Quick & Surprisingly Simple Home Staging Tricks to Sell Your Home
Let’s say your house is on the market. You’ll want to sell it quickly and for a fair price. But how do you do it?
If you are looking for advice about selling your home, you need to know about home staging. It is one of the most affordable and effective ways to increase your chances of finding a buyer for your home. Not only does it help you make a good first impression on potential buyers, but it helps them see themselves as the new owners of your home. Follow these simple tips to help you sell your home.
About Staging The Home
Most sellers have two goals.
- One: to sell their home quickly.
- Two: to get the best price possible for their property.
Staging your home can help you meet these goals by making your home memorable to potential buyers.
According to the 2019 Profile of Home Staging from the National Association of Realtors, 40 percent of Realtors agree that home staging has an effect on potential buyer’s views of the home. 83 percent of buyers’ agents cited that staging a home made it easier for buyers to visualize themselves as it’s future owners and see the property as their future home.
44 percent of buyer’s agents say that staging a home increases the dollar amount value offered to the seller for their home, while 53 percent of seller’s agents say that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market. Overall, there is a clear connection between home staging and the improved sale potential of the property.
Here are some ways professional home staging can benefit you when selling:
When you stage your home, you also give buyers ideas on how to use the space. This creates a better first impression to potential buyers and encourages them to imagine themselves as the property’s owner. It also removes any personal items that may make it difficult for potential buyers to visualize themselves in the home.
You have better marketing opportunities when you stage your property. You can highlight the most appealing parts of your home and conceal the less attractive ones. This also results in better photos for use in marketing materials, like online home listings or printed flyers. A professional will know exactly how to capture your space to make sure it looks its best. This is essential in today’s real estate market.
It’s been proven that a house that has been professionally staged will see a higher sale price after spending less time on the market.
Staging your home doesn’t have to be expensive. On average, home staging costs $400 to $700 per room, so depending on your budget, you may have to focus your spending on certain rooms to get the best value for your money.
If you’re on a limited budget when it comes to staging your house, focus on areas in this order:
- Living room
- Master Bedroom
- Dining Room
- Child’s Bedroom
- Guest Bedroom
These rooms rank in the same order of importance for both buyers and sellers. Focusing on the rooms higher on the list give you more bang for your buck when it comes to professional staging.
The Clean Curb Appeal
When you think of staging, you probably think of arranging bespoke furniture in an already gorgeous house. But staging doesn’t always take place inside. The exterior of the home is the first thing a potential buyer will see when they arrive at your property, and it can have a huge impact on their impression of the home. You should take some time to clean up the exterior areas of your home. Hanging a new mailbox or putting up new house numbers is a quick way to give your home a facelift. Try power washing your brick walls, patios, and other outdoor surfaces to remove grime that would otherwise make your home’s exterior look old. Adding a new wooden rocking chair, potted plants, and other little touches to a plain entryway is an easy way to make your home feel more welcoming to potential buyers.
Clear It Out
It may seem like a simple thought, but don’t underestimate the power of a clean, clutter-free home when you are trying to sell your property. If you have an overflowing crate of toys in the family room, stacks of mail on the kitchen countertop, and piles of books across every surface in your home, then you may not notice when your space becomes messy. But when an outsider looks at your home, they see it from a new perspective, and if you have clutter taking up space, this can make it difficult for them to envision themselves living in the home.
Walk-through your home with a critical eye to spot messy areas that will need your attention. Since you are selling your home, you’ll need to pack soon anyway, so now is the perfect time to get a head start on this process. Pack away any items you don’t think will help your home seem larger and tidy. We recommend placing your boxes out of sight. Whether this is in a friend’s home, in a storage unit, or a vehicle, you should try and keep these boxes out of sight when you have a house viewing. Try to avoid filling your closets, basement, or spare room with boxes, as this makes those areas seem smaller and less appealing. You must remember that a potential buyer is buying the whole house, not just the aesthetically pleasing parts.
Potential buyers will often open doors, including pantries and closets, to evaluate all of the space that is available in their potential home. You should keep these areas organized and free of clutter, so they seem functional and spacious. Another key place to check is your pantry. If it is overflowing with food, again, this will make the space feel small and impractical to potential buyers.
Cleaning is an obvious way to prepare your home for viewing. However, this goes beyond the obvious daily tasks of keeping your home tidy. Like clutter, little stains and marks can easily become the background to your life, meaning you might not notice the grease marks on the cabinets, toothpaste splatters on the bathroom walls, or handprints on the stairwell. But you can be sure that potential buyers will notice these things, and this will make them less likely to be interested in your project.
Make sure you give your entire home a thorough clean before you put it on the market.
Here is a short list of important places to deep clean:
- Window frames
- Grout Lines
Make It New
If you haven’t updated your home in a few years, it may be time to refinish surfaces or replace old home furnishings as part of the staging process. A quick and easy way to update your home is by repainting your walls.
Over time, your home’s flooring may have become worn, especially if you have pets or kids. Refinish hardwood floors, or replace old worn floors to increase the value of your home. If you are on a budget, large area rugs can also help give floors a new look.
Give your cabinets a facelift by painting or staining them. Trim or molding along the edges of cabinets can also help give them a new look. Add new hardware to modernize a tired space, and your home will be much more inviting to potential buyers.
Even your linens and accessories may need an update. By replacing your worn faded towels with a fresh set of new towels to hang in the bathroom, you can make the home look new and fresh. This makes it more appealing to potential buyers.
Add Homey Touches
The house you are trying to sell should feel like a home. Adding small intimate accent pieces to your décor will give the space a cozy feeling, which can make a huge difference to potential buyers. These little, homey touches help make the space aesthetically pleasing without running the risk of it looking too personal. If your home looks too personal, potential buyers will find it difficult to picture themselves as your home’s new owners.
If you find this task difficult, find inspiration by flipping through the pages of a home décor magazine. Analyze the common accent pieces used in the rooms and use some of those same tricks in your home.
Here are a few ideas:
- Place potted plants on the front porch to welcome potential buyers.
- Fill a vase with fresh flowers and place it near the entryway.
- Fill a basket with fresh fruit and set it on the countertop.
- Place a short stack of interesting books on an end table or coffee table.
- Set a basket of freshly laundered towels on the counter.
- Fill a clear apothecary jar with artisan soaps and place it in the bathroom.
- Arrange candles with an assortment of flowers or other accents tucked between them.
- Position a potted plant in a living area by the TV.
- Use a tart warmer or scented candle with a light, clean scent to make the home smell fresh and inviting.
By implementing these quick and easy staging tips, your home will feel much more homely and therefore be considerably more attractive to potential buyers.
Don’t Get Too Personal
Over the years, you have worked hard to find home décor and furnishings that showcase your personal style. You found the final frame to complete your gallery wall full of family photos. Your collection of snow globes lines your fireplace as a reminder of your travels. Your set of vinyl records sits proudly by your coffee table so you can show off your favorite artists to guests whenever they visit.
But although these pieces define your space as yours, they may also alienate potential buyers. It can be difficult for a buyer to visualize themselves in your house when there’s so much of you still left inside of it.
The good news is, you don’t have to remove every piece of décor from your home. Then it would look bland, boring, and unattractive to potential buyers. You need to find a healthy balance by removing some of these personal pieces, so the space looks generic enough for visitors to start picturing their own family pictures on the wall.
An easy way to accomplish this depersonalization without making the home look empty is to replace any family photos with artwork. The framing will give the potential buyer space to visualize their own family’s photos on the walls. Just pick up a few inexpensive framed prints to hang on a feature wall and relax, knowing you are taking steps to improve the salability of your home. Large printed photos of landscapes or without also work well and are very cheap to print through photo services.
Shift Your Furniture
Staging your home doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Simply rearranging your existing furniture can make a huge difference to how your home looks to potential buyers. When you rearrange your furniture, you should focus on making the room look larger than it actually is. Unfortunately, there is no one set way to do this; you need to play with the arrangement of your furniture to see what makes the biggest impact. We recommend grouping chairs together to create conversation nooks in the living room. Subconsciously this will make the area feel like a social zone, which will make potential buyers feel at ease in the living room.
Here are some more furniture placement tips that could improve the look of your home:
Use cardboard boxes of a similar size and shape of the furniture you are moving. If you aren’t sure where to place your furniture, you can move the cardboard around freely to see how different arrangements fit in your space. This is much easier than moving around heavy pieces of furniture over and over again.
Arrange your furniture symmetrically to create a balanced look. This will give your room much-needed symmetry and encourage buyers to look at the space properly.
Try positioning your furniture to draw the buyer’s eye to the focal point of the room. This could be a fireplace, a large picture, or a window with a beautiful view.
Conversely, you should draw attention away from any negative areas of the home through your furniture placement. For example, if your home doesn’t get a lot of natural light, place your furniture away from windows and surround them with lamps to create a warm glow in the space.
Move furniture away from walls to improve the flow of your floor plan.
Exit the room and reenter to consider how it will look to newcomers. You need to make sure that your furniture doesn’t obstruct lines of sight or block the view of a focal point in the room.
Make the Purpose Clear
Every room in the home should have a clear purpose as it helps potential buyers see every space as useful. Buyers can more easily envision themselves in a laundry room than they could in a room used for storage. Take stock of what furniture you have in the rooms of your home and note down how it does or does not signify the purpose of the room. Identify areas that lack purpose or serve as multipurpose areas; these are the spaces that need the most work.
Find the purpose of a space by identifying what it would be traditionally used for. For example, if your mudroom spills into your living room, then separate these two spaces and move the relevant furniture into the correct area. Anything that doesn’t speak to that purpose of the room must be removed.
You may find that as you identify the purposes of the rooms in your home, you do not have the right furniture for some spaces. This might mean that you need to add some pieces of furniture temporarily to create the appearance of a specified room. For example, suppose you have a spare room that currently serves as a multifunctional guest bedroom, office, and playroom. In that case, you should consider clearing out all of the furniture in the room apart from traditional bedroom items.
Draw Them In
Staging your home is your chance to subtly encourage potential buyers to view all areas of your home. Use this opportunity to encourage them to make an offer on the space.
Place home décor in key places around the home to encourage potential buyers to explore your space in more detail. Lead them to the more striking areas of your space, and then highlight the best features of the home with furniture and decor.
For example, try toping a window seat with a freshly upholstered cushion and accent pillows to create a cozy reading nook. Or place a blooming bouquet of flowers on a stand at the top of the stairs to greet potential buyers as they make their way onto the second floor. You could even hang up a piece of artwork in a room off to the side, making sure it’s visible through the doorway to draw the eye as they walk past.
These small details have a huge visual impact on your space and can help grab the attention of potential buyers.
If you have followed all of the tricks and tips we have listed so far and your home is still on the market, then you may need to think about whether your color palette is effective in your space. Neutral is always a safe bet when staging a home to sell. If your walls are painted with bold colors, this may mean you need to repaint them in a neutral color to encourage a sale. For example, if your master bedroom has a more feminine design, you should try to reinvent the space by choosing a more gender-neutral color palette, so the room is equally appealing to men who look at the home as it is to women.
This advice does not just extend to the master bedroom. Children’s bedrooms with a gendered décor should also be changed to incorporate a gender-neutral color scheme. If a potential buyer with a young daughter sees a blue bedroom, they need to consider how much time and money they will need to spend updating the room, so it suits their child’s taste. If you do not do this, it may mean that you receive a smaller offer on your property. Similarly, if a buyer without children views your home and sees a bubble gum pink bedroom, they may not put in an offer on the property since they will have to work to turn the space into an elegant guest room or functional office space.
Neutral palates have the added benefit of brightening your space. This makes the room feel larger and more welcoming. By contrast, dark walls, curtains, or other décor items make the room feel claustrophobic, which will put off potential buyers looking for a bright, spacious house to make their own.
Play With Light
Create a bright welcome ambiance for your home by bringing in as much natural light as possible. Ensure every window in your home is spotless, and wipe away any rogue streaks to get the maximum amount of light in your space. If your windows are shadowed by heavy dark curtains, swap them out for lighter, sheer curtains to encourage light flow around the room.
If your home doesn’t see a lot of natural light, use lamps to make up the difference. Part of staging a home effectively includes incorporating a variety of light sources into any given room: overhead, general lamps, and task lighting are all a must to create an inviting space. You should make sure any existing light fixtures have working light bulbs and that these bulbs are of the maximum wattage allowed in the fixture.
Stage your home by adding a floor lamp or table lamp to a dark area of a room. Then take stock of your space and add other sources of light around the room in darker areas. Once you have done this, add task lightings, such as under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen and bathroom. Test these light sources at different times of day to see if you need to add or remove any pieces to get the best effect.
Size It Right
The sizing of your furniture will affect how potential buyers view your space. If you have a tiny side table or your couch has always felt too large for the living room, buyers will notice this too and may be put off. When furniture is out of proportion with the rest of the room, it detracts from the overall look of the space.
When furniture is too large for the space or a lot of furniture is crowded into a room; this makes the space feel smaller than it actually is. If you have too much furniture, there is an easy fix for this issue. Simply move some pieces out of the room and place them in storage or at a friend’s house until you move out. However, suppose your furniture is too large. In that case, you need to consider removing it from the property permanently and hiring a professional staging company to provide smaller pieces of furniture for your room.
If professional staging is not in your budget, consider doing a furniture swap with friends while your property is on the market. If your existing furniture is worn or outdated, then this is a great way to get new furniture that looks modern, clean, and new into your home without the price tag.
Pull It Together
When you have lived in your home for a long time, you may not notice if its style becomes incoherent. When you collect décor and furniture over the years, your home will never have that cohesive fashion-forward style that potential buyers expect.
When you are preparing to put your home on the market, you must consider how well all of the items in your home blend together. If something stands out, like a statement sofa or bold art piece, remove it from your home to create a more cohesive, free-flowing design. While everything doesn’t need to match flawlessly, if something stands out, buyers will notice.
If you are having trouble figuring out if your home’s décor is cohesive, consider hiring a professional home stager. They work diligently to spot potential problems within your home and identify how your floor plan may send the wrong message to potential buyers so they can fix this. Having a third party involved in this process, who has no emotional attachment to the home, will make this process easier. They can decide what you should remove from the home and store elsewhere, what should stay to help enhance your home, and what items you can replace temporarily with furniture from a staging company.
If this service interests you, then you are in luck. Here at Interior Furniture Resources, we have a comprehensive home staging program with proven results. Our seasoned home staging experts will, for a small investment, write a report detailing the specifics of your property, including its strengths and weaknesses. Once you receive this report, you’ll know how exactly how best to move forward with the staging process and if utilizing the additional staging services we offer would benefit you.
Now you have a better idea of how to stage a home to improve its chance of selling quickly, and you are ready to get your home looking its best for potential buyers.
But you don’t have to do it alone. Our custom staging program gives you the help you need to stage your home. We will guide you through this process from the initial design stages until the project is completed.
We have everything you need to stage your home, from home furnishings to accent pieces, lighting, and rugs. Even bed and bath linens and kitchen and dining room accessories are available when you work with us.
We also offer advice on countertops, flooring, wall coverings, cabinets, and other design elements to improve the chance of your home selling quickly. We want to help you sell your home faster!