Staging Tips and Tricks
Why staging matters…
Interior decorating is an art, and let’s be honest, not everyone is good at it! It can be a bit overwhelming when you want to sell your house, but look around and realize just how personalized your home has become. As it should have – you live there!
Unfortunately, when it comes to selling, you want other people to see the home as theirs. They are the ones thinking of buying it, and it only makes sense that they should imagine themselves owning your property.
So how do we go about making our lived-in homes look market ready? Well, here are a few tips and tricks to help you get your home looking its best!
HOW TO PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD
When someone walks up to your property for the first time, they make a snap judgement. Messy yard, unmaintained fence, peeling paint – none of these will give good impressions to the buyer right away. But luckily, there are some simple ways to fix these problems.
If you have kids, make sure their toys aren’t scattered about, and they haven’t left their bikes laying around. Get them to help you with a gardening project (depending on the time of year.) Use a holiday like Mother’s Day as an excuse to get out for some fun family time while also improving the face value of your home. No kids? Buy a six pack, pizzas, and a few cans of paint and get your friends to come help.
Expert tip: A freshly painted front door is not to be underestimated!
This can be tricky. Your daughter may love her bright pink bedroom, but I can assure you that it’s unlikely the buyer will be enthusiastic about it. All they see is the numerous coats of primer and paint that it will take to make that room a clean, fresh canvas.
Soft neutral colors are always a good bet when it comes to painting. But anything that is too bright, even if it’s a personal favorite, will likely have to go.
However, not everything has to be plain white either. We have nothing against color, just be strategic. And this doesn’t mean you can’t have great pops of color around other places in the house! A bright, fun couch or a well painted piece of furniture can add some interest and let you express your style while you are still in the home. Small items like pillows and throws still make it cozy and let you add personal flare and color without going over the top.
Expert tip: Yellow is a color people associate with happiness, so a pillow, flowers, or a simple bowl of lemons go a long way!
Check all your lights, replace burnt bulbs, and add in extra lamps around the house to make sure it’s cheery – no dark corners lingering off to the side. Every inch of your home should be well lit and feel inviting.
Too much clutter, especially furniture, makes a space feel small. Get rid of that extra loveseat or chair that was stuffed in for extra seating, or replace it with something smaller. Big bulky furniture, no matter how comfortable, won’t make your home look its best. Potential buyers aren’t coming over to hang out after all!
If your space allows, keep furniture away from the walls and anchor the space with an area rug. This technique, called “floating”, is a big winner in the interior design world. It makes the room feel larger and the space more intentional.
Here’s a good, but surprising, rule of thumb with furniture: remove about half of it. Remember, our focus is on the buyer.
You love your family and friends. That’s wonderful! But for now, all those very personal photos should go in a box and be stored while your home is being shown. It makes it harder for a potential buyer to envision the space as theirs with a bunch of images of strangers everywhere.
While you’re at it, practice some hardcore minimalism and box up some books, movies, and other items from your shelves. Make sure that anything that stays behind is thoughtfully displayed and not crammed on a shelf as a form of storing it until you need it. Make the space look open and clutter free.
Areas that MUST Sparkle
We have all walked into a less than tidy kitchen or bathroom and felt a small sense of recoil. These areas, as hard as they are to keep, must be clean.
Let me repeat that. Kitchens and bathrooms must be clean. Get rid of clutter and store some lysol wipes nearby so they are handy to give these spaces some quick (and frequent) love. Buy some plastic containers, organize supplies, and stash them. Make sure towels are fresh and folded. Keep the bare minimum on the counters and have flowers or candles handy for a quick way to add some character and warmth. This is also important for other spaces as well, but kitchens and bathrooms are good places to start.
Have you ever frantically thrown things out of sight right before someone walks in the door, even though that closet isn’t where the item has ever lived? We’re all guilty of stuffing these bad boys to the brim and closing the door to pretend the mess doesn’t exist when we have company.
The problem with buyers is that, unlike guests, they’re going to open those closets and see all your dirty secrets. Storage is important to people, so stuffed closets make it appear as though there is not enough space in the home. Box up out-of-season items or only keep the most used items out, then put everything else in the garage or storage shed. When a buyer opens a closet and it feels like there’s plenty of space, it’s a big plus!
I know, I know, I saved the best for last! This is the part where the little voice in you says “run!”, but stick with me. Cleaning all the nitty gritty is really satisfying! Open windows, as you get rid of clutter and other items you’ll find a fresh face to your home. Rent a carpet cleaner. Buyers appreciate a clean space, and cleaning is one of the first things they would have to tackle when they move it, so remove that stressor and they see themselves moving right in! Not a fan of cleaning? Spend the money to get a house cleaner, it is a worthwhile cost to get your home sold.
Staging may seem like a lot of work, but there are many sources out there that suggest that it helps sell your home faster, and for a better price.
Make sure everything is intentional, and get your entire family on board. Help your kids or partner set some good habits around house care, and if you’re lucky, they might just stick when you move into your new home!
Feel like you might need more help or some outside perspective to assist in home staging? Give us a call! Getting homes sold is what we do, and trust me, we have seen it all. If you are serious about getting your home sold quickly, it’s worth sitting down with our team and coming up with a game plan. Now, bust out these ideas and get to staging!