If your home is on the market, or you’re planning to list anytime soon, try out these 5 easy home staging tips. The result of a well-staged home? A home that sells faster, and for more money, than one that isn’t set up to entice buyers.
Why is Home Staging Important?
Home staging is an important part of the home-selling process; it’s a step that shouldn’t be skipped. To truly understand the importance of staging your home, you need to understand the real estate buyer.
Let’s be honest. The buyer doesn’t care about the life that you live in your home. First and foremost, they’re trying to visualize themselves in your home with their own families. Second, they are assessing whether your home is worth the asking price.
Your job is to help them see their family enjoying your home. This reinforces the value of the property in the buyer’s mind.
Now, let’s move on to how to stage your home.
How to Stage Your Home: 5 Easy Tips
Tip 1 – Replace Personal Photos with “Neutral” Artwork
Perhaps the easiest thing you can do is to remove your personal family photos while your home is on the market. Replace them with inexpensive artwork that’s aesthetically pleasing but neutral in tone.
While you think your children are the most darling children in the universe, remember that the buyer wants to picture his own family relaxing in your home. So, the best thing you can do is to gently pack up those lovely family vacation pics and store them safely until you move into your new home.
Tip 2 – Remove Excessive Furniture
Part of how buyers perceive value is in the size of the home. Quite frankly, every buyer wants the biggest and best home in his budget.
One by one, evaluate each room in your home. Does it look crowded? Could a potential buyer easily bump into furniture as he tours your home? If the answer is “yes,” then you need to remove a piece of furniture and place it in a storage unit until you move.
While you’re moving furniture, position one piece of furniture angled out from the wall. Also, make sure the furniture layout is inviting and fosters conversation. All of this will create value in the buyer’s mind.
Tip 3 – Stage Your Closets and Cabinets
Buyers will go through every nook and cranny of your home. This will probably include your bedroom closets, linen closet, bathroom and kitchen cabinets, and your pantry. Clean up those messy closets! Closets help you sell your home. Stage your closets by making them look larger.
Take an honest inventory of everything in every closet, including your pantry and linen closet. Do you really want to move all of it? If you won’t use it before you move, toss it or donate it. It’s not worth moving those items that you don’t really use or need.
Remove out of season clothes and box them for the storage unit. If you’re selling your home in April, store away your prized collection of ugly Christmas sweaters until next winter. Try to do without by taking about half of everything out of each closet and storing it until after you move. This will free up tons of closet space.
Make sure closet shelves are neat and organized, clothes are hanging neatly, and linens folded uniformly.
I know this sounds petty, but overstuffed closets and cabinets send a message to a prospective buyer that there’s a lack of shortage in your home. While this might actually mean that your kids are pack rats, it can lower the perceived value of your home and result in a lower offer.
On the bright side, if you remove half your towels from the bathroom cabinets now and pack them up, it will take less time to pack when it really is time to move!
Tip 4 – Keep Your Home Tidy and Fresh Smelling
This tip isn’t to imply that you’re messy. We all have hectic lives, and sometimes cleaning takes a back seat to carpooling and dance recitals. No judgment here. Life happens.
However, your house is no longer yours once it’s listed. At any time, a real estate agent can call you requesting an immediate showing with a hot client. Or, you might forget that a showing was scheduled and forget to tidy up before you leave for work.
Before you list your home, you should have carpets shampooed to remove stains and make them vibrant and clean-smelling. You should also deep clean the kitchen and bathrooms, vacuum or wash the window coverings, and sweep the fireplace.
While your home is on the market, keep it dusted, the trash bins emptied, the sinks wiped out, and the floors vacuumed. At any given time, your buyer could walk through the door. Wouldn’t you rather he be greeted with the fresh lemon scent of furniture polish than cooking odors?
This comes back to the buyer’s perception of value. If the house is messy, a buyer will assume that it hasn’t been well-maintained or be tempted to use it as a reduction in his offer.
Tip 5 – Add Serenity to the Master Suite
Make your master suite a serene retreat for potential homebuyers. This is the room where they will retire to at the end of a long workday to rest. Make your master suite feel like a spa retreat where they can treat themselves to the gift of relaxation.
Earlier, we mentioned removing oversized furniture. Bedrooms, especially in older homes, can sometimes get overstuffed with furnishings. Make sure the new homeowner can picture his own master bedroom furniture in your space. If your bedroom is too crowded, that won’t happen.
Hopefully, you also followed the advice on staging your closet. Now, you should be able to focus on making the master suite as inviting as possible.
If you painted your master bedroom your favorite bright color, now is the time to repaint it in a calm, serene neutral. Grey, green, or cream are all very Zen-like color choices. Invest in a luxurious duvet cover and plump, fresh pillows for the bed. Paint the master bath in a coordinating color and attractively display clean, sumptuous towels. An uncluttered and inviting master suite can help you get an offer.
In short, home staging is a process that must not be ignored. Some home sellers avoid the process because it’s difficult to put all those great memories in boxes and picture another family moving into their home.
However, try to shift your focus. Think about how much easier it will be to begin living in your new home once you’ve cashed in and made a nice profit from selling your home by using these 5 easy home staging tips.
Guest Author Bio: Deborah Tayloe is a DIY blogger and the publisher of DIY Home & Garden. When she’s not writing DIY blog posts, she’s renovating her 1960s home with her husband. Fortunately, he’s become used to her stopping mid-project to take more photos for her blog!