Home Staging Tips from Professionals

Successfully staging your home is key to selling it quickly and at the best price. There are many high-impact cost-affordable ways to highlight your home’s strengths and downplay its weaknesses. From cleaning to styling and the often overlooked, here are some essential staging tips to get the most out of your home.

Clear the clutter. All of it. It’s not going to be easy, but you have to do it. All surfaces, cupboards, closets, floors, mantels, you name it. Cluttered homes simply do not show well. End of story. Sometimes it might require alternative arrangements. Think offsite storage such as a locker or POD, not your garage. People care about the size and shape of the garage; don’t make it look small by storing your belongings in it.

Remove the nonessentials. Take out the personal effects, or nonessentials, including family photos, jewelry, keys and cosmetics and lock up your valuables.

Oversized is not your friend. If you have furniture that is too big for a room, swap it out for something smaller and more fitting. That big sectional that looks comfy and cozy to you can be overpowering and unflattering to a potential buyer. Instead, try a sofa and two chairs. You can even rent furniture rather than buyer new pieces or try home good sale sites such as www.wayfair.com.

Bedrooms are supposed to be bedrooms. Stage “extra” rooms wisely. If you have been using a spare bedroom as dumping ground for your work projects and portfolios, it’s time to clean it up. Each room should reflect its defined purpose. If you say you have a four-bedroom home, make sure you show a four-bedroom home.

Curb appeal. You only get one chance to make a great first impression. The exterior of your house – especially the front – is the first thing a buyer sees. Sometimes people will even do a quick drive-by first to decide if the inside is even worth a look (just from peeking at the outside.) Tidy your deck, make sure it is painted or stained and there isn’t any peeling, and plant nice flowers or get a landscaping company to help. The goal is to intrigue buyers enough that they are interested in seeing the rest of the house.

Accessorize appropriately. Certain rooms or areas of your home might feel uninviting. Rather than leaving them bare, style your dining room table, add a vase of fresh flowers to the counter, and put out clean, matching towels. Basically you should make your house look like a model home.

Beware of pets! This is most overlooked area of staging a home. Many homeowners think buyers cannot smell their pets, but the odors linger and hair can hide in hard to reach places. Steam clean all of your rugs and remove all pet toys and dishes. You want to me make it seem like a pet has never stepped foot in your home. Buyers can be allergic or have family members that are or might really dislike a certain type of pet. You can never be too sure.

Clean. It’s simple enough yet is the hardest part for most sellers. You want sparkling floors, gleaming windows, washed walls. These things matter to buyers and should not go unnoticed.

All in all, go into home staging from the viewpoint of the buyer. You should possess the same critical eye for staging your home as you would if you were the one searching for a new home.

Image courtesy of Mr. Lightman 

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