It takes several steps in the selling process just to get a buyer in your home. Once you do, the flow and feel of your home makes a big difference. Follow these home staging tips that will have buyers falling in love and making offers.
The first step is to remove everything that doesn’t need to be there. It’s worth it to rent a storage unit and move some of your things. Buyers don’t want to see personalized collections and too much furniture. Empty wall space is ok – just not too much – but a room will feel closed in if there’s too much on or against the walls and in the middle of the room.
2) Deep Clean
And we mean DEEP clean – floors, walls, baseboards, closets – all those places that don’t get cleaned as often (or maybe ever). This goes a long way to show a buyer that the home is taken care of. It also contributes to a fresh smell – something we’ll talk about in a minute. A buyer will quickly be turned off by dog hair stuck to the baseboards or dirty walls.
3) Make It Bright
Most homes have a spot or two that don’t get enough light. Open the blinds and let the light in – replace all the bulbs that are out – add a table or floor lamp in a dark area. Just don’t go overboard. You want a well-lit feel without making it painfully bright. Also, install bulbs with warmer colors as opposed to blue tints.
Visitors to Disney World are transported to a place of fantasy and magic. Disney works hard to make you forget the outside world by removing those things you encounter outside their property – and it works.
Your goal when staging for showings is to give potential buyers the ability to fall in love. To do that, you help them forget about you and, in that moment, see themselves as owner. Remove personal photos and anything that ties the home back to you.
5) Know Your Area
If you are selling a home in a 55+ community, you’ll want to stage differently than in a condo near a college campus. Be thoughtful about who your potential buyers might be and fit the style to that taste.
6) Show a Use For Every Room
Buyers can’t imagine a room differently than the way it’s presented, most of the time. If you leave a room furnished as part office, part spare bedroom, part hobby room – it will throw them off. Don’t make it ambiguous – commit to a use for every room and stage it accordingly.
7) Use Nice Bed Treatments
Cheap comforters and/or empty bed frames should be avoided at all costs. A substantial, multi-layered bed treatment that fits the style of the room will speak to a potential buyer. It says, “come sleep here and you’ll be more comfortable than you’ve ever been…I promise” – instead of, “come sleep here and you better have a good chiropractor”.
It’s a psychological and emotional affect. The bedroom is a personal and intimate place, so make it feel like a peaceful retreat.
8) Make It Smell Nice
If not the most important, smell is one of the important parts of staging. When walking into a home, the smell will hit you immediately. A bad smell hints at other hidden, unwanted surprises and can ruin a potential sale.
Smell starts with cleanliness. You must deep clean to truly make your home smell consistently pleasant. Slight, pleasing air fresheners are ok, but avoid strong potpourri or fake smelling perfume odorizers.
9) Arrange Furniture to Maximize Flow
To maximize each space, furniture must be arranged with the flow of the room. Avoid cutting off walkways and arrange sitting areas in a logical way. A room should appear functional or it will seem off. Chairs and couches should be arranged to allow conversations. If they are opposite sides of the room or not facing a direction that makes sense, it will disrupt the overall feel.
10) Choose Neutral Paint Colors
Now is not the time to express your eclectic side. Paint colors should be neutral, but sophisticated. Combine clean, white trim with a nice, neutral wall color to impress buyers. Occasional accent walls can be a nice touch if it matches the wall color and decor.
11) Stage the Outdoors
It can be easy to overlook the outdoor spaces, but that would be a mistake. A neatly and smartly decorated patio can be that extra enticement that seals the deal. Show the buyer what is so great about the areas around the outside of your home and the type of lifestyle they provide.
12) Tell a Story
Preparing a home with smart staging is, ultimately, storytelling.
Show the buyer that they can spend time cooking a gourmet meal in the kitchen before they sit down at the beautiful dining room table to share it with family. After dinner, they can retreat to the living area and curl up on the couch with some popcorn and watch a movie on the wall-mounted TV.
On a fall evening, the patio offers relaxing seating around the fireplace. Enjoy the company of friends while roasting smores by the light of Edison bulbs hanging around your outdoor space.
Everything you do should push the narrative of the lifestyle your home offers.