For many, the living room is the heart of the home. It symbolizes togetherness, quality time spent with our inner circle of friends and family, and a place where people most often start the search for their next home. As a real estate agent, you should pay close attention when going through living room staging ideas since its importance is that huge. Each corner of the home matters when selling, but if buyers are not “sold” on the living room – the deal is probably off.
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How Important Is Living Room Staging?
First, we will discuss the effects of home staging from a buyer’s agents perspective.
- 40% of them said that staging the home before showcasing it had an effect on the buyer’s opinion about the home. And just 6% said that staging the living room or any other room in the home had little to no effect on the final decision.
- 83% of agents said that buyers could visualize their future easily in a staged home
- 38% of buyers would see a home that was previously shown online
- 37% of buyers’ agents stated that staged homes meant increased value of the property
As for which rooms needed most attention when staging, you can imagine that the living room came first. Here are the details.
- 47% of buyers’ agents said that the living room was most important for them to see completely staged
- 42% said that the master bedroom was their first room of choice to see staged
- 35% thought that the kitchen was the most important room to see when buying their future home.
- Most buyers’ agents agree that the guest bedroom should be last on the list of rooms worth staging when selling a home
Next comes the sellers’ agents point of view when it comes to staging the home before putting it on the market.
- 28% of agents representing sellers said that they staged all homes they have worked with before listing them
- 13% stated that they only relied on staging if the home was in a difficult-to-sell shape
- 45% did not stage the entire home listed for sale, but did suggest decluttering and tidying the place up (and even fixing property damage if necessary)
Next come the rooms. How agents representing sellers see the importance of room staging before putting the home up for sale. Let’s see the details.
- Staggering 93% of sellers’ agents agree that the living room should be a priority when staging the home
- 84% agree that the kitchen is the one that needs staging
- 78% of these agents state that the master bedroom is most important
- 28% think that the guest bedroom needs proper attention when staging the home for sale
From the above mentioned statistic we can conclude that regardless of who the realtor agents represent (be it a buyer or a seller) they all agree that the living room should come as a high priority when thinking where to begin in the room staging process.
Whether you are dealing with staging a small living room, or maybe you are staging a living room with a fireplace and a tad bigger space, it is important to know that taking care of this part can help you both sell a home faster, or find your clients’ dream home in no time.
After covering the importance, next come the designs. How has time treated living room designs, and which are the trends that every real estate agent needs to consider when preparing the living room for a showcase. Let’s dive in.
A Walk Down Memory Lane: The Living Room Designs of the Past
No matter how big a home is, be it a studio or a huge space – the living room still remains the heart of the home. And this is not a new thing. The living room had the significance it enjoys today way back, and it has kept its central role for quite some time now. However, it did not look the same. Here is a little walk down memory lane as we explore the evolution of the American living room. Enjoy!
The 60s: Sunken Living Rooms. This is a time when bringing people together was a priority, and sunken living rooms provided the perfect place for that. It was a comfy place where people can descend into conversation that would last for hours. And the living room furniture layout would be faced towards the TV. Colored TV was a new and exciting thing in that time period, so people integrated the TV as a focal point of the living room.
The 70s: Natural Hues. Most living rooms in the 70s featured muted, natural, earthy tones and textures. Besides that, another big thing from this period is the coordinated seating sets. Today it may be seen as too matchy-matchy if armchairs and sofas have the same fabric and design. But in the 70s this was something people strived to own.
The 80s: Luxe Living Rooms. The natural materials and shades from the 70s were replaced with modern materials like brass, glass and shiny finishes. Unusual sculptural forms of the furniture pieces was a sign of luxury, and TV stands got curvier, more stylized and bolder. They still remained the focal point in the 80s too.
The 90s: Sleek and Spacious. After the more adventurous 70s and 80s, the 90s offer the first signs of a more minimalist charm. The vibrant colors of the 80s are again replaced with more muted and simple tones and styles. Nature was again popular, and in the 90s more living rooms featured wood and wicker as most popular materials. Additionally, the 90s was the time when the open-floor concept came to life. The living room, dining room and kitchen slowly began to merge into one then known as “great room”.
The 2000s: Modern Marvel. The new century brought changes. Interior trends started evolving, and people were now starting to mix modern brands with kind-of antique pieces. Recliner chairs, wide-screen TVs, and furniture pieces that did not match perfectly. The new era was here, and it was visible through the different interior design as well. It was chic, modern, and trendy.
The 2010s: Small Space Dwelling. This is the time when people realized that even smaller living rooms can still have charm and trend if designed correctly. People migrated to bigger cities where smaller apartments are a thing, and smaller living rooms too. That is why homeowners turned to decluttered living room designs, with as much storage furniture as possible. White and nude pallets for the walls to help shine slight on the seamless furniture pieces and decorative accessories.
The 2020s: What Comes Next? Since we live in a time when people work from home, more and more living rooms across the world have double “duties” – they are a workspace and an entertainment space as well. Students learn from home, parents work from home, and at the end of the day they all need that same room to unwind, spend time together and have a laugh. That is why divider screens and shelving units are on the rise of popularity.
Living Room Staging Ideas That Spark Interest
As we have seen from history, and today it is definitely still true – the living room is the place where people actually “live”. So, agents may wonder, what makes a living room spectacular? What follows is a real estate agent’s type-of guide as to what makes a so-so living room, into one buyer’s can picture themselves living in instantly.
A Flexible Layout
Successful real estate agents agree that for a living room to be considered as ideal it needs to be able to change and grow with the buyers. Moreover, an ideal living room does not have any pieces that mess with the flow of the space. You need to be able to utilize the space completely, without any pieces or decorations getting in the way. Even if the space is limited and you need to think of small living room staging ideas – concentrate on flow either way.
It Has Enough Space for “Zones”
What most people do is place the TV on the largest wall space in the room, and arrange the rest of the furniture pieces around it. This does not need to be the case every time you design a living room. Namely, if the room allows it, you can create conversation zones (more than one) and people will be able to have more conversations in one room without yelling or interrupting each other. There are numerous living room staging ideas that allow for this to be possible.
The Room Should Not Be a “Perfect” Square
If possible, of course. Let’s take an L shaped living room for instance. Not being the perfect square shape allows for more space that can be used as an eating area, or as a reading nook that can add a beautiful charm to the living room. If a room escapes from that overused rectangular shape, it offers more complexity, and you can use that for including more innovative design ideas.
Add Some Architectural Character
Beamed ceiling, a fireplace (real or decorative), or exposed brick can all create a hard-to-forget living room that will help buyers make a decision to buy much faster. Other details that can help create architectural character and charm are built-ins. It can be a bookcase, china cabinets, or maybe some window casements which you can later decorate.
Virtual Staging: A Tool to Help Design the Ideal Living Room
Once you get all the necessary information about how to stage a living room you may find yourself in a difficult situation since not all living rooms allow for changes and design options that you planned. Here is when virtual staging comes into the picture. When staging a living room for sale with the help from a professional virtual stager, you will get a photorealistic image of the room (real size) designed as you see fit. You can utilize all the furniture pieces you like, you can add wall décor, window treatments, and carpets or rugs as well. The options this tool offers are almost endless, and you can get the end-result in just a couple of days.
Another reason why virtual staging can help you make a faster sale is the fact that you can explore thousands of living room staging ideas, and still save time and effort after all the work is done. You won’t have to replace any existing furniture in the home you are selling, and you won’t have to spend money on renting new pieces and hiring staff to move it all around. Plus, the cost of staging the home virtually is much cheaper than doing it traditionally. So it is cost-effective as well.
We all know that today people spend most of their time shopping online, and it is not that different when searching for their new home as well. People start on the Internet. They look through the virtually staged homes put on the online market, they look though the living room staging ideas found online too, they create an idea of what the place offers and its potential, and then they call you, the agent, and ask to see the place and later make a deal if they like it.
A Few Final Words to Wrap Up
Both agents representing buyers and sellers agree that the living room is the most important room when it comes to selling a home. It needs to be properly staged in order to allow potential buyers to see themselves living there, creating memories with their closest ones, and a place where, if they need to, they can work too.
One of the most effective ways to make a quick sale is to virtually stage the living room. An effective technique is to allow the buyer to see the full potential of what the room can offer, and what the room can look like if they decide to purchase. Virtual staging helps make this vision a type of reality.