The home selling process can be tricky to navigate, particularly if you are looking to sell quickly. Between open houses, packing, and moving it may seem like you have a million things to do before you can sign on the dotted line. Home staging might seem like something that you can gloss over, but in reality it can make a huge difference in the time it takes to sell your house and the dollar amount that is offered. According to The National Association of Realtors at least 95% of buyer’s agents agree that home staging has at least some effect on the buyer’s opinion of the home and could increase the value of a home by at least 11-20%.
Before you panic about another task added to your growing “to-do” list, take a deep breath. Depending on the state of your home, staging can easily be completed in a few hours and can actually help make your packing process easier. Don’t worry if you aren’t an interior designer, we’ve compiled 6 tips to help you stage your home like a pro and have those offers flying in!
- Declutter- Your first step is to begin the decluttering process. This is an excellent time to go through your things and get rid of anything that you no longer use or need. A good rule is to ask yourself “have I used it in the last year?” If the answer is no, then it’s a good idea to donate it or throw it away. Leave out only the essentials and a few decor accents to give the space a lived in feel. This is especially important if you have children whose toys seemingly take over a room. Have them pick out a few of their favorite toys that they play with all the time and put the rest into storage. Toys can either be hidden away during showings or placed neatly in the child’s room or organized play area. The ultimate goal is to create a space that your potential buyers can envision themselves living in, so it is suggested that you put away most of your personal items such as photos. Try to keep the decor as simple and neutral as possible. This part will feel amazing once it’s over! Who knew you could accumulate so much so quickly?
- Neutralize- Going hand-in-hand with decluttering is to create a neutral space. Consider repainting the walls a neutral white or beige color, especially if you had favored any bold or bright colors in the past. As we mentioned before, you are trying to appeal to your potential buyer not to your own personal preferences. Neutral paint colors make small spaces feel larger and make it easier for the buyer to envision themselves in the space. Purchasing neutral fabrics for around the house is also key. If you don’t already own them, you can purchase neutral colored drapes and bed linens inexpensively and can make a huge difference when it comes to making the sale. Remember some buyers can be picky so if your space stands out as clean and neutral it can be the deciding factor in a purchase.
- Rearrange- Once your space has been decluttered and neutralized you may now find that your room has a bit more space to play with. Take this time to analyze the room and if necessary reconfigure the furniture to optimize the space and make it look large and inviting. Don’t be afraid to also minimize the amount of furniture in a room by placing oversized or unnecessary pieces in storage. Many people believe the the best way to optimize space in a room is to place all of the furniture against the walls but this is not always true. For larger or open concept rooms create small “conversation areas” with a few chairs clustered together. Tie it all together with a small table or an area rug for a cozy feel.
- Get a Facelift- This next task may take some extra time and resources but it is one of the most important things to consider doing, especially if you live in an older home with outdated finishes. Many sellers initially bypass updating their finishes because they think that the buyer will just change everything anyway once they move in. However, most buyers are looking for a move-in ready home and do not want to spend extra time and money updating a home if they do not have to. The result is a house that is on the market for long periods of time or receives offers that are lower than what the seller was hoping for. The process can be as simple as adding new hardware to kitchen cabinets or a fresh coat of neutral paint to replacing worn carpet or repairing damaged hardwoods. While the process may cost a bit of money upfront, if done properly, you should receive that value back in equity once the home is sold.
- Deep Clean- Nothing is more unappealing to a prospective buyer than a dirty home. Take extra time before each showing to not only straighten up you things but also clean up. Be sure to vacuum any carpeted areas, wipe out sinks, toilets, showers, and countertops, and dust any hard surfaces. If you have any wall to wall carpeting that is in good shape it is a good idea to have it professionally deep cleaned. If it is stained or worn in places it should be replaced.
- Add a Fresh Touch- Details matter when it comes to selling a home so remember to add fresh touches that will stand out in your buyer’s mind. Adding some flowers or fresh fruit often serves as the perfect finishing touch to tie a space together. Don’t bother running off to the florist for an expensive bouquet, cut some fresh flowers from your garden or grab a bunch from the grocery store or farmer’s market. Arrange them in a few small vases or bowls then place your arrangements all over the house to tie all of your spaces together. Don’t worry if they don’t look perfect, remember we’re going for a lived in, welcoming feel.
By implementing these simple steps you will create an environment that your potential buyers can visualize themselves in. Remember to keep it simple and that you are creating a space for others, not for yourself. A clean, organized, neutral space will appeal to a larger amount of buyers which, in turn, will increase the likelihood of multiple offers. Remember not to rush the process and to put attention to detail into your updates. Happy staging!