Home Staging Tips That Never Fail
Staging Tips To Help Your Home Shine!
When selling your home, there is a fine line between living space and commodity. As a seller, you have to resign yourself to living in a less personal space for a while in order to best showcase your home for quick sale. Here are some easy, fail-safe tips to get -- and keep! -- your home show-ready.
There's a reason this is the first recommendation in any article about staging. It’s a must! You want a potential buyer to feel at home in the space they are touring, and personal family photos will make that difficult. You will want to take down that family gallery wall, remove the adorable drawings from the fridge door, clear off the bathroom counter tops of all your personal toiletries, and even remove any political or religious books or items. I know that last one may feel hard to do, but all these things can send a buyer out the door and to another house. It’s only temporary, and it can help your sale go through much faster.
Books are turned around for an elegant, neutral look. Pictures are artistic, and clutter is minimized, evoking a fresh, clean feel.
Sounds pretty basic, right? But what does that mean, exactly? Look around your kitchen. Are there appliances on the counters that could be stored away for now? Do you keep a messy basket of highly-used spices by the stove? Clear it out. It doesn’t need to be an empty, barely-lived-in look, but you want to show a shiny expanse of counter space –especially if counter space is limited. Clean off the mantel, if you have a fireplace. Group three or so artistic pictures on it, or perhaps one flower arrangement . . . but keep it clean! Same for your end tables and sofa tables: less is more. Move furniture around to maximize the space in the room, if needed. It may not be practical for long-term use, but if it makes the room appear larger, brighter, and more appealing, you’ll be getting an offer a lot sooner. Also realize that buyers will want to look into closets, so be sure to pull out-off-season items and go ahead and pack them away.
Sparkling surfaces amplify light and maximize space.
It almost doesn’t need to be said, but this goes beyond mopping and scrubbing the shower down. Clean the baseboards, touching up paint if necessary.
Next, take a look at your walls. Patch any visible holes or scrapes, clean any smudges (Mr Clean Eraser sponge works great). Give any tile grout a good scrub (Barkeeper’s Friend is YOUR friend here, but use gloves!). Don’t forget ceiling fans, blinds, and windowsills . . . especially if you have pets. And on that subject . . .
Conceal signs of pets, such as food bowls, beds, litter boxes, and cat trees. Some buyers can be very put off by the presence of pets, and will even stop mid-tour if they happen to be allergic to your adorable kitties. It’s best to put all their cute stuff away in the car, or concealed in the garage (like that litter box) and take the pets for a ride in the car while your house is being shown. I know this is a sensitive subject, because they are our babies, but trust me. It’s just for a little while, and think of all the new places your precious pets will get to roam in your new home!
We love our pets, but buyers may not. Take this time to treat your pet to a walk.
Be sure to keep your front yard looking its absolute best! Mulch flowerbeds. Trim shrubs and trees. Keep your front porch clean and inviting. This is the first thing a potential buyer will see, and first impressions are everything! (Check out my Pinterest board on curb appeal for some simple ideas to put your best foot forward!)
First impressions count. Make the entry point of your home inviting, clean, and welcoming.
Even if you’ve deep cleaned, and are all ready to go, you will want your house to smell nice. Assume that you have gone nose-blind and keep something on hand to give your house a fresh, inviting scent. You can do this with wax melts that you turn off just before leaving for the showing, or use this stovetop recipe and let that simmer til just before leaving. This ensures both a pleasant-smelling showing, and provides something memorable for a buyer who has probably seen five houses in one day. Stand out, and smell amazing!
Wax melts offer a variety of fragrances, so you can change them up quickly, and often.
More quick tips for a good showing.
Keep a large blanket basket in your family room. It provides a quick-conceal method for last-minute showings. Simply gather up all that family clutter that happens in 3.2 seconds when kids are involved, toss it in the basket, and fold a pretty blanket on top. This makes it look like you have a lovely stack of pretty blankets, and not a dozen nerf guns, a box of Cheez-Its and an empty bottle of wine covered by a paisley throw.
It’s a good thing to note that buyers tend to focus on three main areas of a house: kitchen, living room, and master bedroom. So if you focus your efforts on those rooms, making them look positively Instagram-worthy, you should be good to go. Keep the rest clean, of course, but your three-year-old’s room doesn’t have to look like it belongs in House Beautiful to get the job done. (Just your master bedroom.)
Also open the blinds, and turn on the lights -- all of them! Brighten up your space so it -- and all the work you did to get it looking that way -- can shine! Now go have a fun drive, or walk, and wait for those offers to come in!