As the saying goes, first impressions are everything. The same holds true when selling your home. Staging can be the difference between boring and breathtaking. It highlights your home’s best features and helps minimize any drawbacks. You want buyers to visualize themselves and their stuff in the house. This is especially important if it is not occupied. Studies show staged homes typically sell faster (and for more money) than empty homes.
Your real estate agent can help you make objective decisions or help you hire a professional stager to take the pressure off of you.
Keep It Neutral
Everything for colors to scents should be kept neutral. This allows buyers to see view the house as a blank canvas that they can make their own. A bright red accent wall and a can of glade might be your preference but can be distracting and even off putting to someone who has different tastes.
- Paint over bold wall paint with more neutral colors to appeal to a larger audience of buyers.
- If you use scented oil diffusers keep scents cohesive throughout the house or remove them all together.
- Remove religious or political items that potential buyers might not agree with.
Less Is More
Clear the clutter! While you may not think of family photographs or books and trinkets as clutter, a prospective buyer might. Also too many personal items will make it hard for prospective buyers to think of the house as their home. And remember their are stranger touring the house and you may not want family photos on display. Once your home is staged, it may not feel as functional or personal, but it will do a better job of showcasing the space for buyers.
- Keep counters clear of clutter; remove fridge magnets, toothbrush holders, and anything else that can be distracting to the eye.
- Store any unnecessary objects and personal items (off-site if possible).
- Clean up closets, cabinets, and other built-ins to make spaces look larger and more organized.
Let There Be Light
Another important element is the lighting. Bright, well-lit houses seem more spacious and cheerful. During the day, all the curtains and drapes should be open. If the view is unappealing, use sheer window covers to let light in but mask the view. Another way to brighten up your home is to turn on all the lights, even during the day. And don't forget about hallways, closets and stairways—they too need their share of light.
- Well-lit homes are more inviting; the right lighting also makes rooms appear more spacious.
- Softer light is more inviting and less sterile.
- Natural light is best.
Feels Like Home
You don’t want to remove all the personality from your home; rather you want to showcase the space in the best possible light while making it feel welcome and comfortable. Staging is especially important if the home is not occupied because an empty home has a difficult time communicating its potential to prospective buyers.
- Go through your home room-by-room and make changes holistically for each space.
- Group furniture in a way to make rooms feel more spacious.
- Look for opportunities to repurpose or reorganize spaces into usable rooms (i.e., convert storage space into an exercise studio).
- Replace old curtains, cushions, and area rugs (you can find inexpensive replacements at discount stores and thrift shops).