Updated: May 21, 2020
You may have heard of home staging and thought it to be the part where you clean your home and place strategic vases of flowers in one or two places. Ready to go, right?
Not even close.
While it is not necessary to add to your expenses by hiring professionals, staging your home is a crucial step when selling your home.
Think about it. You are going to open your home for inspection, viewings and to be photographed. Those photographs are going online. People are going to take their time looking at every aspect of your home, so you’ll want to make sure it is being viewed in the best light possible.
Let’s take you through all the steps.
Look at your home through fresh eyes
The entire point of home staging is to create buyer appeal. You don’t want them to see your story, you want to help them imagine theirs.
To help them do so, decide on a few key factors. Imagine your home without looking as if it was lived in for ages. What are your home’s best features? How can you show those off? A good place to start is by enlisting your realtor for advice, as they have up to date tips and experience in this area.
Now that you have a sense of what you need to accomplish:
Start from the bottom
Inspect your home
Consider enlisting the services of a home inspector. Or if you view yourself as quite the handy person, get your clipboard and pen. You are going to need to critically evaluate the condition of your home. What will need fixing? Where are you able to make improvements? Remember to look at it from a buyer’s perspective.
Although the buyer will bring in their own home inspector, this step leaves you prepared and enables you to minimize counter negotiations. It is always much more cost-effective to address problems yourself than taking a lower offer on your home as a result. Even when the problem is small, it has the potential of putting sellers off.
When it comes to minor improvements, it is worth adding them to the list for the same reason. When things look shiny, new and in good repair, you help buyers focus on buying without complications. Who doesn’t want that?
A fresh coat of paint is always an instant improvement. It adds to the image of your place in a way that makes it feel shiny and new. Our advice here is to choose neutral colors, as buyers’ tastes may vastly differ. At least when neutral colors are shown, they can imagine painting it to their own liking.
It is worth fixing minor chips and scratches on cabinet doors. New handles can make a huge difference to the entire room, not only the cabinets.
You may not feel that your home is cluttered. More ‘lived in’. Don’t fool yourself. Clutter is off-putting, even the kind that you may find comforting. Make sure you give buyers an opportunity to see the space as clean and available for their own homely messes.
Since you are going to have to move, this may be a good time to do a full scale “keep-sell-discard” declutter. Have a yard sale and sell what you don’t need. Throw away what needs to be discarded.
Rent a storage space, pack up and store the rest.
Clean your house like never before!
We are not suggesting your home is dirty, but a fresh pair of eyes will pick up any not-so-squeaky clean spot from a mile away. Hire professional home cleaners, or do a thorough spring clean. Things should be easier now that the clutter is gone!
While you are at it, hire a steam cleaner and clean all your carpets and drapes. The effect will not only be crisp looking, but fresh smelling too.
The fun part
Now is the time to get creative. You will want to create a living space that is neutral, yet inviting. Let’s move some things around!
Furniture and room staging
To make your space look inviting and modern, less is more. You want to give each room a purpose, so spend some time thinking about the best way to feature the space.
If you have too much furniture, place the older, more unsightly ones in storage (Now that storage space seems less extreme!)
For older upholstery, use slipcovers and throw pillows. Remember to keep colors neutral and fresh. Arrange furniture in a way that will highlight the specific purpose of the room. So if it is a dining room, you will want to create a space where people can easily see themselves entertaining or having a family breakfast. If it is a study, create a neat and orderly, open space.
Make sure the grass is well trimmed, all bushes are neat, and all weeds removed. Consider covering garden beds with mulch, which is a quick and easy way to uplift the look of your garden. It covers unsightly parts and gives the impression of a fresh and well-maintained garden.
Minimize your personal touch
When staging your home, remember that this does not involve showing personality. What is dear and beautiful to you could be unappealing to others. You don’t need people to get a sense of you at all. They need to get a sense of how they will make the home their own. Get rid of excessive family and pet photos, keepsakes and other memorabilia or decor. It’s nothing personal. Literally!
Hang white towels in all bathrooms to add to the sense of cleanliness. Also, cover the bed in the main bedroom with white covers and linen. This will allow the room to photograph well, adding a feeling of serenity when seen in person. Also make sure that drape hemlines are neat and clean, and that the drapes hang in a neat way. Mirrors and paintings need to be as neutral as possible too. Try to get away from wild ideas and shapes. If your mirror has a very ornate frame, make it a focal point by having surrounding furniture and wall hangings plain and simple.
You are almost ready! This is the part you thought home staging was all about.
Make sure to deodorize your home. A last clean around the home along with some discreet fragrance products will do just fine. If you have pets in the home or are concerned about being used to your home’s smell, ask your realtor to do a quick walkthrough. A fresh nose may be just what your home needs.
Talking about pets, make sure to take them to a place of safekeeping for the showing. You want to keep things as simple as possible for everyone. You don’t want over-friendly Fido to ruin things.
Make sure to allow for as much natural light as possible. This makes for good photography and a welcoming atmosphere.
Now all you need is one or 2 vases of flowers, and you are ready to go!
Not only is your home worthy of being shown off, but you are more prepared for a big move.
Our realtors can offer you support in home staging advice so your home can get snapped off the listings. Years of experience have trained them to spot the small details that may cost you a sale. Connect with us today or schedule your complimentary investment consultation.