Sellers often ask me if they should stage their homes to sell. In my opinion this is one of the best things you can do to attract prospective buyers to your home. The main reason is that 97% of prospective buyers will begin their home search online. Photos of a beautifully staged home will make it easier for prospective buyers to visualize the property as their future home. If a home is left vacant or is presented poorly it makes it difficult for buyers to visualize the property as their future home and they may pass on the opportunity to see the property in person. Statistics from the NAR and Home Staging Resource show that staged homes spend 73% less time on the market, and 67% of Realtors believe that buyers offer up to 15% more for a staged home.
There are companies that specialize in staging a home for sale, but there are also many simple things you can do on your own to stage your home for sale. Listed below are ten steps you can take on your own to stage your home for sale. The goal is to make your home attractive and welcoming to potential buyers. They should be able to visualize the property as their future home, and not as if they’re invading someone else’s space.
1. Get Rid of Clutter-
You may want to rent a storage space for the time that your property will be listed. Get everything off the floor that is not a piece of furniture or a rug. You only want to leave items in your home that are beneficial to the presentation of your home. For example, you may have a bookshelf that is packed with books and other items. Even though this is how the bookshelf works as a functional object in your life, it won’t serve you well in the staging of your home. A bookshelf in a staged home should be minimal and neutral. Remove any titles that could be controversial, and only save books and objects whose colors compliment the color scheme of the room. Make sure there is vacant space on every shelf, a little breathing room can go a long way.
2. Remove The Personal-
Remove any personal photos, or items with your name. Remember that the whole idea with staging is to help prospective buyers visualize the property as their future home. Photos and other personal items left around the home can instead make a buyer feel unwelcomed or that they are intruding on someone else’s space.
3. Boost Curb Appeal-
You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and that’s why curb appeal is so important. Make sure your yard is clean and tidy. Refresh landscaping, and add new mulch where needed. Inspect the exterior of your home for peeling paint, crumbling concrete or other signs that may need your attention. Power wash, and apply fresh paint to doors, shutters, and trim. Be sure that your property address is easy to locate and that other items like your mailbox, planter boxes or patio furniture are clean and presentable.
4. Clean Your House-
This one may seem obvious, but it is very important. Prospective buyers at a showing will open drawers, kitchen appliances, closets, and shower curtains. Be sure to give your house a deep clean and to keep it as clean as possible during the time that your home is on the market. By keeping a clean home you make your home more welcoming to prospective buyers.
5. Touch Up-
Take a close look at your floors, trim, molding, grout and walls. If you see any imperfections, worn areas, or holes make these small repairs or hire someone else to address them before you list your home. These may be things that you have overlooked for years because they are so minor, but when these things are left unaddressed, it may suggest to a potential buyer that there are more serious repairs lurking in the home.
6. Beware of Odors-
If you have pets be sure that your home is clear of pet odor. This can be a big turn off to buyers. There is also the potential of other off putting smells like smoke, mildew, or heavy perfumes. If you are unsure if your home has a weird odor, invite your Realtor or a friend over to your home and ask their opinion. If a property is staged and clean but still smells bad, you may lose prospective buyers.
7. Pay Attention to Light-
You may not usually open all of your shades, but when you know that buyers may be stopping by for a showing be sure that your home is well lit and open to natural light. A buyer will likely not take the time to open shades at a showing, so be sure to do this before they arrive. A well lit home is welcoming, and can feel more spacious and warm.
8. Gender Neutral Master Bedroom-
There will be an assortment of buyers looking at your property. And you need to try to appeal to all of them. By staging a master bedroom with gender-neutral colors and linens, you can appeal to a larger population of buyers.
9. Closets and Garages-
Prospective buyers will want to see the insides of garages, storage sheds and closets. Rather than stuffing them full of all of the things you removed from the rest of the property, rent an offsite storage unit instead. Closets and garages should remain accessible, clean and organized – just like the rest of the property.
10. Show The Best Use For An Awkward Space-
Buying a home is a difficult task, and it is often too much to ask a buyer to imagine the best use of an awkward space. Don’t leave these areas unaddressed. Instead stage them in such a way that you can show buyers their best use.