In any real estate market, San Francisco included, selling a home quickly and effectively comes down to two things. First, the home must be priced to sell. Second, the home must motivate buyers to submit an offer.
Pricing your home largely comes down to a comparison of other recently sold listings in the area. Sites like Zillow even provide an estimation of value with just a simple search. Of course, the best San Francisco listing agents will consider many additional layers of strategy on top of that ballpark market analysis. They might even net you an extra 5 or 10 or 15% (a great achievement), but in most cases the estimated range is still within the same ballpark.
The second factor, motivating buyers, is less clear-cut. How do you maximize your home’s appeal? How do you cater to the type of buyers who are actively looking in your neighborhood? Who are they, anyways, and what do they like? Add to this the unfortunate fact that not everyone has a designer’s touch.
Well, that’s where we come in. At Danielle Lazier Real Estate, we have decades of experience in preparing and staging homes to squeeze out every possible penny from your transaction. We work with expert design professionals to handle all the logistics and minimize your stress throughout the process.
Today, we’re diving into some concepts that we consider when preparing a San Francisco home for sale. In particular, these 10 basic staging tips reflect the Feng Shui principles that so many home buyers enjoy. Read on for 10 Feng Shui home staging tips!
1. Declutter or Move Out Entirely
One of the most important things you can do before staging your home is significantly decluttering and minimizing your possessions. If possible, we highly recommend moving out of the house. The less your presence is felt in the house, the easier it will be for prospective buyers to picture themselves living there. Not to mention it makes showings easier, with less involvement required from you, the seller.
If you can’t move out yet, we recommend renting a storage unit to store your things until you are able to move it into your new residence. One of the most essential Feng Shui tips to sell a house is to “depersonalize it.” Remove things like personal photos, certifications, awards, niche decor like religious or sports-related items, eccentric colors, and so on.
Neutralize your home for maximum appeal. That’s Feng Shui, and it’s good practice for real estate.
2. Take Care of Any Aesthetic Repairs and Updates
Next, you should plan to invest a little money in perfecting your home’s aesthetics. Don’t worry, we’re not talking about complete renovations, just small things that make a big difference.
For example, replace old cabinet hardware like drawer pulls and handles for a more modern look. You can also update light fixtures, doorknobs, and anything else that makes the home feel out-of-date.
Finally, make sure you take care of any superficial repairs, such as damaged trim, drywall, doors, weatherstripping, etc. The future buyer will know they’re in a home that’s cared-for and move-in ready.
3. Thoroughly Clean the House
The Feng Shui-minded buyer will be completely turned off if they walk into a dirty home. Wouldn’t you be too? So, after the decluttering process and updates are complete, make sure to spend adequate time and elbow grease and give your house a thorough, deep cleaning.
If you don’t have the time or abilities it takes to really dig in and do the job right, it’s very worthwhile to invest in a professional cleaning service. An ultra-clean home conveys a message of care, which buyers may presume extends to the rest of your tenure as homeowner. People want a home that has been well maintained, and bad smells or sights are a telltale sign of poor maintenance. Don’t let a simple lack of cleanliness scuttle your home sale!
4. Consider Hiring a Professional Home Stager
The numbers don’t lie. Staged homes sell as much as 87% faster than non-staged homes. Yes, it costs some extra cash, but it pays to present a beautiful, manicured space to prospective buyers.
To properly stage a home, it takes a designer’s eye and quality decor. If you have old, beat-up furniture, for example, staging your home won’t have the desired effect. You may love your old chair with well-worn indentations that perfectly conform to your shape, but that’s not doing anything for prospective buyers. Rule #1 of preparing a home for sale is putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes.
If you do have newer furniture and an keen eye for interior design, you may be able to save some dough and DIY the project. But for most folks, it’s often best to move out your things and let a professional home stager have their run of the place. Experience is key, and a full-time professional stager knows just how to appeal to the broadest range of buyers.
5. Perfect Your Curb Appeal
Whether it’s love at first sight or something less nice, first impressions matter. When a potential buyer pulls up to your home, their first impression is influenced by your home’s curb appeal, or what your home looks like from the street. Remember, the principles of good design and Feng Shui are just as important for your home’s exterior as the interior!
When they pull up to your home, buyers get the experience of coming home from work or activities, greeted by the view of your home’s facade and exterior space. What they see on the outside will inevitably color the way they see the rest, even in subtle and subconscious ways.
So, if your home’s exterior paint is fading or peeling, it’s time to add a new coat. If your yard is overgrown, it’s time for some yard care. Do everything you can to make the exterior of your home as inviting as possible. These simple cosmetic improvements are well worth the investment.
6. A Fresh Coat of Paint Goes a Long Way
Painting is one of the easiest steps in the home selling preparation process that will definitely boost your Feng Shui. First, a fresh coat of paint makes everything feel nicer, newer, crisp and clean. Take advantage of this relatively easy and inexpensive project to increase your home’s aesthetics.
With a steady hand, you can do it yourself. However, a professional painter will likely get more uniform results, and big spaces can take a good bit of time and effort. Consider whether you’d prefer to save time or money when making your decision.
When choosing your paint, it’s critical to keep the color tones neutral to appeal to a wider audience of buyers. Replace any vibrant or loud colors that don’t hold mass appeal (even if you love them, it’s about your target buyers!). Make sure you touch up painted trim pieces as well to make them pop.
7. Keep Things Open
One of the most important Feng Shui tips to stage your home is to make it feel open and spacious. Prospective buyers want to feel the flow of the house from one room to the next. Don’t set up furniture in a cluttered fashion, such that it blocks pathways or cuts off this essential flow through the space.
Additionally, don’t back furniture all the way up against the walls. Though it may seem like it adds more space, having the furniture at least one foot off the wall will make the room feel more open and inviting. There’s no need to maximize an unnatural dead space in the middle of the room.
8. Incorporate Houseplants
One of the best things you can do when staging your home is fill it with lively green plantlife. The presence of indoor plants has been shown to make people feel better. Not only do plants aesthetically liven up a room, but they’ve also been linked to better focus, productivity, and moods.
9. Maximize Natural Light
Next, remember that lighting is ever-important. A dim or dark room feels closed-off, cold, and somewhat depressing. Therefore, to stage your home for maximum buyer interest, ensure that every area of your home has adequate lighting.
We recommend letting in as much natural light as possible from your windows and any glass doors. In rooms with limited natural light, try bright, warm light bulbs to liven up the vibe. If a room’s overhead lighting is poor, you can always use lamps to make up the difference.
10. Create an Amazing Buyer Experience
Finally, learning how to stage your home means assuming a buyer’s perspective for all their senses. As a buyer walks through your home, they aren’t just looking at it — they’re also smelling, touching and hearing.
Hopefully by now, you’ve cleaned up any odor-producing waste or spills as described in step three. This means making sure there are no pet smells or any other unpleasant odors lingering around. Many home sellers light a candle or bake cookies to enhance the homey feeling, but not everyone likes the same scents, so don’t go overboard.
To further stimulate the senses, soft music can be played in the background: jazz, classical, or other unintrusive styles are best.
Want More Advice on How to Sell and Stage Your Home?
Are you looking to sell your San Francisco home? If so, it’s helpful to know what to expect and how to maximize your investment. Even moreso, it also helps if you have the best real estate listing agent in San Francisco. At Danielle Lazier Real Estate, we are expert marketers with a proven track record of preparing San Francisco real estate to net the best return.
Fill out our seller’s worksheet to start the no-pressure conversation and tell us more about your situation. We can help expertly price your home and work with you throughout the entire home selling process. Questions about San Francisco real estate? Contact us today and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.