Home staging has long been considered a fad or something available only to those who could afford it. Many home sellers believed it to be little more than an expensive and unnecessary perk. Oh, how times have changed.
Recently, home staging has become a necessity when it comes to selling your home quickly and for top dollar. It is now so common that it's almost expected. In fact, not staging your home could put you at a serious disadvantage when trying to sell. But you don't need to shell out the money for a professional staging service to get results that will make potential buyers sit up and take notice. It's possible to stage your own home by following a few simple rules that will instantly transform your house into everyone's first choice.
Clear Off Surfaces
Some people just love their knick-knacks, don't they? They add a touch of personality to a home and say a lot about a person; for example, there is a huge difference between someone who collects cuckoo clocks and someone who collects crystal unicorns. However, sellers must take into account the following truth: people who view your home need to be able to see themselves in it. They can't do that if your stuff is everywhere so, wherever possible, clean of all countertops, shelves, bookcases, tables and mantels. Do this in every room and start from scratch-it will give you a whole different perspective on how it looks to prospective buyers. Once you're done, add things back carefully and sparingly- a plant here (just one!), a pair of nice candle holders there, then stop. That's perfect. Less is more.
Remove Furniture From Hallways and Entrances
When sellers have owned their home for a long time, they tend to forget that certain pieces of furniture are located where they are for functionality and not necessarily because it looks good. Sure, that bureau in the entrance does a great job of handling the overflow from the coat closet! But that doesn't matter to potential buyers and their agents when they can't open the front door all the way when entering your house. Of course, that shouldn't matter because you'll take it with you when you go, but guess what? It does matter. It will make your house feel small and give the impression of not enough space, which can kill interest in no time flat. Do yourself a favor and clear all entrances and passageways, it will make a huge difference to buyers.
Make Friends With Neutral Paint
You adore your magenta living room. It makes you feel cozy and safe and it gives you a general feeling of well-being. That's great; however, not everyone else feels the same way about strong colors on walls. One big mistake that sellers make is taking it personally when buyers reject the house because they hate the paint. Try to remember that you'll be leaving the house anyway, so changing the color is no big deal: you can always re-paint your new home the same shade if you really want. Neutral paint open rooms up, making them feel larger and more airy. It also shows off architectural details like great moldings or nice windows. Hop down to your local home renovation store, pick up an inexpensive can of “greige” paint and soon you'll be raking in positive comments from buyers instead of defending your taste.
Just Add Flowers
Now that you've got a nice, clutter-free, neutral-toned, obstacle-free house, it's time to add those finishing touches. Flowers are a great staging tool because they add a touch of color and elegance to any room, bring the outdoors indoors and make your home smell nice but not too perfumed. Pick different colored blooms for different rooms and that will help buyers remember your house. Before you know it, that nice couple who toured your house will be asking their agent to put an offer on your “cute house with the orange roses in the bedroom” and you'll be shopping for a new home to cover with magenta paint.
Following these tips will help eliminate many common buyer objections and speed up the sale of your house. Happy staging!