Quick & Surprisingly Simple Home Staging Tricks to Sell Your Home
Your house is on the market. You want it to sell fast and for top dollar. How do you do it? When it comes to home selling advice, home staging is perhaps one of the most affordable and effective options. Home staging helps you make the first impression positive and memorable so potential buyers who walk through the door can really see themselves in your home. It’s simple when you follow these home staging tips to sell a home.
Why Worry About Staging?
Most home sellers have two goals: to sell fast and to get the maximum amount out of the sale. With a little time and money invested up front, staging your home can help you meet these goals and make your property stand out from the crowd to potential buyers.
According to the 2015 Profile of Home Staging from the National Association of Realtors, 49 percent of Realtors say most buyers are affected by home staging, while another 47 percent say some buyers are affected by staging. In addition, 32 percent of buyers’ agents say buyers are willing to offer 1 to 5 percent more for a staged home, while 16 percent believe an offer may increase 6 to 10 percent with staging.
Here are some ways professional home staging can benefit you when selling:
- Creates a positive first impression when potential buyers approach the home, making them want to come in to see more
- Highlights the most appealing parts of the home
- Minimizes negative aspects of the home
- Gives buyers ideas on how to use the space
- Removes your personal touches that can make it difficult for potential buyers to see themselves in the home
- Results in better photos for marketing materials, such as online home listings or printed flyers
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to stage your home. In fact, the median amount to stage a home is about $675. Many home staging tips for a quick sell won’t cost you a lot of time, money or effort.
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.
Clean the Curb Appeal
Staging doesn’t always take place inside. The exterior of the home is the first thing a potential buyer sees and can make a big impact on the overall impression of the home. Take some time to clean up the landscaping and exterior areas of the home. Power washing brick, patios and other surfaces removes grime and dirt that make the home look old. Hanging a new mailbox or house numbers give the home a facelift. A wooden rocking chair, potted plants and other little touches turn a plain entryway into a welcoming entrance into the home.
Clear It Out
It seems like a simple concept, but don’t underestimate the power of a clean, clutter-free home during the selling process. Stacks of mail, an overflowing crate of toys in the family room, and piles of books become a part of the background when you live in a home. But to an outsider they look messy, take up space, and it makes it difficult for them envision living in the home.
Walk through your home with a critical eye to spot high-clutter areas that need attention. Since you’ll need to pack soon anyway, now is the perfect time to get a jumpstart on the process. Pack away all of those extra items you don’t really need to make your home seem larger and tidy. If possible, place the boxes out of the home in a storage unit or a friend’s home. Filling the closets, basement or spare room with the boxes makes those areas seem smaller and less appealing.
Organizing isn’t limited to open areas. Potential buyers will open doors, including pantries and closets, to evaluate the space. Keep those areas organized and free of unnecessary items to make them seem highly functional and spacious. If your pantry is overflowing with food, it makes it seem as if the space is too small.
Cleaning is another related aspect. This goes beyond the obvious of keeping the home tidy. Like clutter, little stains and marks start to blend in to you after a while. You might not notice the grease spatters on the cabinets, toothpaste splatters on the bathroom walls, or handprints on the stairwell, but potential buyers sure will.
Give everything a good scrub before putting your home on the market. Here are some places to deep clean:
- Window frames
- Grout Lines
Make It New
If it has been a while since your last home update, it may be time to refinish surfaces or replace old items in the home as part of the staging process. Painting is a relatively quick and easy way to update a home, making the walls look clean and fresh.
Flooring often takes a beating, especially if you have pets or kids. Refinish hardwood floors, or replace old worn floors. Large area rugs also help give floors a new look.
Cabinets can get a quick facelift by painting or staining the surfaces. Add new hardware for an extra update. Trim or molding along the edges of cabinets can also help give them a new look.
Even your linens and accessories may need an update. Buy a set of fresh new towels to hang in the bathroom. Replace curtains that are worn or faded. These little updates make the home look new and fresh overall, which makes it more appealing to potential buyers.
Add Homey Touches
Touches that give the home a cozy feeling can make a big difference. These accents make the space look nice without being too personal. If you need some inspiration, flip through the pages of a home décor magazine. Notice all of the accessories, eclectic pieces and artwork they use in the different rooms that make them magazine-worthy. Use some of those same tricks in your own home.
Here’s a few more ideas! Try one or more of these options for adding warm touches to the home:
- Place potted plants on the front porch to welcome potential buyers.
- Fill a vase with fresh flowers.
- Set a basket containing fresh fruit on the counter.
- Place a short stack of interesting books on an end table.
- Set a basket of towels on the counter.
- Fill a clear apothecary jar with artisan soaps for the bathroom.
- Create an arrangement of candles with flowers or other accents tucked in.
- Position a potted plant in a living area.
- Use a tart warmer with a light, clean scent to make the home smell inviting.
Don’t Get Too Personal
You worked hard decorating your home to showcase your style. You created the perfect gallery wall full of family photos. Your collection of snow globes from every place you’ve visited stands proudly in your living room. That display of Star Wars memorabilia makes you misty-eyed each time you pass it.
But those pieces that define the space as yours may also alienate potential buyers. It’s tough for a buyer to see themselves in your house when there’s so much of you still left there.
You don’t want to remove every piece of décor from the home because it ends up looking bland and boring. But removing some of the personal pieces makes the home just generic enough for visitors to start picturing their own family pictures on the wall or their favorite collections on the shelves.
One simple way to depersonalize without making the home seem stark is to replace your family photos with artwork. Pick up some inexpensive framed prints to hang in their spots on the walls. Large printed photos of landscapes or travel destinations without people in them also work and are inexpensive to print through photo services.
Shift Your Furniture
Something as simple as rearranging your existing furniture can make a big difference in how the space looks. Focus on creating the appearance of a larger room. Play with the arrangements to see what makes the biggest impact. Creating conversation nooks by grouping chairs is another piece of home staging advice.
Here are some other furniture placement tips that improve the look of your house:
- Cut out pieces of cardboard the size and shape of furniture if you’re not sure where to place it; move the cardboard around to see how different arrangements fit instead of moving heavy furniture multiple times
- Arrange furniture in a symmetrical way to create a balanced look
- Position furniture to lead the eye to a focal point, such as a fireplace or a large picture window with a beautiful view
- Draw the eye away from potentially negative aspects of the home with furniture placement
- Move furniture away from walls
- Check the flow within a room and from one room to another to avoid cutting off a room or making it difficult to get around furniture and through transition spaces
- Ensure furniture doesn’t interrupt sight lines or block the view of a focal point in the room
Make the Purpose Clear
Creating a clear purpose for every space in the home helps potential buyers see every space is useful. It also helps them picture themselves in the home.
Look around your home to identify areas that lack purpose or serve as multipurpose areas. A mudroom that spills into the living room, a laundry room that is also used for storage of random items, or a guest room overrun with things you don’t use are examples of confusing spaces.
Pick a purpose for each space. Anything that doesn’t speak to that purpose gets moved out. This might mean adding some pieces of furniture temporarily to create the appearance of a specified room. If you have a spare room that currently serves as a craft space, guest bedroom, office and playroom, you might clear out everything except bedroom items to turn it strictly into a bedroom.
Draw Them In
Staging your home gives you a chance to draw visitors to all areas of the home. Use strategically placed décor items to encourage potential buyers to explore more of the home or to highlight the best features of the home. Top a window seat with a freshly upholstered cushion and accent pillows. Position a bright bouquet of flowers on a stand at the top of the stairs. Hang a piece of artwork in a room off to the side. Add a lighting fixture to a hidden nook.
These little accents pop out visually, grabbing the attention of potential buyers. The buyers then continue toward those pieces to see what else awaits them.
Neutral is always safe when staging a home to sell. If your walls feature bold colors, this may mean repainting a neutral color. For a master bedroom with a very feminine design, making it more gender-neutral makes the space more appealing to men who look at the home.
Even kids’ bedrooms with a distinct girl or boy décor may need a change. A buyer without kids sees a bubble gum pink girl’s bedroom as more work to turn the space into an elegant guest room or functional office space. Even a family with kids may be turned off if the gender-specific bedroom design doesn’t fit the gender makeup of the family.
Another benefit of light neutral colors is the brightening effect that makes the room feel welcoming and larger. Dark walls, curtains or other décor items make the room feel more closed in. Brighten the space with light neutral colors.
Play With Light
Welcome in as much natural light as possible to give the home a bright, welcoming feeling. Start with spotless, streak-free windows, which not only look great but also let in the maximum amount of light. If windows have heavy or dark draperies on them, swap them out for lighter, sheer curtains to encourage light flow.
Man-made light inside the home also helps create a brighter environment. Part of staging a home means incorporating a variety of light sources: overhead, general lamps and task lighting. Ensure all existing light fixtures have working light bulbs in the maximum wattage allowed in the fixture. Add a floor lamp or table lamp to a dark area of a room. Add task lighting, such as under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen.
Size It Right
Has your couch always felt too large for the living room? Will your tiny end table get lost in a large room? Does your huge table take over the entire dining room and make it feel small? Furniture that is out of proportion with the rest of the room detracts from the overall look of the space.
Furniture that is too large for the space or lots of furniture crowded into a room makes the space feel smaller than it actually is. If your issue is simply too much furniture, move some pieces out of the room and place them in storage until you move. If your furniture is too large, consider moving it out and using a professional staging company to provide smaller pieces better suited for the room.
A furniture swap is also an option if your existing furniture is worn or outdated. Furniture that looks modern, clean and new gives the entire home a newer look, making it more appealing to potential buyers.
Pull It Together
Your home in its current state may have some inconsistencies in design. You’ve collected furniture over the years that doesn’t all go together, or you have family heirlooms on display that don’t necessarily fit with the modern style of your home.
When staging your home, consider how well all of the elements go together. If something stands out, remove it from the home to create a more cohesive, flowing design. Everything doesn’t have to match perfectly, but something completely different will stand out.
A professional home stager can easily spot these potential problem areas that simply don’t fit in well or send the wrong message. Having an outside person who has no emotional attachment to the home often makes it easier to decide what you should remove, what should stay, and what you can replace temporarily with furniture from a staging company. This type of home evaluation is a service that is available through Interior Furniture Resources home staging program. Our seasoned home staging experts can, for a small investment, provide you with a report specific to your property’s strengths and weaknesses. You’ll know clearly how to move forward and if utilizing the additional staging services we offer would benefit you.
With a better idea of how to stage a home to sell, you are prepared to get your home into peak shape for selling success. But you don’t have to do it alone. Interior Furniture Resource’s custom staging program gives you the assistance you need in staging your home from design to complete project.
IFR offers everything from furniture for every room of the house to accents, lighting and rugs. Even bed and bath linens and kitchen and dining accessories are available. IFR also offers advice on countertops, flooring, wall coverings, cabinets and other design elements to get your home sold quickly. We’d love to help you sell your home faster!