8 Guidelines to Follow When Staging Your Home

home stagingThe two main benefits of home staging are faster selling time and higher sale price of real estate. According to the National Association of Realtors, staged homes sell 80% quicker, and for up to 11% more money than non-staged properties. If you are putting your home on the market, your hopes are to sell it as fast as possible and for the most money. A major way to make sure of this is to pay close attention to the way you stage your home.

One of the major misconceptions of home staging is the idea that you have to buy all new furniture, appliances, and decorations. The truth is home staging can be very simple from curb appeal, to putting clutter in storage bins, these simple tips will help you make sure your home sells the fastest and for the most money!

  1. Start with the outside. Curb appeal is a major selling point. By power washing the siding or simply cutting down the overgrown bushes your home can look much more appealing. Maybe add a few planters at the front door, make sure your lawn is looking extra green maintained. Staging is not just for the inside, after all a potential buyer begins their critiques the second they walk up the driveway.
  2. De-clutter. Break out a few of those moving boxes a little early and start to de-clutter by going room to room. Box up the DVDS, excess frames, dog toys, and magazines in the family room. Clear your kitchen counter of the Keurig, coffee mugs, dish rack, and any other appliances that take up a significant amount of counter space. Clear out children’s rooms that are full of toys as much as possible. Your goal in this is to create as much floor space and living space as possible in order to show the buyer what your home has to offer. This does not mean you have to put the box away for good, just keep the items you may need out of sight for the duration of your home showing. This extra effort can really pay off.
  3. Shine everything up. Every home needs a thorough wipe down. From the appliances to the windows, every nook and cranny of your home should be wiped down, dusted and polished. Wood floors that are looking dull may react perfectly to a fresh polish. Scrub between tile in bathrooms. Rent a carpet cleaner and make sure the carpets look and smell as fresh as possible. This effort will reflect your upkeep on the home and make everything look fresh and new. Nothing is more reassuring to a potential buyer than the fact that you have made it a priority to keep your home in tip-top shape.
  4. Rearrange your furniture. Now that your house is looking clean and de-cluttered you can move onto the real “staging” which starts with the furniture. Take a step back and look at each room, a lot of times we move couches and chairs so that they are ‘functional’ so that we can see the TV, have the most carpet space, accommodate the large lazy boy chair etc. Try to move your furniture back so that it looks the way it should. Move the couch so that it faces the fireplace, make it as welcoming and cozy as possible. Feel free to remove any over sized furniture that is adding bulk to the room. Put these pieces in temporary storage. The rooms will look much more pulled together and appealing.
  5. Stage the outdoors as well. Look at your patio and deck. If you have space outside that can be seen as additional living space take advantage of it! Maybe throw a pillow on a bench or an outdoor rug on your deck. These touches will add to the living space and appeal to all buyers.
  6. Pet orders are important. Pet odors are something that many homeowners don’t notice, but potential buyers will. When you live in your home on a day-to-day basis, you become immune to the scents around you. The smell of pet order in the carpets is something that you may over look, but when a stranger walks through your door it may be the first thing they notice. Do all you can to eliminate any odors in your home. Clean all the carpets and furniture. Depending on how strong the scent is light candles, and purchase odor eliminating sprays and plug-ins.
  7. Get behind the closed doors. There is no guarantee that potential home buyers will not open your pantry and closet doors, after all they want to see exactly where they will put their ‘stuff’ right? So this means throwing your clutter behind these closed doors will not do the trick. Make sure to organize your closets to show their potential space. Once again box up anything that is adding negative attention in order to showcase the true space.
  8. Think neutrals. Painting walls is something that is not always a necessity when staging your home. But use your best judgment, if you feel home buyers may pay more attention to the bright red walls in your dining room than they will the large bay window maybe a quick coat of paint will help keep their focus. Think neutrals when staging, painting, and decorating. Neutrals pair well with a variety of colors and are great ways to help accent the things that matter such as the architecture, windows, and the layout of your home. As temporary as paint is, potential buyers find it very hard to see past colors that they cannot bare to look at.

The key to a successful staging process is to take a step back and look at your home through the eyes of someone else. Put yourself in the shows or a potential buyer. Eliminate the sentimental attachment for a moment and base your decisions simply on the question- Is my focus on the home, or the ‘stuff’ that fills it? 

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