Whether its hiring a professional or following a few simple tips on your own, staging a property can actually increase your profit when it comes time to sell. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.
From the outside, Hudson Hill Condominium is far from complete. But beyond the construction, one of the 67 units is ready for its close up. With people less likely to buy off floorplans, Alchemy Properties hired a stager to create a clean, contemporary model apartment.
"We wanted to complete the unit and put the furnishings in to tell people what the units could be," said Kenneth Horn, Alchemy Properties.
According to Jill Vegas of Jill Vegas Staging, that's exactly the point.
"Staging is the process of making a property look its best. Creating a lifestyle experience so that when the buyer walks in the front door, they see that, they feel that, they fall in love," said Vegas.
A stager can do one of two things -- bring a vacant space to life with furniture and accessories, or work with a homeowner to enhance their environment. And by enhance, they often mean de-clutter from the bottom of your closet to the cereal boxes on top of your fridge.
"When a buyer walks into a home they need to envision themselves living there and they can't if there's too much clutter. If there's not enough space, if there's knickknacks everywhere," said Donna Dazzo, Designed to Appeal.
One of the most important items to remove when you de-clutter are family photos. While I might like to see the smiling faces of my nephews, their picture makes it difficult for buyers to picture themselves in the apartment.
"It's not your home anymore. It's a product on the market. Clutter eats equity. The more you can get rid of the better you're maximizing your property value," said Vegas.
Next step is to clean. Vegas recommends hiring a professional to make your apartment as spotless as a five star hotel.
"You do not see hair in the bathtub at the four seasons. Nobody wants to see that," said Vegas.
And then there's color. Light-colored walls make rooms appear bigger and brighter. Neutral décor helps the property appeal to a broader audience.
"We don't have anything that's bright orange, bright blue, pink, purple or polka dots," said Horn.
Hiring a stager can cost anywhere from a few hundred bucks for a consultation to thousands of dollars to fill a vacant space. But even in spite of the economy, stagers say, the current market conditions have them busier than ever.
"Sellers need to look at this as an investment in selling their home and not an expense," said Dazzo.
"This is about selling your property for the maximum price," said Vegas.