10 Essential Home Staging Tips
As a realtor, your top priority should be helping people to sell their homes as quickly and efficiently as possible–and, ideally, for the price that they want. Staging a home properly plays an enormous part in this. Even if the house itself is simply incredible, failing to stage it effectively could leave it languishing on the market for far longer than it should. Happily enough, properly staging a home doesn’t have to be an ordeal. Keep these 10 tips in mind to ensure that every home that you list is staged to perfection.
1. Prioritize Curb Appeal
Before contacting the listing agent, many homebuyers do a quick drive-by to check out homes on their list. With this in mind, it pays to enhance the curb appeal of a home as much as possible. Have the lawn cut, edged and, if need be, reseeded or sodded. Power-wash the driveway, walkways and siding. Plant blooming flowers and other distinctive plants in the front yard, and have the windows professionally washed.
2. Make the Porch a Welcoming Place
If your curb appeal techniques are done right, they’ll entice people to, at the very least, step up onto the porch. If they feel unwelcome or just get a bad vibe, they may turn away. A few simple steps will make the porch more welcoming and appealing. Buy a new, stylish doormat. Add a few potted plants in attractive pots. Arrange solar lights on the pathway that leads up to the porch, and keep the porch brightly lit during the evening. If there’s enough room, add a few pieces of stylish porch furniture. These steps guide the potential buyer into the property, and make it an inviting place to imagine living in.
This point cannot be emphasized enough. When people walk through a home, they need to be able to imagine themselves living there. This is nearly impossible if someone else’s things are everywhere. Further, a cluttered home seems smaller and is generally less appealing. If there’s a lot of clutter to cope with, see if the sellers have a relative or friend who will let them store their things, or rent a storage unit nearby.
4. Deep Clean the Entire Home
Before showing a home, make sure that it is as spic and span as can be. Don’t stop with merely vacuuming, sweeping and mopping the floors and dusting. Get up into the nooks and crannies and scour everything. Dirty baseboards, doors, crown molding, and fans are often forgotten. There are fantastic housekeeping services, or even products such as a Mr. Clean eraser that help get the job done. And remember if something just won’t get clean, the best investment is to replace it. Don’t try to hide issues beneath rugs and the like, as this will alienate potential buyers.
5. Rearrange Furniture
In most homes, furniture is arranged for function, not form. When it comes to staging, however, furniture should be arranged in a way that makes the most of a room’s attributes. Furniture should be arranged symmetrically for visual appeal. Chairs and sofas should be moved away from walls and placed in a way that encourages conversation. If something just doesn’t fit, store it away.
6. Eliminate Evidence of Pets
As much as the sellers may love their dogs, cats and other pets, many others out there may not share their sentiments. Therefore, eliminate evidence that any pets live there at all before showing a home. Of course, the ideal thing is for the pets to live elsewhere during this time. Toys, food dishes and the like should be stored away. Most importantly of all, all animal odors must be completely eliminated. Even if it means replacing flooring, this is crucial because no one wants to buy a place that smells like animals.
7. Give Spare Rooms a Purpose
In many homes, spare rooms turn into what basically amounts to large closets. They tend to be filled with a mishmash of random items, and that’s not exactly appealing to someone who’s thinking about buying the place. Give spare rooms a purpose by adding bedroom furniture, office furniture or whatever else makes sense. Don’t overdo it, though. You want people to be able to imagine the various possibilities of a room, so keep things simple.
8. Stage the Outdoors Too
In addition to boosting the curb appeal of the front of the house and sprucing up the porch, pay attention to other outdoor areas around the home. Even if there’s not much in the way of a back deck or patio, find furniture that fits there and makes sense and arrange it appropriately. Think of the backyard as an extension of the home; what can you do to make it more appealing?
9. Don’t Neglect Closets
Never assume that prospective buyers won’t look in closets. They definitely will, and those closets need to be neat, tidy and organized.
Again, remove as much clutter from them as is feasibly possible. Use organizational accessories to show prospective buyers how versatile the space can be. Play up the size of walk-in closets by clearing them out as much as you can and adding brighter lighting. Even simply ensuring hooks are hanging the same direction and items are categorized and color coded help ease a potential eye sore.
10. Keep the Season in Mind
Depending on the season, stage the house in a way that makes the most of it. For example, when showing a home in the summer, have the swimming pool, fire pit, grill and other backyard items in tip-top shape. Make sure the garden is vibrant and blooming. In the fall and winter, have a fire crackling in the fireplace, and have hot cocoa or hot cider brewing on the stove or fresh bread baking in the oven.
One of the most crucial aspects of selling a home is staging it properly. While you don’t have to completely remodel a home, you should devote decent amounts of time and effort to getting it right. Enlist the help of the homeowner to speed the process along, and you’ll be selling that house in no time.