Real Estate 101: Staging & Photography

We hope our Real Estate 101 blog series has been helpful for you in your buying or selling journey. One of our ultimate goals is that our resources educate and empower you in your real estate ventures, no matter what your next step looks like. We’re pulling in two of our leaders, Robin Woodall and Stacey Richardson, to share the importance of staging and photography in the home selling process. 

gif of Chip Gaines on demo day

What is staging, and why is it important? 

According to Dave Ramsey, “Home staging is an art designed to show off your home in its best light. Professional home stagers understand the current market—from flooring that’ll make buyers swoon to paint colors that can make you money. They can even help maximize each room so that the coziest nook feels downright spacious.”

 

Essentially, “staging” is a term used to describe an intentional effort on the seller’s part to make the home most appealing to a wide range of buyers. No matter if the bones of the home are in prime condition, it is beneficial to take steps to feature the best parts of the property–and eliminate any hindrances–so that buyers can easily imagine it as a home for themselves.

 

Does every seller need to hire a professional stager? 

Just as with many other steps in the selling process, there is no “one size fits all” strategy for staging. The decision to hire a professional stager or to tackle staging on your own is dependent on the following factors:

  •  your budget for costs of putting your home on the market
  • the neighborhood your property is in
  • similar listings [aka comp’s]
  • the real estate market in your community
  • whether or not the home is vacant at the time it goes on the market
  • and more! 

 

 

Basic staging tips for sellers:

1. DECLUTTER & TIDY UP

Clutter hinders sellers from creating a space that buyers can imagine buying and living in. In other words, it distracts from the potential that the property has, but it is also one of the easiest obstacles to tackle before your home goes on the market. This can mean putting unnecessary items in storage or finding creative ways to organize your belongings. Other small actions that make a big impact include making the beds in each bedroom and emptying household trash cans.

a cluttered bedroom and messy kitchen vs. a bright, clean bedroom and kitchen

 

2. SIMPLE, TIMELESS DECOR

This includes but is not limited to fresh flowers on the dining room table or kitchen counter, furniture arranged in a way that makes the space look larger, and wall decor that is not loud or distracting from the space. 

a minimally decorated living room with accent blues and an abstract painting on the wall

 

 

3. NEUTRAL TONES

In some cases, this requires a fresh coat of paint on the interior walls. Neutral interior colors showcase the home’s best features to a wide range of buyers. Loud colors or vibrant patterns can be distractions. Sometimes statement styling or bright colors can even limit the buyers’ vision of the home’s potential.

"before" version of a living room pre-new coat of paint

"after" version of living room post-new coat of paint

 

4. DEEP CLEAN SURFACES & FLOORING 

Hiring professional carpet cleaners, deep cleaning the walls, flooring and floorboards can all make a large impact to brighten up the interiors of your property. This is especially true if there is evidence of pets, smoking, or general wear and tear.

a man deep cleans hard wood flooring

 

 

5. MODERATE SPLASHES OF COLOR 

In moderation, color can be used to help buyers visualize personality in a home. This can be accomplished through simple decor (listed above) such as throw pillows, neatly folded accent towels or blankets, accent rugs in living areas, and more.

a simply decorated dining room showcases the house itself instead of the decorations

 

STATS ABOUT STAGING

various statistics about the values of staging a home to sell

 

Read more from these resources at the links below:

 

What about photography?

“Quality photography oftentimes gets overlooked, but has repeatedly been one of the key factors in sparking the interest of buyers.” – Stacey Richardson

In this digital age, buyers use social media, websites and online databases to view homes that might work for them. Every listing needs some type of online presence to get maximum visibility. It is essential that the digital presence of your property is appealing and not indirectly unattractive. 

 

What makes the difference here are the visuals that are available to potential buyers. High quality photos make great listings look even greater, but low quality photos can actually harm the buyer’s view of your home instead of showing them the best features of the property.

While the first photo (LEFT) shows a portion of this living area, the second photo (RIGHT) displays the amount of space in the living room, brightens the view of the space and showcases the clean, updated carpet, as well as other features.

 

EXTRA! EXTRA! : Videography, Drones & Virtual Tours

“Video footage really adds an element of experience for buyers. Virtual tours give the full spectrum of the property to potential buyers right in the comfort of their own home. It’s the best of both worlds.” – Robin Woodall

Videos, drone footage and virtual tours are all additional assets that can help show buyers the benefits of your property. According to SmartInsights, the average person will spend an estimated 100 minutes every day watching online videos in 2021, a 19% increase from 84 minutes daily in 2019.

 

Additionally, posts containing video content on social platforms are consistently performing better–with more engagements per post and consumer clicks– than posts with static images or no images at all. Social Media Today reports that tweets with video content receive 10 times more engagement than those without and video generates more engagement than any other content type on Instagram. Essentially, video has proven to catch attention and lead to action more than any other content type. It’s what buyers want to see.

 

This virtual tour from one of our 2019 listings is one of our all-time faves!

 

Lastly, having a video or virtual tour is one more digital asset on hand that puts your property a step ahead of the competition. Your agent can easily share with their network and this helps potential buyers easily experience a holistic, first-time look at your property. This is particularly beneficial for cases in which buyers have busier schedules, or any other circumstances that would hinder in-person showings. We’ve also seen the added benefit of video footage as new obstacles have risen for in-person showings such as COVID-19 quarantines.

 

Staging and photography are two aspects of home selling that might seem more costly upfront, but oftentimes the small details are what get homes sold the quickest! This is another reason why having an experienced agent is essential in getting your home sold quickest and for the best purchase price. 

 

Good agents have an eye for the best ways to appeal to buyers in your market. Great agents ensure staging, high quality photography and video or virtual tours give your home the most appealing online presence compared to the competition. 

 

Our team at Broad & Main Real Estate Group has extensive experience in orchestrating home staging, photography, videography and marketing to perfection. Each of our agents operate in neighborhoods and properties of all shapes, sizes and styles. Our goal for each seller is that we give their property the best opportunity possible to find its new owners. 

 

Contact us if you have questions about selling your home! Our philosophy is relationship, and we’d love to start one with you.