If you're in the beginning stages of selling your home, chances are your real estate agent has discussed the importance of staging. Staging doesn't mean moving clutter around or tidying up; it refers to decorating your house in a specific way to bring out its best features and impress potential buyers. The benefits of top-notch staging go beyond a quick sale – it can actually help raise the house price. Here are ten easy staging tips to make your house shine when it hits the market.
Put Away Personal Belongings
When a potential buyer walks into your house, you want them to envision themselves living there immediately. That vision probably doesn't include your family or pets or vacation memorabilia. Remove photos, children's artwork, toys, and any personalized items. But don' leave your walls bare! Replace those items with other decorative pieces or artwork.
Make Your Appliances Look Like New
If your kitchen isn't sporting new appliances, don't worry. You would be amazed at how much you can elevate a kitchen's look by making your appliances spotless. Give your refrigerator, oven, stovetop, and microwave a thorough cleaning, so they sparkle.
This same tip goes for bathrooms – scrub down the tub, clear the sink drain, and remove soap grime from the shower. You want everything to look as clean, fresh, and new as possible.
Call in the Cleaning Experts
Sometimes, you need a professional to get a job done right. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service to give your entire house a deep, thorough clean. The cost is worth it when you think of how long it will take you to shampoo your carpets, dust every inch of your house, clear out years of grime from the kitchen… the list goes on.
Put on a Fresh Coat of Paint
You and your family might have had a blast painting your bedrooms, bathrooms, and living room. But most people don't share the same tastes, especially when it comes to a hot pink kitchen or nautical-themed wallpaper in the den. Before you put your home on the market, paint the walls in your house. Pick a neutral color, like white, to offer up a "fresh slate" for buyers when they move in.
Show Off Your Storage Spaces
It's hard to tell the size of a closet when it's stuffed full of junk. Storage space is vital in a home, so make sure yours isn't hidden. Clear out closets, basement storage spaces, attics, and pantries before a showing to maximize the size of these spaces.
Make Your First Impression Count
The first thing buyers see when they pull up to your house is the exterior. They're immediately greeted by your lawn, flowers (or weeds), trees, shrubs, and paving stones. Ensure that impression is a good one, or buyers could immediately be put off before they even step into your home.
Clean up your flower beds, keep the grass watered and mowed, and even consider power washing your house's exterior. If you have a patio or deck in the front or back, make sure you have well-fitting outdoor furniture. Make sure buyers can understand the enjoyment they'll get outside your home as well as inside.
Brighten Up Your Home
Does your house have a ton of natural lighting? If so, are you taking advantage of it? When showing your home, make sure all your curtains or blinds are open so sunlight can light up the rooms. Add lighting to darker rooms or ones that don't get as much sunlight. Make sure every lightbulb is working, and your light fixtures aren't dusty or dirty. Additionally, you can swap dim lightbulbs for high-wattage bulbs to brighten a room.
Take Out a Piece of Furniture… or Two
The goal of staging is to maximize the best qualities in your house. You want buyers to imagine their own furniture in each room, their own artwork on the walls, and their own family lounging or eating or relaxing. Your living room should be open and inviting, so plan to clear out a piece of furniture or two to make the room feel even more spacious. Do the same for each room, especially rooms that are a bit cluttered.
Clear Your Kitchen Countertops Like Never Before
Most of our kitchen countertops contain things like knife blocks, blenders, fruit bowls, stand mixers, and extra dishes. While those are all part of a functional, lived-in kitchen, you don't want your buyers to see cluttered countertops. Clear away everything but one or two decorative pieces.
Give Every Space in Your House a Job
Your spare bedroom might have served as a playroom/extra office/craft room, or it might have just collected spare items. Before showing your home, make this space – and any ''extra'' space – serve a function. Clear everything but the office furniture to show it as an at-home workspace. Or set it up as the ultimate crafting room with a sewing machine, bolts of cloth, and extra equipment. Whatever you do, make sure every space has a clearly defined purpose to help buyers envision what they'd do with it.
Staging doesn't have to be difficult, but it can be time-consuming and stressful. You're going to clean your home like never before and possibly be putting beloved items into storage. But don't worry. These tips will help your home sell faster and could be the difference between your asking price and the highest possible selling price.