Top 5 Tips For Staging Your Home

Top 5 Tips For Staging Your Home

The concept of 'staging' - or expertly setting up your furniture and home decor for the purpose of selling your home - has gotten more popular over the last several years.  You can hire dedicated home stagers to come to your home and stage your existing decor - or even hire a company to lease you decor in order to make your home more appealing to buyers.  With the latter, your own furniture either goes into storage, or simply goes with you while you move out.

The benefit of staging has become clear - studies show that staged homes sell an average of 17% more than non-staged properties.  Staged homes also sell faster - often between 57-79 days more quickly than those that aren't staged.  And the reasons make sense - by not staging, you are relying on potential buyers to "use their imaginations" as to how the home could look cleaner or more polished.  Most of us lack the experience and design skill to do this, and so non-staged homes are often overlooked for their flaws.

If you're getting ready to sell your home, here are the top five things you can do to stage your property for success:

1.  Clean and remove signs of pets:
We know it's a pain to maintain a spotless home during the selling process, but it's worth it.  Home buyers are making an emotional decision and is always based in part on aspiration - how will the buyer improve their lives by purchasing your property?  Dust, dishes in the sink, pet hair - these are all things that are common to everyday life, but detract from the aspirational value of your home big time.  Take at least 20-30 minutes every evening or morning before work to make sure your home is clean.  If you have pets, it is important to do all you can to eliminate pet odors from the home.  The last thing you want a potential buyer to do is walk away because they can’t stand the smell of your little kitty or pup.  If you find it difficult to completely remove odors from your home, consider baking cookies or an apple pie prior to an open house or showing.

2.  De-clutter:
Similar to the infamous three words in real estate (location, location, location), there are also three words when it comes to staging: de-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter.  Sometimes we feel a home is clean when it's free of signs and dust and dirt, but you really have to go beyond this.  Remove any small pictures of you and your family from sight - whether in frames or just sitting out.  If you have larger family photos on the walls, consider hiring a staging company to provide you with fashionable and neutral artwork during the selling process.   Next, are your counter tops and coffee tables, and end tables loaded with papers, books, random bowls, an overabundance of magazines, and other miscellaneous items?  Consider packing these items up while you're trying to sell your property - they'll be safe from damage during showings and open houses, and will let potential buyers focus on the benefits of your place. 

3.  Remove unnecessary furniture:

Experts say it’s best to remove 30-40% of your furniture during the staging process so that buyers can focus on the living space rather than focusing on how good or bad your decorating taste is.  You want to open the rooms up to maximize the look and feel of the floor space.  By removing old or unnecessary furniture you actually make the rooms look bigger and less cluttered.

4.  Paint:
If you have neutral-toned walls, you can usually get away with skipping this step.  But if you picked any bold or bright colors - like red or yellow - consider repainting to more neutral tones like gray or off- white.  You will also want to paint to cover up holes from picture frames or hand prints left in your walls from your three year old. 

5.  Think Curb Appeal:
A potential buyer’s first impression goes a long way.  Ensure your landscaping is in top shape.  Lawns should be freshly mowed and leaves raked.  The porch and deck(s) should be swept of all debris and leaves; trash and recycling bins should be tucked away and out of sight.  You want to do everything you can to maximize the visual appeal of your property.  If paint is chipped at the front door, or caulking is worn/non-existent, consider repainting and caulking.  Not only does it make the home look better, but it also gives the impression that has taken care of the house.  Buyers want to see that the seller has properly maintained the property, which in turn, increases the overall appeal to buyers which will ultimately help reduce the time the home will sit on the market.

Michael Lorino Headshot
Phone: 703-991-8762
Dated: September 17th 2013
Views: 643
About Michael: Michael was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2001. He has served around the...

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