Imagine finding the house of your dreams but passing it by because you couldn’t see how truly wonderful it was. When homes are presented as-is, it’s difficult for buyers to envision themselves living there. By creating a neutral yet stylish home, however, buyers can see the home in its best light and dream about adding their own style to it. This is where these home staging tips will come in handy.
You can’t just throw a “for sale” sign on your lawn and assume the perfect buyers will walk through your door. Staging your home to make the best first impression can mean the difference between selling and having to stay there another year. Staging doesn’t have to be expensive — you likely already own a lot of what you need, and there are affordable shops with lovely home decor. Clever decluttering tricks and an eye for decorating can also boost your home’s appeal and get it off the market.
1. Declutter and Minimize
Your first step is to get rid of clutter. Think about the items you don’t use on a regular basis, like your clothing for next season, and pack them away. This is also a good time to throw out or donate items you don’t want to bring with you to your next house. Be careful of where you move the items, though; house buyers are going to look in your storage areas, so if you stuff everything in a closet, it’s going to be found. Consider renting storage space to get everything out of the house (it’ll also make moving easier).
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2. Clean and Keep Up With Maintenance
If you’re going to be living in your home while its staged, you’ll need to be extra diligent about cleanliness. Make sure to clean thoroughly on a regular basis so you don’t have to scramble when someone wants to see the house. Bathrooms and the kitchen should be especially clean. Also, keep up with organization and maintenance. Don’t let any room get cluttered and out of hand, and fix little things as they occur, like blown light bulbs or torn fabric.
This goes for the exterior too. Curb appeal is important, as your buyers don’t want to purchase a home knowing they’ll have to redo the front walkway or replace the front door. Keep up with landscaping, update the hardware on the outside of the home, and add lighting to make the home feel more secure.
3. Decorate in a Neutral Style
You don’t want to decorate in your own style; you want to decorate in an appealing, mainstream style. That can be as simple as removing items that are too bold or patterned to pare back to just the neutral furnishings and decor you already have. If you’re going to add items, look for one-of-a-kind furnishings or decor that viewers won’t see in every home. If a piece of artwork or a rug is the thing that catches the eye of your future buyer, consider letting them keep it.
You need to de-personalize the home, too, so that viewers can personalize it in their imagination. People don’t want to feel like they’re moving into somebody else’s home. They want to feel like they’ve found their home. Place things like family photos, awards, and trophies into storage and out of sight.
4. Highlight the Best Features
What’s the biggest selling point of your home? Is it an enormous kitchen, a landscaped backyard, or a sleek fireplace? Make that area the focal point. For example, you can add fresh fruit to a clear bowl and put it in your kitchen, along with a pretty cake on display and fresh flowers on the counter.
Is the setting of your home its biggest draw? Consider highlighting that by choosing decor that delivers the full experience. For example, if you live in New York City, you can highlight the locale by decorating with modern furniture and an urban style. The same goes for the season, especially if you’re selling a vacation home instead of a full-time home. For example, if you’re selling your beach house, the decor should be bright, airy, and evoke summertime.
5. Brighten the Space Up
One of the most overlooked home staging tips is to brighten the space up. Everything looks better in a brighter light. First give your windows a good cleaning inside and out. Then, consider replacing some of your thicker curtains with more sheer ones that let in natural light. If you have a room that doesn’t have any windows, add mirrors to reflect natural light from other rooms and make the area brighter. When you’re showing the house, turn on all the lights.
You’re not selling a house — you’re selling a lifestyle and a future to your buyers. Home staging is the first step to making your buyer’s dream a reality. Your home is now all about them, even if you’re still living there. If you’re ready to move into a new home yourself, staging can speed up the selling process.
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