When you think of moving, the first thing that comes to mind is things to do, and there’s always lots of them. There are a million things that need to be done, so many tiny ones that you might just miss and run around for at the end.
For many of us, moving comes with a very big task that can’t be kept for the last minute – selling the present house. It’s a complicated process, but one that often gets over quickly considering how competitive the market is becoming.
However, a quick sale may not always be in your luck, so you need to ensure you do everything in your power to help your house sell faster. This is why real estate agents encourage homeowners to stage their houses before viewings. Before we look at some of the best home staging tips, there’s one question you might have asked yourself –
How Much Value Does Home Staging Add?
You’ll be surprised to know that a recent study by the National Association of Realtors found that staging houses helps it to get off the market quicker than if the house wasn’t staged. The study also found that 82% of those wanting to buy a house claimed that a staged house made the decision-making process of buying the house easier. Half the buyers also spent less time in a staged home looking around because they’d made their minds up rather quickly!
If these statistics aren’t enough to convince you about the importance of staging a house, let’s take a look at how much value a staging can actually add to a home. Home Staging Resource claimed that the value of a house can go up by 5% to 6% only by staging, which is a large margin! We suggest you calculate this sum because it’ll help you understand how big of a profit you can really make, which usually runs into thousands.
For this very reason, people even call professionals in order to stage their homes in the best way possible. If just simple home staging can add so much to your pocket, why not give it a try?
Tips For Home Staging
While it might seem like another mammoth task, it’s really not, and we’re here to help. With a few tricks and tips up your sleeve, you can get your house looking inviting and ready for viewing!
1. Choose Which Rooms You Want To Stage
You don’t want to be spending days trying to stage your whole house because that’s really not necessary. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to stick to staging those rooms and spaces in your house that will influence a buyer’s decisions.
As per the NAR report we mentioned above, 46% of the buyers stated that staging the living room was important, 43% also selected the master bedroom and 35% believed in the importance of staging a kitchen. In short, the living room, master bedroom, and kitchen are the areas in your house that you need to focus on since these are rooms that’ll definitely leave a mark on the buyer’s minds.
At the same time, rooms like bathrooms, hallways, your kid’s room, and guest bedrooms require minimal effort and don’t have to be staged. These are rooms that are considered to be those that can be easily renovated so buyers won’t really look at them closely.
2. First Impressions Matter
We don’t have to explain the psychology behind why people make most decisions about their preference for something based on their initial perspective of it. First impressions do matter, which is why it’s important that you start working on the first thing that a buyer will see when they enter your property – your curb appeal or entryway.
You don’t have to go all out here, just a few tiny things to get these outside spaces looking fresh and promising. Maybe the floor’s too dirty, so consider renting a pressure washer and giving it a good clean. Maybe a few bushes around your house look dry or are overgrown, so give them a nice trim. Add soil to areas in your curb or flower beds that look barren and dry and plant a few saplings here and there.
You can also consider painting your front door or potting a few flowering plants and placing them around the door for extra appeal. Your entryway can also be jazzed up by hanging a few frames that are around the house, placing a welcome mat, and cleaning up a bit. Also, don’t forget to wash or wipe your windows down!
3. Do A Massive Declutter
You can’t start trying to stage a room without decluttering it first. If you’re thinking of just stuffing the clutter in a closet somewhere then that’s really not a great idea because there’s a possibility that buyers might want to see how big your closets are too.
Decluttering does another thing for you – it makes your space look much bigger, which is always something you should aim for when you’re staging your house. If you’re moving, it definitely means you’ll be packing, so put all the unnecessary items away. These include seasonal clothes, games and toys, books, and even decor pieces that are just cluttering your space up.
Remember that the aim here is to make your rooms look as minimal and chic as possible, so put away anything and everything that makes the space look small and cluttered. Buyers are also more likely to have a positive view of a house if the items in the house are all in their places.
Also Read: Cost of Kitchen Remodel
4. Get Your Furniture In Order
Did you know that professional stagers also whisk away more than half of your current furniture before staging? Too much unwanted furniture can give the illusion of clutter and make the rooms look smaller than they actually are.
So, sell, give away or move out unnecessary furniture in advance to make your rooms look airier and more open. Doing this also allows buyers to move around easily and look at those corners in rooms that enhance your home’s appeal like a built-in bookshelf or a fireplace. Anything that doesn’t match the colors in the room or is damaged can also be sold or put into storage because, in the end, the aim is to make it all look cohesive.
With getting rid of unnecessary furniture, you must also give the placement of your furniture a go over. What we mean is that you might want to try arranging your furniture pieces in a more appealing manner while also creating more space for movement. For example, try arranging the seating in your living room in a manner that facilitates conversations. Create groups of spaces like this.
5. Remove Personal Items
If you’ve ever visited a professionally staged home, you might have noticed that the interiors are usually de-personalized. The reason is very simple, when the interiors are kept to a minimum with no personal items around, buyers have the opportunity to visualize how they’ll make these spaces their home, and that’s exactly what you want.
Remove anything that’s personal which includes pictures of your family from walls and photo frames on desks and side tables. Don’t forget to take things off your refrigerator if you have things stuck on there. We also suggest that you keep items like toothbrushes, combs, makeup, and other such toiletries neatly in closed cupboards instead of having them out in the open on your bathroom countertops. You might also want to take out anything that’s extremely religious so that your buyers can freely visualize what they want.
We suggest you do the above with all rooms and areas in your home. The more generic and staged the house looks, the easier for the buyers to connect with the house and the spaces within!
6. Clean Thoroughly
Once you’ve decluttered and taken unnecessary items out of your home, it’s time to give your rooms a thorough clean. As a seller, you don’t want to lower your chances of getting high bids by influencing buyers negatively, and a messy home will definitely do that. Why, you ask? The reason is simple, a squeaky clean home means that you’ve maintained your home well, and while it’s an illusion, it encourages buyers to consider buying the house!
Use this as an opportunity to clean like you’ve never cleaned before. Dust every nook and corner, make your floorboards shine, and get marks off walls. We also suggest that you clean the insides of appliances thoroughly with the appropriate cleaning supplies and get them to shine. As we’ve mentioned before, go through all your closets and wardrobes too and give it all a good wipe down both inside and out.
Don’t forget your bathrooms since these are areas that gather the most gunk if not kept clean. Try to give everything from the toilet to your bathtub a good scrub and wash it all down thoroughly. If your faucets and other items with a metallic finish have hard-water stains, remember to give it a good scrub and get it to shine!
7. Patch And Fix
An essential step that you might feel like skipping but one that’s important if you want your rooms to look top-notch is to patch and fix anything and everything that’s falling apart. When you have scratches and marks on the walls or furniture, chipping paint, and rusted appliance parts, it all gives the impression that your home hasn’t been maintained properly.
Don’t let this be the impression that buyers take along with them. Keep a day or two aside to look through all such areas in your home and repair them. Clean walls especially those that are light-colored and try to patch holes in your walls, especially if you’ve taken frames or other items down.
Use caulk to go over corners that look untidy and if you wish to go the extra mile, especially in your bathroom if you have a tub and the caulking has completely disappeared. Many times, the caulking around your bathtub or shower can also get moldy and look extremely unhygienic. In such instances, use a razor to scrape it out and then caulk it neatly again.
You can also do touch-ups on those spaces on your walls where the paint has chipped if you have the same paint color at home. If you don’t have the paint, you can always just buy a small sample-sized container of the same paint and brighten things up around your home.
Read Also: Choosing A Color Scheme For Your Home
8. Freshen Everything Up
Don’t just stop at decluttering and cleaning when you can go a step ahead and add a few elements to the rooms that will be staged to freshen everything up. One thing that screams fresh is removing odors that can linger in tiny closed up areas.
Even your bathrooms are prone to smelling damp so try to place room fresheners or burn a candle in these areas before your viewing. You can also place fresh towels on the rack and have clean floor mats placed to make everything look fresh and tidy.
It’s obvious but very important that you keep your windows open a few hours before the viewing to let air flow through. Another natural way to make your home look fresh and inviting is to have plants in a few places, but remember to not overdo it. You must also remember to take away dried plants or trim those that have dried leaves because these definitely don’t scream fresh.
9. Time For Finishing Touches
Nothing is complete without a few important but small finishing touches! Just before your viewings, you can do the following to ensure that your home is ready to look the best it ever has:
- Clean countertops in your kitchen using a cleaner with citrus so that the space smells fresh. You can also just use some lemon water to wipe your countertops down as an easier inexpensive trick.
- Place diffusers with essential oils or light mildly scented candles across your rooms. But, remember not to overdo the fragrance!
- Don’t forget to take out your trash.
- Place fragrant flowers like roses, jasmine, or lilac in the vases around your house.
- Turn on all the lights so that buyers don’t have to look for light switches.
- You can put cookies in the oven 30 minutes before a viewing and offer these on a plate as your buyers leave.
How Can I Stage My House To Sell Faster?
You can either choose to hire a professional to come over and stage your house, or you can attempt doing it yourself by following the instructions written above. Irrespective of whether you do every step we’ve listed out or can only accomplish a few, keep in mind that the final aim is to have your house looking organized, clean and tidy. Depersonalize it, fix up chinks in walls and put out fresh flowers to add to the visual appeal.
What Should You Not Do When Staging A House?
The number one thing to remember when staging a house is to not overdo it. It’s common practice to move furniture around and shift some of it away from the staged rooms to give a spacious and decluttered look, but avoiding keeping too little furniture out – this can make it look sparse and bare. Avoid a plain, dull and flat color palette, instead choosing to use complementary pastel shades, and definitely don’t overdo the abstract art pieces.
What Is The Best Home Staging Course Available?
There are several great courses to learn the knack of home staging, and some of the top ones are Accredited Staging Professional (certification course offered throughout the U.S. by Staged Homes), courses by the Home Staging Institute, Certified Staging Professional’s Staging Training and the courses by the Real Estate Staging Association.
When you think of staging a home, a lot of us tend to think that it’ll cost us a lot of money. But the truth is far from it – staging a home can be extremely inexpensive. From the tips we’ve given you, most of the work doesn’t require money but time. So, plan in advance and go through all the spaces in your home that you want to stage and make note of the areas you’ll have to work on. We assure you that the whole process is much easier than it sounds, and before you know it your home will be staged and ready for buyers to take a look at it!