The art of staging a home for sale not only takes time and dedication, it also takes experience and creativity. While moving a couch and organising the family room are a good place to start, homeowners really need to put in a little extra effort if they want to see a great result – including a higher priced offer and a faster sale!
To help get your clients moving in the right direction, here are some tips from professional stagers that are sure to impress potential buyers from the moment they set their eyes on the listing:
- Start on the outside: Make a great first impression by cleaning up your lawn and garden, adding in some potted plants around the front steps/doorway, polishing the numbers on the house and updating the lighting fixtures and doorknobs.
- Contain the clutter: Having extra clutter lying around can take away from the spacious feel of a home. Before the open house, find a new place for your car keys, shoes, coats and any other random accessories found in your foyer, cabinets and on counters. Barb Schwartz of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals says you should consider putting at least a “quarter of your furniture in storage, a third of your books in boxes and at least half of your knickknacks away.”
- Use decorations to highlight, not hide: Re-arrange your furniture to highlight the unique details of your home, including fireplaces, crown-molding and beadboards. However, be careful to not block the flow of traffic – this could make the home feel much smaller and more confined than it really is.
- Out with the old, in with the new: Paint is a great way to quickly update the look and feel of a room, but there is only so much a new coat can do if your furnishings are outdated. If you can’t afford a whole new set, trade pieces with a friend or relative, or place your existing furniture in storage and rent a more contemporary style for the time being.
- Create a blank slate: Buyers need to imagine themselves in your home, and they can’t do so if they are surrounded with the personal items of its current inhabitants. Observe the following the rule of a furniture showroom: anything you wouldn’t expect to see on display in a showroom (including art, personal photos, makeup, blow-dryers, toothbrushes, etc), box it up and put it away!
- Do an open for inspection dress rehearsal: Ask a few of your friends to come over to do an open house “dress rehearsal.” Ask them to give their honest opinion about improvements that you could make.
- Last but not least, CLEAN: Your final step before the open house is to clean from top to bottom – including the windows (inside and out), behind the toilets, the tiles in the bathroom and under all the sinks. If you don’t have time to regularly do this deep of a cleaning, bring in a professional to tackle it for you while your home is on the market.