If you’re serious about selling your home as quickly as possible, it’s advisable to stage it. This process allows you to present your house to a potential buyer in the best manner possible. Although you may have taken time and care to embed your own style into your living space, your taste in colors and accessories won’t necessarily match the buyer’s – so you need to try and make your home as impersonal, yet inviting, as possible.
In addition to thoroughly cleaning your house or condo, here are some tips on how to stage your home to make it appealing to buyers.
1. Use lighting to make your home more inviting
Maximize the light coming in, as a light and airy home is more desirable than a dark, gloomy one. Make sure that curtains and blinds are open wide. If you have heavy dark curtains, you can remove these completely and hang voile over the curtain rod, for privacy while you’re at home (remember to remove this and store it out of sight prior to a showing).
It’s a good idea to replace bulbs with daylight bulbs or specific mood lighting and avoid having harsh overhead lighting, such as fluorescent lights, in your home. Make sure to switch on the bedside- and other lamps before people arrive to view the house and make sure that all light bulbs in the home are working.
2. Define the purpose of each room
The reason for returning a room to its intended use is that buyers can be misled into thinking that the home is incorrectly laid out, or that it won’t meet their needs. If a room that you were using for another function was meant to be a bedroom, then put a bed back in the room, or if it’s purpose is an office then place a desk with a computer in this area.
3. Highlight your home’s best features
If you have a beautiful built-in bookshelf, empty it completely, dust and wipe it down and stage the shelves. Do this by having a limited amount of books on display, with some positioned vertically and some horizontally and by added interesting decor items. You can find lots of ideas of how to make spaces like these appealing on Pinterest.
If your garden is your pride and joy, make sure that the doors leading outside are open wide, inviting people to step out and take a look.
If you have an indoor fireplace and you are showing your home during winter, light a fire before the open house to give the room warmth and make it inviting.
4. Make your kitchen appealing to buyers
In order to woo buyers you need to get your kitchen looking as close to a showroom kitchen as possible. You want it to be clinically clean, which goes beyond the dishes being washed and packed away. Every surface should be spotless and you should remove everything from the countertops. This includes your toaster, blender, coffee maker or any other appliances. Pack these out of sight. Make sure that your fridge is clean and doesn’t have fridge magnets, calendars, drawings or photos on it.
5. Buy new white towels for your bathrooms
6. De-personalize your home
Although your family photos may make your house feel more welcoming and familiar to you, it can make potential buyers feel as if they are in someone else’s space and need to tiptoe around. Rather, you want them to be able to picture themselves living in your home. It’s a good idea to store your family photos out of sight, along with anything else that may clutter counter or table surfaces.
7. Small touches to make your home more appealing to buyers
Place a fruit bowl filled with crisp red apples in your kitchen or on the dining room table. It may seem like a minor detail but the image it projects is one of health and wellness. When someone walks into this area of your home you want them to think to themselves, ‘This looks like a healthy place, where healthy people live.’
Another small touch to make your home appealing is making sure that it smells good. Besides airing it well prior to the showing, you can buy some ready-made cookie dough and pop some cookies in the oven so that they’ll finish baking just before you need to leave. A simpler solution is to boil a stick of cinnamon on your stove or experiment with boiling a combination of citrus, rosemary and vanilla beforehand so that you know what smells good on the day of the open house.
The simplest approach to get your home smelling inviting is to place diffusers in different rooms. The bamboo stick diffusers will work in smaller rooms while essential oil diffusers will be more effective in larger spaces.
8. Stage the outside of your home for buyers
It’s important to make your outdoor area as neat and attractive as possible. Sweep or powerwash your driveway and other paved surfaces and make sure that your windows are clean and sparkly and that there is no mold on sidings. You may want to do this yourself or you could hire a professional window cleaning service.
If you have a pool, make sure that it’s clean and that the outside area looks tidy and inviting. If your outdoor furniture is worn or broken, consider buying a new set and a bright umbrella or cheerful-looking cushions. To make the outdoor table look inviting, place a plant or flower pot in the middle of the table.
If you have a condo with a balcony, put out a small table and a couple of chairs and stage a cheerful breakfast spot.
A new, clean welcome mat that says ‘welcome’ could also add a nice touch outside the front door.
9. Begin boxing up your belongings before selling your home
You’ll need to box up your things once you’ve sold your home, but by doing this early you’ll kill two birds with one stone. This is not only an effective way of sorting through your belongings and getting rid of old items or those that you no longer want, but by packing things that you won’t need in the short term away you can help declutter your home and make less work for yourself when you move. If you need some encouragement on simplifying your life and letting go of some of the things you own, you’ll find The Minimalists offer oodles of resources to help you.
Tip: Label each box with the room it belongs in and with a list of the contents in the box. If you need to find something in a hurry, this will help you find it and it will also make unpacking in your new home a lot less work. All boxes labelled kitchen can be carried straight to your new home’s galley and all the master bedroom boxes will go to the right room before unpacking begins.
10. Chat to your realtor before staging your home
It’s a good idea to make a list of how you think you could stage your home well to appeal to buyers and then get an objective opinion from a professional. You could contact a professional home staging service, or speak to me. I’ve been selling homes in Santa Monica for more than 12 years and I have a thorough understanding of the trends in home decor. I know what buyers want. There are specific features that buyers look for time and time again and I’d love to save you the headache of spending money on the wrong things.
I’ll assist you by assessing your home and advising you on what changes to make that‘ll have the greatest impact to help your home sell quickly. This could save you hundreds of dollars.
One of the biggest mistakes that sellers make is to go ahead with renovations, remodelling or even a simple paint job without consulting their realtor first. Although staging props and accessories may not be as costly as renovations, you could still end up wasting money on the wrong items that don’t make your home more saleable. Let me use my years of experience to help you make the necessary changes as cost effectively as possible and get your home sold.