Staging your home prior to going on the market forces you to think like a buyer and to see your home as a buyer would. Staging your home increases the likelihood of a quick sale as well as helping to get your asking price. After all isn’t that what all home sellers want. After de-cluttering, storing, cleaning, painting and doing minor repairs, you are ready for the final stage in the “home staging” process which is to make your home into a “show home”.
Let’s start with the outside. If the outside looks good or has great curb appeal, buyers will want to see what’s inside. Therefore, your lawn must be free of weeds, freshly mowed and have appealing landscaping: according to the Professional Landcare Network, lush landscaping adds as much as 15 percent to the property value of a home. Add some color by planting some annuals along the walkway and add a colorful wreath to the door.
Better Homes and Gardens suggest creating some symmetry. Symmetry is not only attractive to the eye, it is easy to do. Arrange some tall plants in pots or container gardens. Next install light fixtures by the front door to create a welcoming entrance. Consider some landscape lighting, creates safety and security and adds a welcoming feel to your home. Skip the wiring and use solar lights along your walkway outside and to show off special features.
Once buyers are in your home, the first thing they will notice is the living room, so be sure to arrange the remaining furniture in groupings. Arrange it so it is cozy and inviting. If you have the room, don’t push furniture against the walls, instead float it in the room so the room seems larger and more airy. Placement is important, so place furnishings so the traffic flow is obvious and easy. Mix up your furniture, just because you purchased that chair for the living room, doesn’t mean it won’t look good as a small sitting area in your bedroom or in a large hallway. For your table tops such as end tables and nightstands, three’s company; don’t place more than three “like” items and arrange them from larger to smaller.
One of the simplest things to make a room seem larger and more welcoming is lighting. Many homes do not have adequate lighting or are improperly lighted. You can remedy the problem just by increasing the wattage in your lamps and fixtures; 100 watts for every 50 square feet of space. Different types of lighting is good too, make sure to have three types: ambient (overhead), task (under cabinet or reading) and accent (table and wall).
Now let’s tackle your art work and wall hangings. Most people arrange their wall hangings in a single line; this stereotypical placement can render them almost invisible. Instead arrange art work creatively to show off your space. Strategically place mirrors to make a room larger, reflect light and enhance features.
In your bedrooms and bathrooms, replace worn or drab linens with new luxurious linens in soft colors to create a serene and relaxing look. Be sure to stay away from gender specific prints, instead use neutrals. Arrange a few coordinating accent pillows on the bed. In bathrooms, roll up the towels like they do in spas, fill baskets with scented soaps and add fresh flowers.
The kitchen is a very important room to home buyers; it’s the heart of the home. So make sure that counters are not cluttered and that hardware is polished. Display a bowl of fresh fruit with various colors on the counter, cheery cookbooks and fresh flowers to create a welcoming look. Make sure that any small appliances that are displayed are shiny and clean. If you have a table, be sure to set it attractively with a neutral tablecloth or placemats.
Don’t neglect your patio or rear yard. Once again make sure to add colorful landscaping, colorful container gardens and plants and lighting. Adirondack chairs and a small table complete the relaxing mood.
Before a showing, open the windows for a few minutes to clear out stuffiness and to let the fresh air in. Light candles and bring the outdoors in with some colorful live plants and flowers. If you have time, bake a batch of cookies; nothing says welcome home than the smell of fresh home baked cookies.
All of these tips are designed to help you sell your home quicker and at the best possible price. However, if you can’t do these things or your home is vacant, consider hiring a professional home stager. Ask your realtor to recommend a home stager; costs vary so ask for an estimate. The real estate market is rebounding, so now may be the time to list your home. Good Luck.