Staged homes sell faster. Why? Successful home staging enables your potential home buyer to see themselves in your home, not how you’re currently occupying it. Professional staging consultants achieve this by following a plan to declutter, de-personalize and highlight the best features.
Divide and conquer
If you’re selling your home, before any photos are taken or a buyer comes to view, take a good look around your home. Imagine it with only half of the belongings. Suddenly your home will appear to have more space. Some home staging consultants aim to remove at least two-thirds of items from a home before offering it for sale. This allows a room’s features (including size, flooring, and architectural details) to come forward so that buyers aren’t focusing on your collections and ornaments.
Follow a witness protection program
Put your home under a “witness protection program”! Remove anything that identifies who owns the property, so a prospective buyer doesn’t have to mentally “clear you out” before seeing themselves in the property. Box up family photos and store them safely away, and removes notes stuck on the fridge. Also remember to remove or cover up any sensitive business information in your study or home office.
Let there be natural light
Open your doors and windows, and check they all open properly! Also ensure they are all accessible – just because you haven’t used a side door in years doesn’t mean that you should ignore it. Keeping it hidden will make buyers suspect that there’s something wrong with it. (If there is, fix it.) Keeping windows clean, and the curtains tied back will let more natural light into your home, which is a big plus for prospective buyers.
Our furry friends
Even if they are pet lovers themselves, prospective property buyers would prefer not to see pet hairs or smell evidence of your family pet. If possible, try to find a place for your pet to stay for a few days during viewings, and have your carpets steam-cleaned to eliminate any lingering odors. Or try to have your pet reign in one room or on one floor and give the area a thorough cleaning prior to an open house. Remember also to temporarily remove pet beds, litter boxes and food dishes out of sight – and smell.
Peek behind closed doors
Take a good look at your closets and cupboards. What kind of impression would they give a prospective buyer? Are they bursting at the seams or do they provide ample room for all your stuff? Take a minute to organize your items, wipe down shelves and air out your cupboards. Clearing out the clutter will work in your favour; interested buyers will always take a peek, even if they don’t admit to doing it!
Follow your nose
People use all of their senses when they evaluate a property. So, remember to keep their noses happy. Avoid preparing aromatic foods using garlic, onions or other fragrant ingredients two days before your open house. Tuck fabric softener sheets in areas where shoes and sporting equipment is stored. Need to dispel a smell in a jiffy? Open up all of the interior doors in your home and cook up a batch of ready-to-bake chocolate chip cookies. Not only do they smell lovely, you can leave them out on a plate for people to nibble on as they consider your property!
One focal point
Home staging professionals know that the best way to showcase a room is to choose one focal point for it. It could be a window, fireplace or distinctive piece of furniture. The goal is for that focal point to draw the eye in and then around the room. This is why the elimination of clutter and excess furniture is key; you don’t want potential buyers distracted when they are inspecting the floors, molding and overall size and shape of the room. This is when they are picturing how their belongings will work in the space.
Minimize the negative
Stand at the entrance to a room. What is your eye drawn to first? If it’s something you prefer buyers not focus on, like a stucco ceiling or sponge-painting gone wild, your best defence is an eye-catching accessory near the front of the room. It’s done on home-staging shows all the time—they use a bowl of green apples or a vase of fresh flowers to successfully take eyes away from an offending feature for that pivotal moment when a first impression is made.
Need help staging your home for sale?
Contact Your Local Real Estate Team. With years of experience in selling all kinds of homes, from new homes to historic properties, we can help with practical advice on making your house for sale more attractive to a wider range of buyers.