How to Stage a Home Like a Pro
A beautifully staged home does more than just look good. It can actually help potential buyers bond with a home and imagine themselves living in it. Savvy sellers understand the power of staging a home for sale, but may not quite know how to achieve the look they want.
You could hire a professional home stager to get the job done, but if that expense isn’t in the cards, there’s no reason you and your seller can’t work together to stage the home — especially when you have these low-cost, high-impact home staging secrets:
Kill the Clutter — ALL of it! It’s the necessary first step that will make the next steps easier (not to mention giving the homeowners a head start on their packing). Eliminate stacks of mail, magazines, catalogs, newspapers, and any other extra paper. Box up knick-knacks, keepsakes and kids’ toys and stack the boxes neatly in one corner of the garage, attic or basement. And while we’re on the subject – those areas need to be cleaned and organized, too.
Send Personal Items Packing —This can be hard for some homeowners, because those are the things that make a house feel like home. But remind the sellers how potential new owners need to imagine themselves making memories there, which is hard to do when they’re looking at years’ worth of kids’ school pictures, family vacation photos, or old sports trophies.
Be a Cleaning Machine — A clean house is a house that sells quickly. Be sure the home is cleaned from top to bottom, including often-forgotten areas like corners, under and behind appliances, ceiling fan blades, and window tracks. See to it that bathroom fixtures and mirrors shine, and kitchens look spotless and neat.
Neutralize It — A fresh coat of neutral paint on walls and trim will go a long way toward making a house irresistible to buyers. Freshly painted walls, free of scuffs and nicks, make the whole house feel clean and new. Again, you want potential buyers to imagine all the ways they can make a home their own, and having a neutral canvas onto which they can project those daydreams will free their imaginations to run wild.
Let There Be Light —Take down any heavy, dark window coverings and replace them with sheer or light colored panels. Add lamps with high-wattage bulbs to brighten up dark corners. Bathing rooms in light makes them look larger, warmer, and more inviting. Plus, on a subliminal level, it shows buyers there’s nothing about the house that you’re trying to hide.
Make an Entrance — Be sure the home’s entrance gives an accurate hint about what’s inside. Keep walkways and entry area clean and free of excess paper and leaves. Don’t let any spiderwebs (yikes!) hang out in the corners. If the front door is looking worn, give it a new coat of paint and shine up the hardware. Ensure the doorbell is in working order and add a new welcome mat for the perfect finishing touch.