Home staging involves preparing and decorating your home to show it off at its best before putting it on the market. Staging your home can help it sell more quickly and for more money, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
If you’re planning on putting your home on the market, you should seriously consider staging your home before the first prospective buyer walks through the door. Here are ten steps for successful home staging to follow.
Some rooms sway buyers more than others, and those are the rooms that should definitely be staged. Focus your attention where it matters: the living/family room, the kitchen, and the master bedroom. Of course, the more of your home you can show off at its best, the better. But if you’re working with limited resources, don’t worry that you have to fully stage your entire home to see benefits.
If you do nothing else, declutter! Clutter makes your home feel smaller and distracts potential homebuyers. Pack things up and temporarily move them into the garage, or, better yet, a storage locker, to get them out of sight. Don’t forget to declutter your closets, too; buyers will look in every closet they come across to assess storage space, so be sure to thin them out to make them seem more spacious.
When a prospective buyer tours your home, the goal is for them to be able to see themselves and their family living there. You can make this easier for them by removing personal items from around the home to create more of a blank canvas. Things like family photos, cutesy or kitschy furniture and accessories, and overtly political or religious objects can distract buyers from the home’s potential, making it harder for them to think of it as “their” future home.
Part of the fun of making your house your own is choosing the wallpaper, paint color, and furniture that reflects your personality. But while you may love that hot pink accent wall or bright groovy orange shag rug, it won’t be to everyone’s taste. Go neutral on the walls with a new coat of fresh paint and, if possible, remove bold rugs and furniture. Slipcovers or even a big beige throw can go a long way towards helping neutralize a room, too.
5. Rearrange furniture
You want your home to feel open and spacious, and furniture placement has a big effect on how large – or small – a room feels. Pull furniture away from the walls, and consider swapping some overstuffed sofas and chairs with slimmer pieces from other parts of the house to lighten up the room. (The overstuffed pieces can go into storage temporarily with your packed-up clutter!)
6. Repair and replace
Things like visible nail holes in the wall, filthy grout in the bathroom, and non-functional light switches can subconsciously deter potential buyers from buying, as they think “just another thing to deal with if I buy this house.” You want to make it easy for them to say yes! So take some time to tackle small repairs like these yourself.
7. Spruce up outside
Curb appeal matters, so stage outside your home, too. A clean doormat and freshly painted door can make a small but noticeable difference. If you have a yard, mow the grass and remove dead leaves and other debris for a nice, clean appearance. Finally, check that your house number is clearly visible so buyers can find your place easily.
8. Tackle odors
An off-putting odor will turn off potential buyers, so keep your home smelling fresh. Be especially vigilant about this if you’re a pet owner or a smoker. Simple things like opening the windows to let fresh air in, putting out some air-purifying plants, and adding fragrant flowers can help. You can also use scented products like sprays, plug-ins, and candles, but keep in mind that some people are sensitive or even allergic to fragrances, so go light.
9. Deep clean
Before the first showing, and regularly as long as your house is on the market, clean your home well and keep it clean. You may even want to spring for a professional cleaner to come do a deep clean. All your decluttering, furniture rearranging, and repairing won’t mean much if buyers can’t look past the lack of cleanliness.
This last tip isn’t about how to prepare your home, but how to prepare yourself. It can be a surprisingly emotional experience to remove the family photos from the living room mantle or take down the wallpaper from your child’s bedroom that you chose together. But it needs to be done at some point, so go ahead and do it now. If you stage your home successfully, it will probably start to feel like it’s not “your” home anymore – but that’s a good thing. It just means it’s ready for the next family.
Get help staging and selling
Home staging can be a lot of fun for people with a bent towards interior décor, but for others it’s a burden. If you’re in the latter group, then consider working with a professional home stager who can do the heavy lifting for you – especially if your house has been on the market for a while and isn’t selling as quickly as you’d like. Ask your real estate agent for a referral for a professional home stager in your area.
Are you looking to buy or sell in the Charleston, SC area? I’m Kenton Selvey, a Realtor® in Charleston and I’d love to help you sell your home or find your dream home. Call me at 843-806-7222 or email me here and let me know how I can help. I look forward to hearing from you.