HOW TO STAGE A HOUSE FOR SELLING
The good news is you don’t have to be (or hire) a professional stager to add value to your home.
Staging a home is increasingly important in this digital age we live in. With so many TV shows and websites all promoting perfectly coordinated rooms, buyers tend to have very discerning eyes. Whether your home is a $200,000 ranch or a $2 million sprawling estate, every home seller can help boost their home’s desirability by de-cluttering, reorganizing, and following the following tips:
Curb appeal is important no matter what the season. The fall requires leaves to be raked and bushes trimmed. During the winter in northern states, snow needs to be neatly shoveled and the walkways should be salted or sanded for safety. Flowers should be planted and fresh mulch laid for the spring market. In the summertime, or in warmer southern states, keep the lawn mowed and the yard clear of toys, trash, and clutter.
Another great way to achieve curb appeal is to freshen up the paint on your front door! Depending on the color of the home, there are many popular colors such as black, red, yellow, and blue. You can update the address numbers on the home to make it easy for buyers to find it too!
Since getting buyers into the home is half the battle, make sure they don’t lose interest because your house is brimming with things (and toys!) that could easily be placed in a closet or drawer, or to get ahead, in a moving box. De-cluttering doesn’t mean getting rid of everything, but it definitely means organizing and removing excess. Most rooms have too many pieces of furniture. Remove at least one piece to thin the room out and move furniture away from the walls. Buyers should be able to freely move around the rooms, not bump into end tables and ottomans. Remove notes and pictures from the refrigerator, reduce the number of books on shelves, and remove vases, statues, or clocks from tables.
Busy households often fall into the habit of using a room for multiple purposes. The dining room could be doubling as the playroom or the family room may have also been turned into a home office. Even though these rooms have served a valuable purpose for you, a buyer may get confused or feel the space is inadequate. Set up each bedroom as a bedroom to maximize the true purpose of the layout. The more bedrooms the better!
Most buyers work during the day and do not have the chance to drive by a house except at night. Without a Seller even knowing it, a Buyer could be turned off by the property because not enough lights are on, giving it a cold feeling. Leaving lights on gives the warm and inviting feel that all potential buyers will get when driving by your home at night. This includes landscape lighting and porch lights!
You want home buyers to feel right at home when they view the house. Before showing your home, fill the home with pleasing aromas by burning a scented candle or baking brownies. Make sure your home’s temperature is comfortable. If it’s cold outside make sure it’s warm in your house. And if it’s a hot summer day, have the air conditioner on, or if you don’t have air conditioning, open windows and have fans going to circulate the air.
When was the last time you cleaned the windows in your house? Get the Windex out! This is a simple inexpensive way to bring more light into rooms and make even older windows look new again. Wash curtain sheers. Shampoo rugs. Dust shelves. Counters, sinks, tubs, and appliances should sparkle. A bright, spotless house will appeal to buyers. Don’t forget to make the beds and remove any used towels or dirty clothes from sight! If it looks too ‘lived in’ it’s hard for a buyer to imagine themselves living there.
Is staging worth the trouble? Staging makes the photos of the home stand out and can dramatically improve a buyer’s first impression of your home. More interested buyers creates a sense of urgency and can help the home sell faster and for more money. According to a survey done by HomeGain, staging a home increased the selling price of a home by $3000-$4000 and had a higher return on investment compared to updating the kitchen or bathroom. Homes also sell faster than non-staged homes so it’s well worth your time!