Home staging can be tricky to wrap your head around. Most of time, it’s about taking your home as-is and making a few, small changes. Yet, somehow, those tiny changes can make a huge difference when it comes to attracting buyers. Sometimes it can even mean the difference between selling your home and having it sit on the market.
If you’re about to put your home on the market, this post is for you. We reached out to professional home stagers and asked them to share their favorite tips for getting a home resale ready. Read them over and do your best to implement them in your own home. Once you’re done, we’re sure the impact will be well worth the effort.
Start at the front door
“Curb appeal is key. It’s the first impression your home gives, so make it welcoming! Invest in some inexpensive, flowering plants. (Boxwoods are great for the job.) If there’s room, you could add a couple of colorful Adirondack chairs to your front porch. If your front door looks old or shows wear, a fresh coat of paint and some new house numbers can also make a big difference,” suggests Jeffrey Weldler, an interior decorating expert at Vänt Wall Panels.
Remember that staging isn’t just for your interiors. When you go to sell your home, also make sure the outside looks its very best. While the front door is certainly important as the initial point of entry, be sure to apply Weldler’s advice to the rest of your exterior, as well. Cut and weed your lawn regularly, add plantings where appropriate, and put out a patio set if possible to help potential buyers envision easy outdoor entertaining.
Pack up personal items
“I tell my clients to pack up their ‘territory markers’ as soon as possible. These are things like family photos, shoes by the front door, toiletries and refrigerator magnets. They tell you the story of the person who lives there. Instead, you want buyers to think, ‘I have no idea who lives here, but it needs to be me,’ ” says Justin M. Riordan, the founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency.
The goal of staging your home is to appeal to as many buyers as possible. While depersonalization may be a hard pill to swallow it’s essential in helping your home be accessible to individuals with vastly different lifestyles and backgrounds than your own. That said, be sure to leave a few neutral accessories in place. They will keep your home from feeling stark.
Return rooms to their original use
“Arrange rooms the way they’re supposed to be used. I’ve seen a formal dining room turned into a TV room, and that’s fine for some; it may be a turn-off for buyers who don’t intend to use the room in the same way,” advises Ana Cummings, the founder of ANA Interiors Ltd.
Furniture plays an important role in staging your home. Not only will it give buyers a sense of how the room should be used, but it may also give them an idea of scale and help them envision themselves living in the space. It’s much harder to grasp these same concepts when a room is empty. Your goal as the seller should be to make the buyer’s showing experience as pleasant as possible, so do your best to provide them with a usable framework.
Designate areas for kids and pets
“If you have kids, keep a playroom. Keep it organized and make this the designated area for all toys. Before showings, do a loop around the house and move any runaway toys to their assigned space,” recommends Alison Bernstein, the founder and president of Suburban Jungle Realty.
This tip is also about depersonalization. Everyone understands that moving with kids is difficult, but parents and non-parents alike are more likely to respond well to your home if all your kid stuff is contained in one designated area. It will also be much easier to clean up for showings if you know that all the toys should be brought to the same place. In the same vein, pet owners may want to consider following a similar principle with their animals’ accessories.
Get a second opinion
“Have a neutral third party take a critical eye to your home. Living somewhere daily reduces your ability to notice the things that might be a problem for buyers. Dirty walls, scuffs, scrapes, leaks, or even odors might be present, but odds are, you have become accustomed to them over time,” says Marty Basher, home organization expert for Modular Closets.
Hearing less-than-steller reviews of your home can be hard, but remember that it’s for a good cause. If you decide to follow this tip, choose someone you know has your best interest at heart. Then, the hard part: Actually follow their advice. When all is said and done, you’ll be glad you did.
Staging your home is an important part of getting it ready for the real estate market. Even if you don’t have enough money to reach out to the pros, we’ve got you covered. We asked real home stagers to share the best tips for getting a home resale ready. Give them a try and you should be pleasantly surprised at the results.
Did you stage your home before resale? Did you hire a pro or go the DIY route? Share your experience with us in the comments.