Tips and Tricks: Staging Your Home

Staging your home can mean the difference between a receiving your asking price and having to take a loss on your investment. Though it’s not imperative, you should consider staging a must if you want to present the space in its best light.Buyers are looking for the nicest option, the best price and value, and a home they can see themselves living happily in (with as few necessary improvements as possible). From homeowners with a little extra income to sellers on a tight budget, we have some tips for you to get the most out of your showing.

Exterior Tips

Photo courtesy of HGTV
Photo courtesy of HGTV

“Curb appeal” isn’t just a buzzword - the exterior of your home is the first impression you make on a buyer. Consider these options to up the perceived value of your home:

  • Make sure your lawn and foliage is in great shape. Mow, trim, edge and sweep away any mess, and consider power-washing the sidewalk.
  • Wash your windows to provide a clean, bright look.
  • If you haven’t already, consider creating an outdoor enjoyment area. A few chairs, a grill, a swing - anything to showcase the livability of the outdoor spaces.
  • Use color to invite home buyers in by painting your front door a welcoming, memorable color
  • Make sure all exterior trim looks fresh and is not peeling, cracked or faded: think doors, windows, garage doors, porches, and exterior entryways
  • Consider having the exterior of your home power-washed and make sure back decks and balconies are in good condition

Interior Tips

Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker Real Estate
Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker Real Estate

Small adjustments can be made to drastically improve the look and feel of your home, and most of them are virtually free. These tips can increase the likelihood of reasonable offers from your interested visitors:

  • Clean. This should be a no-brainer. Dust, vacuum, wipe down and wash everything you can get your hands on and make sure your kitchen and bathroom are spotless.
    • Food stains, fingerprints and water spots are all signs that the house is lived in and enjoyed, but don’t overlook these and other everyday messes.
    • Take out the trash, do the dishes and hide laundry piles - you still live in the home, but your viewer shouldn’t be reminded in every room.
    • Deodorize. Similarly, this should be a given, but many people are immune to the odor of their own living space. Deodorize carpets, mop floors and wash linens and curtains. The best smell is a neutral, fresh scent (think clean laundry).
      • Don’t forget litter boxes and other pet enclosures.
      • Declutter. The last thing you want is a buyer to feel claustrophobic. Hide knickknacks and keepsakes that you have floating around (but don’t just throw them in the closet! Many viewers are interested in seeing storage spaces) and reduce the square footage taken up by your possessions. Not only will this help the space look larger, it helps avoid distractions.
        • Try removing or minimizing personal items like photographs - this allows for the buyer to better visualize themselves living there.
        • Neutralize. Make the home seem as malleable as possible - if you have kids, hide the toys so the older couple without children can see more than a starter home. Conversely, make the office or mancave feel more liveable when showing to families who might convert it to another bedroom.
        • Maximize lighting. Natural light is a big selling point for homebuyers, so play up your big windows or sliding glass doors by having them open during the visit. Even in homes without an excess of sunlight, add eco-friendly (and freshly dusted) light fixtures for more visibility.
        • Consider furniture. Many people think they can widen a space by pushing furniture near walls; what this really does is makes it seem like you need a new decorator. Make sure all your pieces serve a purpose and that the flow of traffic is well-defined.
        • Paint. Our professionally biased opinion aside, a fresh coat of paint can work wonders on your home - even if it’s just a DIY project.
          • Always go neutral: you want the bedrooms and other shared spaces to work for both genders, and you want to minimize any distracting colors.
          • To give the illusion of a larger room, paint consecutive spaces the same color. If your kitchen fades into your living room, a continuous wall color will give the appearance of an expanded space.
          • Don’t just think big: cabinet doors, fireplaces, trim and other small areas need to be updated as well.
          • Accessorize and impress. Rolled up towels in the bathroom give the space a spa feel, fresh flowers liven up a room and freshly baked cookies not only help deodorize, but they’re a nice touch for the potential buyer to enjoy.

Overall, try to present your home in its peak condition - make the small repairs, touch up the paint, strive to look like a model home on a build-to-own lot. Updating your space will upgrade your chances of a quick and satisfactory sell.

Need help touching things up before buyers come knocking? Give us a call or check out our website for more information.