Staging a home can be a daunting process, but it’s a key component that helps optimize a home’s potential. Beautifully staged homes not only attract more buyers, but they often receive higher offers. In fact, according to the NAR report, 58% of sellers' realtors believe that buyers offer more money for staged homes. Staging your home is not necessarily decorating, its marketing your home to sell! We want to help you avoid some of the common mistakes, so we’ve put together a list of our top do’s and don'ts of staging a home!
DO Clean and Declutter
The first major step involved before staging a home is to do a deep clean and thoroughly declutter. It’s so easy to accumulate things overtime, especially if you’ve lived in the home for a long time. If you find items are no longer serving you or that you are not planning on bringing them to your new home, it is a great time to downsize belongings. Side perk: organizing your belongings makes it so much easier and faster to unpack once you get into your new home! As you clear out your closets, take the time to deep clean your home from top to bottom. Nothing feels more welcoming to prospective buyers than stepping into a clean and tidy home!
Here are a few tips we suggest following as you clean and declutter your home for staging:
You want potential buyers to see themselves living there, so that includes removing personal/hobby collections, family photos, newspapers, books and magazines.
Donate extra furniture and household accessories to your local Thrift Store or to an organization that helps those in need
Open the curtains or blinds so that each room feels light and bright. Make sure to dust or vacuum these surfaces as well!
Check that all existing lights bulbs are working clean the fixtures.
Wipe down walls, touch up paint, deep clean baseboards and stained carpet. Windows and mirrors should also be free of fingerprints, and hardwood floors should shine.
Scrub down bathrooms and the kitchen. Thoroughly cleaning these two rooms is an important step!
DO Take Care of the Outside of Your Home
The lawn and landscape deserve as much care as the inside of the house; after all, first impressions are everything! Get your lawn in shape and use mulch to fill in flower beds and planters. Trim hedges and trees to make sure that they aren't blocking windows or doorways and add flowers for a welcoming splash of color. If you have an outdoor entertaining space, do a quick powerwash on your patio or deck and clean all outdoor furniture. Having a clean space encourages prospective buyers to envision themselves relaxing and enjoying these spaces!
It’s also crucial to assess the overall condition of your home. Cracking paint, broken shutters and clogged gutters should be attended to. Last but not least, do a quick powerwash on the exterior of the house. This may seem like a lot on the honey-do-list, but every detail counts!
Winters in Minnesota can be a challenge in this area. If you know you are putting your home up for sale before the snow comes have your realtor take photos of it then so you can show off its features before it’s covered in white! Also, make sure all walkways are shovels and de-iced to allow easy access to the home.
DO Keep Things Neutral
When staging, it is incredibly important to keep the home surroundings neutral in order to appeal to a wide range of buyers. This all starts with paint colors. Creams, beiges and greys are all beautiful hues that instantly brighten up and transform any room. This same rule goes for furniture as well. We recommend that you stage your home in a way that allows potential buyers to envision where their personal furniture could go. This often means condensing your furniture collection down and only staging with a few key neutral pieces that appropriately fit the space. Remember, simple is always better! Less furniture and personal belongings as well sticking to light and airy paint colors on walls will make spaces appear much larger.
DO Stick to the Essential Updates
Although home staging shouldn't involve huge renovations, small cosmetic updates can bring a once outdated house back into today's market. Take the time and make a few cost effective cosmetic fixes like giving your main living areas a fresh coat of paint, replacing run down flooring, swapping out old hardware, painting your cabinets and bathroom vanities a crisp and neutral color, and replacing outdated light fixtures. These minor projects are well worth the small investment and time to get your house sold!
Take a good look at your furniture as well. Are your couches, beds, lamps, or dining room table not showing off your home and its features? That’s where our team can come in and advises where to place furniture and what pieces may need to be rented out to bring your home to it’s full potential for professional photos and open house.
DON’T Over Personalize
If you know your house is going on the market within the next few years, be mindful of design choices and cosmetic updates so that your home can appeal to a wide range of prospective buyers. One of the hardest parts of staging is removing all personal items. It may seem odd to take down personal photos, your kid’s artwork, or other sentimental collectible items, but buyers have to be able to see themselves in your home.
DON’T Leave Things Broken
Make sure that everything in your home functions and works properly. Take the time to repair leaky faucets, broken locks, cracked windows, loose doorknobs, broken tile, holes in drywall, etc. This will show potential buyers that you have maintained your home. Also make sure that all lights work and replace any light bulbs that are burned out. As potential buyers tour your home, they should be able to turn on any lights or fans without issues.
DON’T Misuse Rooms
Stage rooms in your home as the intended spaces they were supposed to be. This can be confusing to potential buyers as they look at your photos online. Misused spaces often leave potential buyers to believe that there is not enough space or that the overall layout of the home is not functional. Make sure your home reflects how each room is meant to be used.
DON’T Buy New Furniture for Staging Purposes
We suggest that homeowners work with the furniture pieces they already own. Start by rearranging and putting away excessive pieces to simplify and create a better flow within each room. Hide imperfections and scratches on furniture by adding runners, centerpieces, decorative throws, and pillows. Perhaps you have a couch that’s a little worn out but a hutch that is a showstopper. A professional home stager can come in and recommend what pieces to keep and what items to rent out to bring your home to its full glory! It is not necessary to buy furniture solely for the purpose to sell your home.
DON’T Be Afraid to Hire a Professional Stager
Packing up your home to sell can be overwhelming, let alone figuring out what minor changes you should make so your home shines at its best! Whether you don’t have furniture to stage or you don’t even know where to start when it comes to improving overall aesthetic of your home, a professional stager is a wise investment that will pay for itself many times over. Our team is here to guide you through the process so your home is ready to sell, and sell FAST!
Home staging is an important yet often overlooked step that can impact how much your home will ultimately sell for. Are you ready to put the “For Sale” sign up but haven’t prepared and transformed your home to its full potential? We can help! Our Spring schedule is filling up quickly, so contact us today.