Many times Realtors take prospective homebuyers to look at homes, and the client opens the door and decides right on the spot to walk back out. First Impressions are KEY! If you are thinking of putting your home on the market, home staging is a valuable tool to use to your advantage.
When should you stage your home? Home staging is not decorating. It is the opposite of decorating because you are depersonalizing your home so that it appeals to the most buyers. Be sure to stage your home before your Realtor takes images for online listings. Clients will often reject a home that is too messy or cluttered, just by the photos on MLS. You only get one chance to make a great first impression!
Highlight your home’s best features. First, start with curb appeal by mowing the lawn or raking the rock, and trimming all scrubs and bushes. Rinse the sidewalk, too! Now on to the interior staging…
1. Pack all the non-essentials and put them in storage. After all, you’re going to have to pack anyway, so you’re getting an early start. Give 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 and family room more welcoming and appear larger with less furniture and a seating arrangement that allows for good traffic. If you display family photos, now is the time to remove them from all areas of the home. A buyer won’t relate as well to the home if he sees your family there.
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 color of the paint on the walls. Instead, add color with pillows, linens, towels and artwork.
6. Keep toilet covers closed!
7. Throw away all garbage in wastebaskets before a showing. Discard old newspapers and organize magazines neatly.
8. Put away pet dishes and dirty dishes in sink. Remove all photos, coupons, notes and magnets from refrigerator door.
9. Put away electrical appliances such as toasters, blenders, and food processors. This will allow the kitchen to look its best and appear larger.
9. Display fresh flowers.
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. Good luck with your own staging project!