By focusing on the most important rooms in your home, you will be well on your way to highlighting the home’s strengths, downplaying its weaknesses and helping it appeal to the broadest possible pool of potential buyers.