12 Aug 2019

Highlight your home’s strengths, downplay its weaknesses and appeal to the greatest possible pool of prospective buyers with these home staging tips.

1. De Clutter!

The most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. Make a house rule that for every new item that comes in, an old one has to leave. One of the major contributors to a cluttered look is having too much furniture. When professional stagers descend on a home being prepped for market, they often whisk away as much as half the owner’s furnishings, and the house looks much bigger for it. You don’t have to whittle that drastically, but take a hard look at what you have and ask yourself what you can live without.

2. Depersonalize

Remember, potential buyers want to be able to picture themselves calling your house home, and that’s hard to do if all they see are family photos, personal items, and keepsakes. While it might be a bit emotional, take a run through your home and remove the decor items that make your house feel personally yours.   

3. Erase signs of pets

You may love your cat, but potential buyers may not (or they may have an allergy). Make sure to clean thoroughly and remove toys, food dishes, and water bowls.

4. Deep clean

Clean like your mother is coming. In fact, you may want to go one step further. Aim to clean to a point where it looks like nobody actually lives in the home: no smudges on the windows, no dust balls on the floor, no water marks on the counters. A clean home tells potential buyers that you’ve taken great care of the property.

5. Increase lighting everywhere

Staging a home is no time for mood lighting. One of the first things many potential buyers comment on is the amount of light in a home. Replace any burned-out light bulbs, swap out for higher wattage bulbs, clean your windows, open the blinds, and don’t forget to turn on the lights before any opens.

6. Re-arrange furniture

Take a look at each room and play around with the arrangement of your furniture to create more conversational spaces. For example, point couches toward each other as this will actually increase the amount of space in rooms. Don’t be afraid to mix things completely up. For day to day, you would probably point the couch toward the television. But staging your home for sale isn’t about living in it. It’s about selling it.

7. Stay neutral for broad appeal

Yes, that bright red accent wall really shows off your personality. But there’s only one you, and you’ve already bought this home once. You need to tone down the colors. Neutrals are your friends. You’ll also want to make sure to keep spaces gender-neutral. Your home’s new owners won’t necessarily use the rooms the same way you do.

8. Update the finishes

Walk through your home with a critical eye, noticing little maintenance issues like a serious buyer would. It’s likely worth a Saturday of work to repaint a room, re-caulk or re-grout, strip wallpaper, or change out dated or worn hardware.

9. Take a look at the exterior

Your home’s curb appeal is the ultimate first impression. Mow your lawn, pressure wash any dingy areas, repair chipping paint, plant some flowers, and tidy up any balcony furniture.

10. Arrange in odd numbers

From throw pillows to accessories and chairs to artwork, professional stagers and designers swear by decorating in threes, fives, and sevens, which gives some visual interest to otherwise symmetrical spaces.

11. Only style with polished accents

For example, only stage your master bath with new bath towels, or none at all. Just say no to your still-drying or ancient bath towels, half used soap and shampoo from this morning’s shower.

12. Make the space appear larger

Add mirrors to reflect light, swap a heavy powder room cabinet for a pedestal sink, or remove a leaf from your huge dining room table.

13. Show value in unusual floor plans

Highlight what makes your home unique and special. Add a reading nook, show the benefit of an extra storage area, or tuck a desk in an unused corner.

14. Use extra rooms deliberately

Never leave a room empty. Instead, make that unused room feel usable, staging it as an office, reading room, or guest bedroom — but never all of those things at once!

15. Hire a weekly cleaner!

This is probably the most important tip!. You worked hard to get your house in pristine condition, so don’t let things slide over time. Hire someone to come and deep clean every week while you go and grab a coffee or discuss potential offers with your agent.

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  • Highlight your home's strengths, downplay its weaknesses and appeal to the greatest possible pool of prospective buyers with these home-staging tips.