Staging,the activity or practice of styling and furnishing a property for sale in such a way as to enhance its attractiveness to potential buyers. Don’t all sellers want to enhance the appearance of their home when putting it on the market to sell? Absolutely, and it doesn’t require hiring an expensive company to bring fancy furniture into your home. There are a few things an owner can do to enhance a home’s appearance to buyers.
10 Staging Tips to Sell a Home
We have bought and sold several homes over the years. I have also recently worked on several soft staging jobs for a realtor friend of mine. Soft staging has the same concept as traditional home staging but without the furniture. I bring in artwork and accessories that compliment the home to make it feel warm and inviting. Today I am sharing my soft staging tips that anyone selling a home can do themselves. Also sharing my perspective on what buyers are seeking.
Staging Tip #1 – Clean the Home
Let’s start with the obvious. Unless you are getting an unbelievable deal on a foreclosure or fixer upper, no buyer wants to go into a dirty home. Buyers want to see that a home has been well cared for by the owners.
Before showing the home to any buyers, deep clean the entire house, all bathrooms, (including the toilets) and put out clean linens.
Adding decorative touches is also a plus. Pick complimentary decor colors that will accent the space. In this powder room, I used lavender tones which look lovely with the silver walls.
Deep clean the bathtub as well to remove any rings around the interior. We want to give the impression that the home is regularly cleaned and the owners invested time and energy into caring for their home.
I added a few accents such as a basket with towels and a magazine to highlight the large spa soaking tub. This is a space any mom would love to use after a long hard day at work.
Staging Tip #2 – Declutter
You want to give the appearance that the home is roomy and spacious, get rid of clutter and unnecessary items that you use everyday. For example, the mudroom area, clean out all the coats, sweaters, hats, umbrellas, and gloves. Open shelving is a lot more appealing than over crowded hooks and nooks. If you want to leave a couple items on the hooks, that’s ok, just make sure it does not look cluttered.
Staging Tip #3 – Add Flowers
After you have cleaned off the kitchen counters of unnecessary stuff, like blenders and toasters, add a pretty flower arrangement to the space to brighten up the area. You want the rooms to look cheery and attractive, get rid of unnecessary and add in one decorative element. For ideas for stylish vases, click HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Staging Tip #4 – Pictures
Add pictures or paintings to large blank walls.
Tip: Often, sellers want to know if having family pictures on display is a pro or con. Family pictures are wonderful so bring them out! We don’t want to overwhelm a space with an abundance of family photos, but a few pictures scattered throughout the home is a plus. Potential buyers want to envision their family living in your home, adding personal pictures is a great idea!
Staging Tip #5 – Add Candles and Accessories
In this one home I staged, I added pictures, wine bottles, candles and bar decor to show the wonderful functionality of the space. It looked so blah before.
Many potential buyers are not able to envision decorating a space and need help visualizing the possibilities. With a few items added to the bar, it’s easier to see how one would entertain using this great bar and beverage fridge. Add a scented candle and voila!
Staging tip #7 Fill in Empty Nooks
If your home has unique architectural details…you want to highlight those!
Take for example these wonderful lighted nooks in this home.
Staging Tip #6 – Lighting and Rugs
Make sure you have bright white lighting in your home. Change out the recessed lights to LED bright white lights, you will be amazed at the difference.
Make sure all the lamps have bright white bulbs in them and turn all the lights on during a showing. Clean up each room and add decorative useful touches to the rooms.
After removing unnecessary clutter, I added a rug and pillows to the sitting room to warm it up. Turning on accent lighting, like table lamps will make a huge impact to the space.
Staging Tip #7 – Coffee Table Decor
Add coffee table decor such as a candle, vase with flowers, coasters and a tray. Make the room look cozy and inviting, a place where potential buyers can see their family gathered around enjoying a drink.
Staging Tip #8 – Set the Dining Room Table
To make the dining room look more inviting and homey, give potential buyers an idea of the space, by adding decorative touches.
I added pink flowers to the buffet and table, also set place settings for four. To give the appearance of more space, I placed 2 chairs on the sides of the buffet which makes the table look roomier.
You don’t have to set a full setting with silverware, just a few plates and bowls to make the room look lived in and inviting, a space buyers can see using for entertaining purposes.
Staging Tip #9 Curb Appeal
Make sure the grass is mowed, the beds are mulched and the overall appearance of the outdoors looks maintained and properly groomed. Add planters on the porch of the entrance with flowers and make sure the house numbers on the home and mail box look clean.
Staging Tip #10 – Selectively Add Furniture
Normally I would suggest taking items out of the home to make it appear larger and less cluttered, but if there is a space you want to highlight, you may need to add a piece of furniture. In the foyer of this home, I added a console table to highlight the space and give buyers decor ideas. It’s also a place where agents can drop off cards or pick up literature about the home.
I hope you picked up ideas if you are getting ready to sell your home. Selling and buying a new home are both stressful situations but hopefully I made this one aspect a bit easier for you.
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