The real estate market has quickly gone from “Staging? What is that?” to “You absolutely MUST hire an expensive professional stager!”
For some million dollar plus homes, this expense could potentially pay for itself. For everyone else, there are plenty of ways to stage your own home using a bit of elbow grease and some common sense.
Here are 10 do-it-yourself ways to get your home staged and ready for viewing:
1. Clean, Clean Clean
Clean your home from top to bottom before you do anything else. This task will help you take notice of problem spots along the way, and it will give you an intimate look at the house from multiple angles.
2. Declutter and Re-organize
Clutter is the enemy of a home showing. Too many bits and pieces make a space look small and dingy. They also distract the buyer from focusing on the house.
Clear out as many objects from rooms as you can stand. Find a tidy place to tuck them away or put them in a storage unit. After that, rearrange all storage spaces to look orderly.
3. Let There Be Light!
Lighting can mean the difference between a flattering look and a dark, awkward one. Pull back all curtains and clean all windows to let as much light in as possible. Replace your light bulbs with bright, clean-looking ones. Consider adding a fixture or floor lamp to pierce through the dark corners of a room.
4. Paint Everything
A few coats of paint can freshen up your home like you would not believe. Make sure to use a neutral, light color to make your rooms seem larger. Neutral colors also appeal to more buyers.
Family photos distract buyers from imagining owning the property. Likewise, knick-knacks that chart your travels or interests can just look like kitsch to others.
Remove all personalized decorations and store them out of sight before viewing. Include aspects like sports memorabilia and merchandise from music or recent movies. Not everyone will want to see your Elvis figurines, after all.
6. Rearrange Rooms to Create Spacious, Livable Areas
You may have to remove some furniture during this process. The idea is to have each room feel like there is a lot of space to move about. You also want buyers to be drawn to sitting areas like sofas and chairs arranged slightly angled towards each other, as if they had begun a conversation.
7. Clear Out Half the Stuff from Storage Areas
Buyers will want to see your storage space. To make closets, cabinets, garages and everything else seem roomier, take away half of their contents. This strategy creates the illusion of a larger space.
8. Replace Minor Fixtures and Hardware
Getting new hardware for your cabinets can change the entire look of your kitchen. You may also want to install new faucets for your sinks and bathtub. These can make your facilities look more modern.
9. Decide on a Theme for Each Room
Use subtle coordination to evoke a specific theme for a room. For instance, your living room can use gold and auburn colors paired with a painted landscape to evoke the feeling of fall. Throw pillows and decorative hand towels can go a long way toward enhancing these looks.
10. Remember That Smell is a Factor
Completely deodorize your home several weeks before showing. Avoid merely covering up these scents with candles or sprays. This tactic will create a confusing barrage of smells that will likely irritate the nostrils.
Finally, double check all of your hard work with an outside opinion. An expert real estate agent can confirm whether your home is staged and ready for success.