Summer is when it seems that “For Sale” signs sprout in yards as fast as flowers. So if you’re one of the millions of homeowners trying to sell a home this year, now’s the time to get cracking. If you’re about to list your home, or aren’t having any luck moving it so far, you might take a look at how you’re staging the décor.
Staging a home is all about helping your prospective buyer imagine themselves living within those walls. There are lots of schools of thought on how to best set the scene, but here are some of the best tips for how to do it right.
- Don’t try to “trick” your prospects.
From fisheye lens photos to trying to make a room seem bigger with smaller furniture, you shouldn’t attempt to make foolish impressions. The only thing that tricks of the eye can do is show yourself to be foolish (or think that of your potential buyers). Put pieces in the spaces that makes sense, and help your viewers imagine themselves living there one day.
- You can stage on the cheap (but not on the fake).
If you have to move before your house sells, or are trying to sell a home that you’ve boxed up already, then you might need to stage it simply. Small decorative items (a new set of potholders in the kitchen or a nice pair of towels in the bathroom) can open up imaginations. Don’t feel the need to knickknack up a blank canvas, though. Adding loads of silk trees and bowls of plastic fruit don’t help your cause, but instead distract from your goal.
- Keep it simple.
A good rule of thumb is to decrease your possessions by half, and box up the rest for storage. Think of it as getting a jumpstart on your move and opening up spaces for cleaning. If you want or need to rent furniture to use for staging, pick a few key rooms to focus on, instead of filling a whole home with “stuff.” Think about getting help from friends or hiring professionals to give your home a solid cleaning before a showing or big open house. While you might not see a stray cobweb in the corners, your potential buyers could.
- Don’t forget the landscape.
Maintain good curb appeal while showing your home by keeping up with regular mowing of the grass and trimming back weeds. You don’t want it to look neglected at first glance, since that sets a bad impression from the start. If you’re not around, hire a company to take care of regular maintenance a day or two before you plan to show the house (so you won’t have lawnmowers going while buyers are browsing). Get that first impression to sparkle!
- Appeal to the senses (don’t overwhelm them).
Some might swear by the smell of cookies baking as a surefire way to sell a house, but to those who suffer from allergies or just sensitivities to smells, it might be a turnoff. Smelly candles and fake floral sprays could overwhelm visitors at the door and turn others away in seconds. Cleanliness smells neutral, like a fresh palate, and is appealing to everyone. A few fresh flowers in a vase or beautiful curtains are pleasant to look at, and draw the eye to fresh and clean areas.
With these basics, you’ll hopefully be on your way to a new home and the next chapter of your journey through life.