Are you selling your home? It can be a difficult time for sellers right now, given all the competition out there. However, there are ways to improve your chances of getting a property off of your hands, and one of them is home staging.
What is Home Staging?
Home staging, also called property styling, is preparing your house for a potential buyer’s visit. It’s not just a matter of cleaning or putting up new curtains. Staging is more about setting the mood and creating an illusion that will appeal to buyers and, hopefully, make a sale.
Real estate agents know very well about the effectiveness of staging and many offer this service to sellers. Take advantage of these services and certainly don’t take it personally when they move furnishings around or remove items from rooms altogether.
These aren’t comments on your decorating style; they’re clear-cut methods of making your home more appealing to buyers. What these agents know is that buyers have to imagine themselves living in a house. If there are too many personal things lying around, or too much clutter, it can make it difficult for those buyers to identify with your home and see the home as a place where they would like to live.
Tips for Staging Your Home
You can hire a professional to stage your home for you, or you can do it yourself, if you’d like to save on expenses. If you choose to go-it alone, here are some helpful DIY tips for home staging.
- Put on a new layer of paint, preferably a neutral color. Nothing turns off a buyer more than to see peeling paint, dark splotches on the kitchen or bathroom walls, or “uniqueâ€ color schemes.
- Simplify. Remove all the clutter and bric-a-brac, and take out all the personal items you have in your house. While it may be hard for you to take down those framed photographs of your family or to pack up the souvenir items you bought in Asia, it will work to your advantage to have the house reduced to its most basic look. This enables the buyer to see your home’s potential; the knick knacks only serve to distract and may even cloud the buyer’s ability to see the home as their own.
- Rearrange furniture to create the illusion of space. Take out old or worn furniture and remove the extras that may be taking up space. You can store all these items off-site. By creating more space, you are allowing the buyer to decorate the house in his mind, instead of seeing it decorated as someone else’s home. And less furnishings make rooms look larger and airierâ€”always a benefit when you’re selling a home.
- Make some repairs. Before opening the property to the public, go around your house and identify everything that needs to be repaired, such as the clogged bathroom sink, the leaking faucet, or the creaking cabinet door. These may be minor issues, but even the smallest details can mean a great deal to a buyer in terms of making a good first impression.
- Let there be light! Use bright lights, light-colored curtains, or wide-open windows to brighten your home. Buyers appreciate a well-lit house, as it creates a stress-free and happy mood.
- Make sure your home is ready to show anytime. You never know when someone will come to view your home, so make sure that you keep it clean and in tiptop shape. Pretend that you’re living in a hotel suite or a model home, which can be opened to the public any time of the day. Pick up the laundry from the bathroom, clean the kitchen after every meal, and keep things like remotes or books tucked away out of sight. The less lived in the home looks, the better.
Before you start thinking that all this effort couldn’t possibly be worth it, remember that your home could feasibly go unsold for months or years, given the current real estate market. By staging your home, you’re making sure that someone will come along and see your house as their dream home, instead of just another home that someone is desperately trying to sell.