Staging is often viewed as an “extra” step in the home selling process. While it’s true that making repairs and major updates tend to be more important, this short list of staging tips will be a vital component to getting top dollar for your home, avoiding costly repairs mid-contract, and minimizing surprises during inspections.
The buyer’s first impression is most likely going to be a photo of the front elevation of your home. Take a moment to cross the street and take a look at your property from a distance. This will put into perspective what the buyers see when they take their first glance at your home.
- Add some color to your landscape with bright flowering plants.
- The buyers will enter using the front door so dress this up. Pot some flowers to set on the stoop (if it’s large enough) and replace your old and dingy welcome mat.
- Give your front door a fresh coat of paint. Be careful with accent colors.
- Replace your house numbers if they’re not engraved into stone or brick.
- Rent a power washer and get that siding squeaky clean. Ask your neighbors if they’d like to share in the cost and everyone’s house will look better for it and you’ll save a few bucks. It’s a win-win.
- Remove any furniture that’s too large for the space. Things to look for are blocked hallways, walkways, windows, or furniture that’s touching another piece.
- Get your furniture floating. Anchoring your furniture to the outer walls is one of the most common staging mistakes. Make sure your furniture is anchored to an area rug and not the walls.
- Do not buy new furniture just for staging purposes. If your furniture isn’t in the greatest condition use a slip cover or really luxurious throw blanket to cover problem areas.
- Liberate your fridge. Remove all magnets, photos, takeout menus, etc.
- Keep the counter tops clear aside from one or two everyday items.
- Sprinkle in a few stylish accessories like: a tray with decorative soap, nice (unused) sponge, and a succulent. Leaving a stylish cookbook propped up or some wooden cooking spoons in a white ceramic vase would to the trick as well.
Bedrooms are tricky because you want to emulate comfort but remove anything that’s too personal.
- Remove anything that isn’t traditionally in a bedroom, (i.e., extra beds, cribs, desks).
- Invest in a nice bedding set if yours is old and grungy. Stores like HomeGoods and Gordman’s are great for smaller staging items. Your Realtor may even have a small inventory of items so don’t forget to ask them first.
- Your towels need to be new and fresh. Stick with a hotel look and buy a set of white towels at one of the discount stores I mentioned above.
- Hide all products, tooth brushes, and medications.
- Add a candle or vase of fresh flowers.
Backyards sell a lot of homes. Don’t underestimate how important this space is to buyers. Your best bet is to stage this to emphasize the useable space. A conversation set would do the trick here.
Before you Leave the House
- Lock away any valuables and medications.
- Set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature.
- Set out a vase of fresh flowers.
- Make sure all lights are on and curtains are open.
- A plate of cookies is a really nice touch.
Above all else…
Leave! Your Realtor will ensure all buyers have signed in and are monitored while touring your home. But no buyer will be comfortable speaking openly about your home while you’re present.