When your home is on the market, making sure it looks its best for potential buyers should be a top priority. After all, there’s never a second chance to make a good first impression. From the moment buyers arrive at your home, you want them to easily envision living there. Staging is the best and most effective way to inspire that vision. As a seller, putting the effort into staging can come with a big reward. Staged houses often sell faster and may command a higher selling price than homes that are not staged.
Staging Your Home on a Budget
There’s no denying that the process of selling your home and moving is already a lot of work. But small changes can have a big impact on how your home appeals to buyers. Before you write off staging as another task on your to-do list and more dollar signs than its worth, check out these simple, free home staging tips.
Make Your Porch Say “Welcome Home!”
Give your buyers a great first impression before they step through the front door. Even if your porch is small, make it warm and inviting. Put a clean welcome mat in front of the door. Set out a blooming potted plant or two. If you have the space, add a few pieces of outdoor furniture.
It’s common for families to live in their home while it’s on the market. But buyers don’t want to see your personal belongings scattered everywhere while they’re trying to imagine themselves moving in. If you’re selling your home, it’s best to de-personalize. Take down family photos, remove your kid’s drawings from the fridge, and put away personal belongings throughout each room. Buyers don’t need to see your bathroom necessities sitting on the counter or laundry in a hamper. Staging a home is focused on helping buyers visualize your space as their own. Seeing the signs of your ownership can be a big distraction.
Remember, not everyone’s decorative style is the same. Large wall pieces, bulky mirrors, bold patterns, and bright color schemes are not everyone’s cup of tea. When decorating your home to sell, stick to décor and patterns that are simple, modern and neutral.
Clean Until It Shines
When you stay at a hotel, you expect everything to be pristine. Buyers have the same expectation when looking at homes on the market. An unkempt house is one of the fastest ways to turn off potential buyers who come to visit. A home that’s clean looks like it’s been well maintained and cared for. Take some time to give each room in your house a good top-to-bottom cleaning. Pay attention to every minor detail and don’t skip any nooks and crannies – buyers will be looking everywhere.
Clear Out the Clutter
Generally speaking, one of the biggest problems with clutter is that it takes up valuable space – the very thing buyers are looking for in their new home. The last thing you want to do is cover that space up with unnecessary items. A good seller’s rule of thumb: If you don’t need it, get rid of it. Start with clothing items you no longer wear and toys your kids have outgrown. Sort through items in your bathrooms and kitchen, and throw away anything that’s expired. And don’t forget to clear out and organize your belongings in cabinets and drawers.
If you have trouble getting rid of things, think of it as one less object you have to move to your new house. Begin to pack away anything you know you won’t be using until after your home sells. Start by putting away any out-of-season decor and clothing. Try to limit what you have in your closets and living spaces to the things you use on a day-to-day basis. For example, if you have a large shoe collection, select a few of your favorite pairs that complement any outfit.
Set the Table
Setting the table is an extremely easy but effective staging tip that helps your home look more inviting to potential buyers. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate set up for a five-course meal – just something simple and inviting will do the trick. Set out matching place settings at each seat, and position a simple centerpiece or fresh floral arrangement in the middle. A set table makes the space seem much cozier and inviting.
Smells Like Home
Never underestimate the power of a good-smelling home. Before a showing, burn a candle, plug in an air freshener, or even bake a fresh batch of cookies. The first thing potential buyers will notice is how nice your home smells, setting the tone for the rest of their visit. When picking the scent, it’s best to stick with something fresh or warm. And don’t forget to leave a few cookies out for them to enjoy while they look around.
Learn More: 6 Home Selling Secrets
Make the Most of Unique Spaces
Many homes have awkward spaces that are not always practical such as an open space under the stairs, a nook, or an alcove. Try to find a way to make the most out of this area. Find a small bookcase or a piece of artwork that fits perfectly in this space. By staging your home, you can make this awkward place a selling point that will help your home stand out from the rest.
Repaint and Repair
When it comes time to sell their home, many people fail to realize how much of an impact a fresh coat of paint can make. Before your house goes on the market, eliminate any bold colors or accent walls in your home. Even though a buyer can easily change the paint colors after purchasing the home, seeing a color they dislike on the walls is a distraction that many find difficult to look past. When you’re repainting rooms, it’s best to stick with neutral shades of white, beige, gray, or cream. While you’re at it, take time to repair any holes or chipped spots.
Let the Light In
Making sure your home has plenty of light is one of the easiest staging tips professionals recommend to sellers. Bright rooms look much larger and more open, both of which are major pluses for buyers. Open the blinds and curtains to let in plenty of natural light, and turn on any lamps and overhead lighting you have throughout your home. Be sure to replace bulbs that are broken or burnt out. And, if you find a dark space, move a lamp to that area to brighten it up a bit. A well-lit home will feel more welcoming to any potential buyers that come through the door.
Staged to Sell
Staging your home doesn’t have to cost a lot of time or money. When done well, your home can appeal to buyers of all kinds. Before you put that “For Sale” sign up in your yard, give these simple tips a try. By de-personalizing, re-styling, and de-cluttering, your home will be sold before you know it.