If you’re selling your home, you obviously want to get it sold quickly and for the highest amount possible. One very important strategy to keep in mind is staging, which is simply the process of arranging the inside of your home so that it shows off to its full potential.
Staging plays up your home’s good features, such as enhancing a great view or drawing the buyer’s eye to some spectacular wood floors. It also helps to minimize some of the home’s drawbacks, such as making a small bedroom look larger. But also understand that staging does not in any way mean concealing structural defects, such as hanging a picture over a water stain or putting curtains over a broken window!
Staging allows a potential buyer to visualize what can be done with the home, which is especially important with a house that’s currently vacant. For example, some carefully arranged furniture in a room that would otherwise be empty can really help the buyer see the room’s potential. And if you’re in a neighborhood of tract houses that all look pretty much the same inside, good staging will set your home apart from the others for sale in the neighborhood.
Finally, good staging makes buyers feel at home. It lets them really imagine themselves in the kitchen with friends, or relaxing in front of the living room fire, or even working on their car in the garage.
There are several things that go into staging a home for sale, and probably the single most important one is getting rid of all the clutter. No one wants to see several days’ worth of mail and newspapers on the kitchen counter, or a kid’s bedroom crammed with toys and games. The same applies to the garage, basement and even the backyard storage shed.
Clutter is not just an overflowing magazine rack. It can be too many pictures on the wall, too many chairs wedged around the dining room table, or an oversized sofa that blocks the living room traffic patterns. It can be too many items of clothing crammed into a closet, or too many of grandma’s dishes filling up every inch of a kitchen cabinet.
When decluttering the house, stuffing everything into the closet or in boxes in the garage is not the answer. Remember that a potential buyer is looking in every nook and cranny of the house, and an overflowing closet doesn’t make much of an impression. Instead, get the clutter completely out of the house. This could be a garage sale, some donations to a local charity, or simply a trip to the landfill. If you still have items that are cluttering up the house but they are things you’ll want for your next home, then rent a temporary storage space and move them there.
Let Buyers Envision Themselves There
In addition to removing the clutter to make the rooms feel more open and the closets and cabinets feel more spacious, you want to always have an eye on what things you can do to help the buyers visualize living there. For example, lots of family photos on the wall will make it hard for the buyers not to feel like they’re trespassing in someone elses home.
Likewise, while you may be very proud of your religious affiliations, your choice of political ideologies, or your gun collection and the elk head on the wall, remember that not everyone shares your interests. If you can depersonalize the home to some degree, it will make it easier for potential buyers to see themselves making a life there.
Your home should also be absolutely immaculate when you have it on the market for sale. Clean the counters and the cabinets and the fixtures and the flooring and every other part of the house until it shines. Wash the windows, let in the light, and make sure that beautiful view or that inviting backyard is clearly visible when a buyer walks through. A clean house also gives potential buyers more confidence that the structure of the house has been properly maintained and cared for as well.
Hire A Professional Stager
It often makes good financial sense to hire a professional to do the staging for you. A professional home staging company will thoroughly understand the concepts of space and light and color, and they know how to make rooms show off to their full potential. They also don’t have the same personal attachment to the home and its furnishings that you do, so they can make practical, impartial suggestions that you might otherwise overlook or simply not want to face.
The cost of professional staging varies with the size of the house and amount of work involved, but a well-staged home should sell quicker and for more money, which makes that upfront expense a wise financial investment.