Are you getting ready to sell your home? Whether you’re selling it on your own or working with a real estate broker, you need to think about how you will stage your home. The goal is to make it look as good as possible so that buyers will be able to imagine themselves living in it.
One aspect of home staging that many sellers don’t consider is what to store and what to display. If your home is cluttered, it won’t show to your advantage. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you stage your house so it will sell quickly.
Depersonalize the Space
It might surprise you to know that one of the best things you can do to get your home ready for staging is to remove family photographs, personal items, and religious items.
The logic behind this move is that you want people to picture your home as a blank slate. If your pictures are on the mantel and the walls, they may struggle to do that. Try to make your house a canvas that potential buyers can project themselves onto.
Pack personal items into boxes and either stack them neatly in your garage or rent a small storage space.
Declutter the Space
Next, take some time to declutter your home. When you live someplace for a long time, clutter becomes invisible to you. But what seems normal to you might seem obtrusive or even messy to a stranger who’s considering buying your home.
Make sure that countertops and tabletops are clean and empty. It’s acceptable to have a vase of flowers or some candles, but everything else should be packed away. It’s also a good idea to declutter your closets. Every space should be neat and organized.
Deal with the Furniture
A lot of people have too much or too little furniture. A room that as too much furniture may look smaller than it is or feel cluttered. Conversely, a room with too little furniture may feel unlived-in and cold.
Professional stagers often come in and shift furniture around to create attractive groupings. They may also bring in furniture to fill rooms as needed. You don’t want to go overboard, but store anything that isn’t adding to the appeal of your home.
Clean and Deodorize
The final step of staging your home properly is to do a thorough cleaning so your room looks and smells wonderful. Sometimes, odors sink into the carpet or drapes. Old paint may appear dingy or stained. Cosmetic changes can make a difference in the appeal of your home.
If you haven’t painted recently, consider painting everything in neutral colors. The benefit of using neutrals is that, again, it turns your home into a blank slate. You might love bright colors on the walls. But potential buyers are more likely to respond to white, off-white, beige, or gray.
You may also want to consider bringing in a professional cleaning crew to deal with any dirt or odors that have accumulated. If the floors sparkle, the windows shine, and the walls are freshly painted, your home will sell far more rapidly than it would otherwise.
One final note about smells: on days when you are showing the house, consider simmering some cinnamon sticks or even baking cookies so that the house smells warm and inviting when potential buyers arrive.
Some professional stagers recommend packing up 80% to 90% of your personal belongings before staging your home. You’ll want to have access to items that you need on a daily basis. However, everything should be tucked out of site and stored neatly so that would-be buyers can imagine their own belongings there.