Staging Your Home: 5 Tips for Success
If you’re thinking of selling your home this summer, your timing is perfect. With robust buyer demand and a limited supply of homes for sale, homes in this area of the country are generally selling faster than last year, with prices close to—and often greater than—their asking prices. To maximize this opportunity, consider staging your home. Consisting of equal parts editing, styling, and decorating, staging is a favorite technique of top realtors. When your home is staged, realtors are more likely to recommend it to their clients, while prospective homebuyers are better able to imagine living in it. Once you’ve established this strong emotional connection with realtors and prospective homebuyers, your home is likely to sell faster and at a higher price point than homes that aren’t staged. To help you stage your home like the pros, here are five easy tips:
- Amp up the curb appeal. Imagine that you’re shopping for a new home in your neighborhood. Drive around your block and stop at your house. Pretend you’re seeing it for the first time, and make sure you can read the house numbers from the street. Look closely at the windows, the siding, and other details. If you’re on a tight timeline, recruit a painter and handyman to help you touch up the paint, replace broken window glass, repair any cosmetic damage, and power wash your windows, sidewalk, and driveway. Unless you have a green thumb, consider hiring a local landscaping service to prune your shrubs, mow, seed, fertilize the lawn, and plant colorful annuals in your flowerbeds.
- De-clutter your closets, cabinets, and rooms. Use the golden rule of staging and make your home look as though anyone could move in tomorrow. Look at each room and remove unnecessary furniture, art, lamps, and rugs to create better flow and make the spaces feel larger. Open your closets, cabinets, and drawers and take everything out. Replace only what’s absolutely necessary and sell or donate items you don’t need, or store the remaining items in a storage unit until you move. Once you’ve finished with the interior of the house, move on to the garage and use the same strategy to organize the shelves, and then power wash the floors.
- De-personalize every room in your house. Make it easy for a prospective buyer to imagine that your house is his or her new home. Go through each room and remove family photos, magazines, books, posters, paperwork, and other personal belongings. Invest in new towels for the bathrooms and powder rooms, and store medications out of sight. If your basement is damp, buy a dehumidifier to reduce musty scents. If you have pets, remove beds, litter boxes, and toys before every showing.
- Give your home the white-glove treatment. Once your house is completely de-cluttered and de-personalized, invest in a thorough spring (and summer) cleaning. If you’re short on time and long on square footage, hire a cleaning service to help. Pretend your house is a boutique hotel and wash, scrub, dust, vacuum, and polish every inch of every surface. Pull out the refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer, and clean thoroughly underneath and behind each appliance. Strong fragrances and the scent of harsh chemicals may be off-putting to prospective buyers, so be sure to use unscented or natural products.
- Add seasonal updates indoors and out. After completing all the chores on your list, it’s time for some fun. Look through the latest issues of top home design magazines for ideas and inspiration. If your entry could use a little “zhoozhing,” ask your painter to give the front door a fresh coat in a fun, contemporary color. Plant a pair of urns or pots with flowers and trailing vines and place them on either side of the door. If you have a porch or patio, buy new pillows and cushions for your outdoor furniture, and be sure to clean the grill. Add a splash of color to your kitchen, dining room, and living room with fresh flowers or potted plants.