Staging Your Home For Sale

tips for Staging Your home for sale

In our ongoing set of real estate articles on selling a home, we will cover one of the most fashionable tips to getting your home sold.  Home sellers and listing agents have known for decades that sprucing up your home to look its absolute best can be a powerful influence in getting a home sold.    

Home Staging became very popular after the most recent real estate crash when homes were staying on the market longer and we had fewer buyers.  Aggressive real estate agents were looking for things to make their properties that were for sale stand out…and so professional home staging was born.  Although many home sellers will clean up the home or even give the home a fresh cote of paint, Home Staging can range from renting furniture and home decorations to simply following some simple tips.

Basics of Staging A Home

When putting your home on the market for sale, keep in mind that you want potential homebuyers to easily envision themselves and their family in your home.  The very first step in prepping your home for showings is removing all of your personal memorabilia. 

It can be challenging for a potential homebuyer to envision that extra bedroom as an office, if its full of your personal stuff.  One of the biggest tips on this is to simply remove everything in the home with eyes.  Yes, I know that sounds a little odd, but anything with eyes, usually has some sort of a personal connection. 

For instance, if you have your wedding photos prominently on the wall, hopefully you have eyes---which mean they should be removed.  If you won that awesome porcelain dog years ago from your adventure on Wheel of Fortune….that dog has eyes and should be removed.  Photos on the end table in the bedroom --- those should go to. 

Here is a list of other things that you should consider when staging your home for sale.

  1. Declutter.  You may feel this is obvious, but what some people consider uncluttered is different than what others envision.  Look around the home and ask yourself, “would this be in a hotel?”  Most hotels are designed to be inviting but not overfull.  Box up everything and put it in a storage facility.  A second option would be to box everything up and put it in the garage.  People are more likely to be accepting of boxes stacked in a garage---but the storage facility is the best.
  2. Keep things bright.  You will want to make sure that you don’t have any burnt out lightbulbs.  If you currently have large heavy drapes, you may consider replacing them with sheer curtains.  Try to open the windows if possible, but be sure to make sure they are clean
  3. Natural Colors.  If you are taking the initiative and painting, be sure to stay with neutral colors.  If you are purchasing accent towels or accessories, also try to stick with neutral colors.
  4. Floors.  The flooring in your home is extremely important.  If you have hardwood floors, give them a quick cleaing and remove all rugs.  If you have old carpet, consider replacing.  If that is not in the budget, cover the old carpet with a new rug
  5. Fixtures.  Fixtures on cabinets can be a very inexpensive upgrade and can give old cabinets a new look.
  6. Front Door.  Make sure that your first impression is awesome.  Potentially replace the front door or give a fresh coat of paint.
  7. Smell.  The sense of smell is very powerful.  Some say that the smell of a home (even if it is not abundantly noticeable) can make a huge difference in its marketability.  Make sure to remove any bad odors in the home.  If you smoke inside, you will want to consider moving that outside until the home gets sold.  Put out fresh flowers. Not only do they ad to the appeal of the home but they can assist giving your home a fresh scent.  Light candles for accent and smell.  DO NOT light candles and leave the home for the showing! 
  8. Mailbox.  You may not think of it, but your mailbox has the potential to be the very first thing noticed when a potential buyer sees your home.  Luckily they are easy to replace and not very expensive.
  9. If your home is vacant, you may want to consider renting furniture to sparsely decorate the home.  Vacant rooms can sometimes be appealing, but in almost every instance a home will show better if it has a nice couch and coffee table (with those flowers on it).  Rent a small dining set for the kitchen (small is better and cheaper since it will make the kitchen look larger).
  10. Defer to your REALTOR.  A good real estate agent sees homes for sale every day.  They know the homes that sell and can quickly point out potential negative decor.  It can be a little bit awkward for many REALTORS to discredit their clients personal decor, so start the conversation with your agent. 

Staging your home for sale is an important part of your marketing.  A good REALTOR can get appointments set to view your home, but the potential homebuyer needs to visit an inviting “home” which they can see themselves in.  Staging a home doesn’t need to be expensive.  The cost of mini-storage for a couple months is most likely your largest expense.  If that tiny expense lets you get your home sold faster and for a higher amount of money it is worth it in the end.


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