Staging a house for showings and open houses can be a lot of work, and can skim a little off the top of your rainy day fund. However, when done right, staging your home to professional standards doesn’t have to be overly expensive or time consuming. Here are five tips to follow so you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your efforts!
Boost Your Curb Appeal
While buyers will be focusing on the inside of your house, the way the outside looks will immediately form their first impression of the property. Cosmetic issues that you’ve lived with for awhile and barely notice may not be a big deal to you, but could make or break how interested someone is within their first few seconds of viewing your home.
It’s important to be critical when analyzing the curb appeal of your home, and attempt to see things through the eyes of a newcomer; what would you want or not want to see in a home you’re interested in buying?
Here are some key things to look at when you’re trying to make improvements:
Your front door may seem insignificant, but is one of the first things people notice when approaching your home. While it can be in good working condition, it may look a little outdated, reflecting poorly on the state of the rest of the house. A fresh coat of paint in a bold, attractive color can do wonders for your curb appeal. If there are larger, structural issues with the door, make sure they’re dealt with right away.
No one wants to see a plethora of handprints on the windows as they’re walking up. Make sure all windows have been properly cleaned of any dust to make your home look even more appealing.
Your lawn and surrounding area all play an important role in how attractive your home is from the outside. If you notice patches in the grass, yellow dead spots, or wilted plants in your flower beds, it may be time to do some gardening before your showings.
Nice flowers and a well kept lawn can make potential buyers feel more welcomed and at home; not to mention the positive impact it’ll have on the appearance! Doing a little simple landscaping is an easy and inexpensive way to spruce up your curb appeal without breaking the bank.
Your porch, much like your front door, is an important entry point to your home that has to be taken care of. Putting out patio furniture, a welcome mat, and a few potted plants can make the space appear cozy and inviting right off the bat.
Now that we know how to take care of the outside, how do we make sure the inside looks as good as possible?
Downsize – A Lot
The longer we reside in our current home, the more things we accumulate and find space for – it just happens. Extra belongings and furniture can easily clutter the space you’re trying to show, and distract from the main attraction, which should be the home itself.
Getting rid of extra or unnecessary furniture can actually make the space appear bigger than it really is. With less of your things laying around, this can also help the potential buyer to visualize their own belongings living in the room, and start to imagine themselves living their life within the home. These strong visuals can often be promising selling features.
When the time comes to show your home to buyers, it’s important to assess what furniture you think is necessary, and what you could stand to part with, or put in storage if you don’t wish for the loss to be permanent. When professionals are brought in to do the job, it’s not uncommon that they get rid of almost half of all your belongings in an effort to open up the room. How are your buyers going to see the full scope of your lovely floors, new paint job, or detailed accents if there’s too much clutter? Narrowing your home down to a few main furniture staples in each room will have a big pay off.
Opening up your home is the first step towards proper styling to maximize the appeal of it – after that, it’s all up to the arrangement!
In order for your home to be truly ready for showings, everything should be spotless. Think of the way your mother would clean when she knew she had guests coming over, making sure not a single corner of the house was missed. This should be your mindset when you start cleaning, making sure the floors and walls are thoroughly scrubbed, vacuuming and dusting,
Use Lighting to Your Advantage
Turning on all the lights for a showing can give your home the added warmth and welcoming nature it needs to make your prospective buyers feel comfortable, and at home. Creative lighting can also accent the features of your home that you want to show off, and allows you to create a certain mood that’s specific to each room. Just remember that with all that light shining down on your place, you’ll want to make sure it’s absolutely spotless!
Invest in Art That Works
Art can make your home appear much more modern and sleek, as long as it works well with the theme and style of the house. You may use art you already have in order to give your home a unique look, or you can invest in showing off your home to serious buyers. Feel free to do some research if you aren’t quite sure what works with the colors and styles you already have – a few prints, fixtures or knick knacks can go a long way presentation wise!
Hanging and placing art in unexpected, unique ways can really draw the eye. A few quick searches or a consultation can help keep you up to date with trendy new ideas that will draw in a deserved amount of attention for your chosen art, without taking away from the home itself.
Show Off Your Closet Space
One of the main things buyers look for in a bedroom is closet space. While you don’t need to clean it out entirely for showings, organizing and decluttering is best to display the amount of space there is. Like we mentioned earlier, tidying and removing certain things can actually make the closet appear more spacious, and therefore more appealing.
Open house visitors or buyers passing through will absolutely look inside the closets, so it’s important for them to be prepared for viewing. Strategically cleaning and moving a few things can add a surprising amount of space that can help sell the room to whoever may be passing through.
Dress Up Your Spare Bedroom
Sometimes we can fall into the habit of using our spare bedrooms as storage spaces for everything we don’t know what to do with; this is fine up until you start needing to show your home! It’s best that each room has a clearly defined purpose when potential buyers are walking through, so it’s easier for them to envision themselves living there.
If the room is unfurnished, you can take that opportunity to transform it into whatever you want it to be. You can add a desk and make it into an office, or furnish it with a bed and nightstand to create the proper ambiance of a spare bedroom. The new owners can flip it however they like, but in the meantime, you can create a welcoming space that will allow them to begin to see it as their own.
A little style can go a long way in these instances, and the furniture doesn’t need to be overly expensive in order for it to serve its’ purpose. As long as everything matches and looks organized, your job is done!
Make it Look Clean, But Lived In
While we mentioned decluttering above, it’s also important for your home to look like a home. You do want your floors, walls and carpets to be spotless, but that doesn’t mean your home has to look abandoned, either.
A lived in look doesn’t have to include clothes on the floor, or an unmade bed. Lived in can mean a bowl of fresh fruit placed on the kitchen counter, fancy soaps and toiletries arranged in the bathrooms, a few vases of flowers placed throughout, and whatever other nice touch you can think of. Think of how you’d prepare your home to have guests stay there, and set it up with nice personal touches that give the impression of a warm, comforting home.
Don’t Forget Your Backyard
Your backyard can also be advertised to buyers as a cozy part of your home. Nice patio furniture, fire pits, hammocks and more can be added to create a calming atmosphere that implies backyard parties in the summertime, or simple relaxation.
The greenery in your yard can also add to its’ appeal. Making sure grass is planted and watered well makes the outside of the property easier on the eyes, and gives any viewers the impression that it’s been well kept.
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