Selling your home often comes down to two things – selling quickly, and selling for the best price. Successful staging can help to accomplish both of these goals! If you’re getting ready to sell your house, let’s set the stage for success.
Amp up your Curb Appeal
You hear this time and again for good reason – your home’s exterior is the first thing that buyers will see, and frequently, potential buyers will even do a quick drive by your house to decide whether they even want to look inside. Give potential buyers a welcoming vibe by freshening up your home’s exterior!
Power wash your siding, walkways, porch, etc to make your home clean and sparkling. Make sure you have house numbers that are easy-to-read (you want your home easy for potential buyers to find), and tidy your front garden beds to be weed-free and full of blooming flowers and fresh greenery.
Keep your lawn well-maintained, wash your windows, and update your porch’s décor to look inviting (never underestimate the value of an outdoor rug and rocking chair!). Keep your porch lights on in the evening, as well, so that any drive-by visits get a good view of your great home.
It Takes Elbow Grease
Make sure that your entire house is freshly cleaned, top to bottom. You want your floors shining, windows sparkling, counters clean, and grout scrubbed. Every surface in your home should be gleaming.
This can be difficult for many families (it does take a good deal of time), so consider hiring it done – especially the really tough stuff. Don’t skimp on the cleaning, this is critical to home selling success. Potential buyers are likely to peer into all the nooks and crannies, so a rush job will become quickly obvious.
Clear away Clutter
If you are serious about selling your home, all of the clutter HAS to go. This is never easy – and it might require that you use some form of off-site storage (or grandma’s garage) until you move to your new home, but trust us – this is always worth it.
Having your surfaces, floors, cupboards, and closets clear give potential buyers the feeling that the house is roomy and has plenty of storage. Get rid of anything that is style-specific, while you’re clearing. While that “shabby chic” teacup collection brings you joy, you want to make your home neutral and appealing to the wide range of buyers that will likely be walking through your house. Pack up those teacups carefully so that they’re ready and waiting for you to enjoy in your new home!
Use accessories carefully – you want neutral items that are fairly universally appealing. A vase of fresh flowers, a bowl of lemons, you get the idea.
Arrange your furniture thoughtfully
This is especially important in furniture-dense rooms like living rooms and family rooms. Remove any bulky or unnecessary items. Pull your furniture off the walls, and think in terms of symmetry.
Pairs work really well for creating an inviting conversation area (pairs of sofas, pairs of chairs, paired lamps and endtables, etc). In bedrooms – especially small bedrooms, create the illusion of extra space by keeping furniture to a bare minimum.
Update your Master Bedroom to be Gender-Neutral
Make sure that your master bedroom is welcoming and inviting to a wide range of buyers. Your floral quilt that Grandma made you is gorgeous and meaningful, sure, but it won’t necessarily appeal to all of the potential buyers walking through your home.
A clean, tailored design is universally appealing – consider clean, crisp linens in a neutral palette, some generic (but tasteful) artwork, and a blanket folded across the foot of the bed.
Clean (and open) Closets
Most buyers are attracted to homes that feel open, airy, and like there is plenty of storage space. Clear out your closets, and organize them in a visually appealing way. There should be at least 30% “open” space in your closet, so it looks to potential buyers like there is plenty of room.
If it makes sense for your home, open closet doors for showings, as well. Buyers are likely to peek inside anyway, and having them open from the beginning shows off the great storage space in your house.
Use your extra rooms wisely
Most of us have that spare bedroom that becomes a graveyard of unused furniture and boxes of stuff. But when you’re ready to sell your home, it’s time to clean it out and stage it usefully.
Each room should have a clearly-defined purpose, so think about what potential buyers would like to see the room used for. An office? Guest room? Bedroom?
For quick and easy staging, you can use cardboard moving boxes stacked together and dressed with linens to look like a bed. You’ll need those boxes when you pack up your house to move, anyway! Making a real room out of that storage space will add extra appeal for potential buyers.
Create the Lifestyle People Want
To appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers (and to maximize your selling potential), stage your home in a way that creates the lifestyle that people want.
Play up the things that make your neighborhood appealing – for example, if you live on a quiet, grassy street, adding small touches like a porch swing in the front, or a hammock in the backyard, could help buyers envision themselves living there.
Do you have a small patio that doesn’t get used very often? Add a bistro set, and stage it with (plastic) wineglasses and flowers, so that potential buyers see it as the perfect place to unwind after a long day.