Staging your home to sell is like a first date. You spend hours getting ready, carefully selecting your outfit in advance, painstakingly brushing and re-brushing your hair, and it's all done to make the perfect first impression.
The human mind figures out what it likes and dislikes quickly. When meeting someone for the first time, it only takes a glance for our subconscious to make an evaluation. In that short time, we form an opinion based on appearance, body language, and mannerisms, right down to their shoe selection. And our mind works exactly the same when it comes to house hunting. It takes 7 seconds to form an opinion when viewing a property. So as a seller, you must make every second count. But the good thing is, simple changes can go a long way.
Your home's first impressions is crucial. It can determine the speed and price of your sale. Here are my top tips for staging your home to sell.
Tips for staging your home to sell
Did you know, many potential buyers will drive by a potential property before even reaching out to the agent? They do so to determine if it is worth seeing the inside of the home. That is why staging starts way before the front door. An exterior paint job on an old home can really increase curb appeal. Gutters should be cleaned and firmly attached to the house. Shutters and windows need to be spotless and in good working order. Make sure the lawn, trees, and shrubs are trimmed and lush. That means removing or replacing any damaged or dead plants. Never leave garbage cans lying around the property. Keep them covered in the garage, or better yet, confined to a dedicated shed. And do a clean-up of the yard, removing any debris or garbage blown in by the wind.
If buyers like what they see outside, they will expect to see the same when they walk inside. That means a fresh coat of paint inside. But if your budget or time is limited, then focus your efforts on the rooms that have the biggest influence on buyers - the living room, master bedroom, and kitchen.
The main reason for staging is to allow prospective buyers to see the space as their own. They need to picture their life inside your house. That means removing personal photos and the kiddos art class projects from the fridge.
Clutter takes up space, and space is what sells. Make your home look bigger and more desirable by going minimalistic. You don't have to get rid of things forever, but you should be boxing non-essentials up and, if possible, getting them out of the house to a storage unit or a friend's or family member's house. Plus, it gives you a headstart on packing for your move!
Rearrange your furniture. You want there to be as much open, walkable space as possible. It puts buyers at ease on their walkthrough, giving them the freedom to envision endless possibilities for each room. I suggest putting extra furniture in storage, especially oversized, damaged, or mismatched pieces.
To put it simply, upkeep upsells. Home staging is the time to tackle tiny nicks, scratches, and holes, that have been sitting on your to-do list. They signal neglect to buyers. Most buyers are looking for move-in ready. They do not want to see projects that need doing. For every issue they see, they will devalue your home, subtracting straight from your asking price. And if they see too many issues to deal with, they will walk away without making an offer.
Clean like you've never cleaned before. You want every square inch to shine, from the baseboards to the corners of your ceilings and everywhere in between. A squeaky-clean home suggests to buyers that the current tenants took good care of the property. So it's time to roll up your sleeves. Tackle those items we all neglect, like cleaning the inside of the fridge.
Let there be light. Open the blinds on all of the windows and turn on the lights. (Speaking of which, make sure you check all your light bulbs!) Light spaces make rooms seem bigger. You could even try using mirrors to bounce the light off – but that's the photographer in me talking.
9. Go Green
A few well-placed plants and flowers can add life and freshness. But be sure to space them out so as not to clutter any one area. Place a vase full of big, bright flowers in the centre of your kitchen table, a small potted plant or some succulents in the living room, or perhaps a larger potted plant in the entryway. Aromatic plants bring marvellous, natural scents to your home, setting the stage for buyers to dream.
When staging your home, just remember upkeep upsells
Staging a home to sell does not require spending a lot of money – just making smart decisions. And it can be the difference between your home sitting idle on the market or selling quickly above asking. If you are considering selling your home, we are happy to consult with you. We can recommend sensible changes that will increase the value of your home.
Potential buyers are not just looking for a structure to inhabit—they are looking to improve their lifestyle. Staging allows buyers to emotionally connect with your home, which is the key to any sale.
If you are interested in getting your home ready to sell, please reach out. I'd be happy to walk you through it.
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