Photo by Better Homes and Gardens
(As Seen By a Home Stager) Last week, I attended an open house. The house had good curb appeal, but once I entered the house, I was disappointed. I left my business card and informed the realtor of my home staging services. As I drove home, I wondered how many people came to the open house and immediately turned around because they couldn’t see beyond the clutter and over-furnished rooms. If you are thinking about putting your home on the market, or know someone who is, home staging is a valuable tool when selling your home.
What is home staging? When should you stage your home? Home staging is not decorating. It is the opposite of decorating because you are depersonalizing your home for sale so that it appeals to the most buyers.
Stage your home before your realtor takes images for the online listing. There are many homes on the Internet with bad photos. Don’t get looked over. You only get one chance to make a great first impression.
Highlight your home’s best features. Start with curb appeal and continue a great welcome in the entry.
1. When I stage homes, I pack all the non-essentials and put them in storage. Pack away last season’s clothing. Give your closets a makeover. Donate or discard unwanted items. Make your closet appear bigger by leaving one-third of the space empty.
2. Make your living room more welcoming and appear larger with less furniture and a great seating arrangement.
3. Keep your counters clean. No junk on the console table or kitchen and bathroom counters.
4. Put a box under the kids’ beds for them to clean up quickly if a showing appointment is scheduled.
5. Don’t let bright or dark paint be a distraction. Stay with neutral colors so buyers can focus on the space, not the paint color on the walls. You could add color with pillows, linens, and towels.
6. Keep toilet covers closed.
7. Throw away garbage.
8. Put away pet dishes.
9. No dirty dishes in sink.
10. Display fresh flowers.
Buyers love outdoor spaces. Continue your home staging in the backyard.
The biggest misconception about home staging is that it costs a lot of money. Home staging goes beyond cleaning and de-cluttering. It is the art of making your home look bigger, brighter and warmer. You want buyers to “feel” at home and imagine themselves living in the space.