Thursday, March 3, 2011

Home Staging Tips

If you're thinking of selling your home anytime soon, now is the time to start getting your house ready for the market.  In fact, you really should be evaluating what can be done to your house to maximize buyer appeal well before you are ready to list your home for sale.  A good realtor will be able to help guide you through the process to stage your home.  There are also professional staging companies that specialize in staging properties for sale to increase marketability and your bottom line.  These staging companies can bring in furntiure, art and accessories that work with things you have to give you the biggest bang for the buck.

Following are some helpful tips to guide you preparing your home to get buyer's attention and interest.
  1. Boost curb appeal:  the first things buyer's and their agents see is the front picture of your house on the MLS or home selling internet sites.  Take a critical look.  Are the bushes overgrown?  Trim away low lying or lanky limbs from trees.  Fresh pine straw beds will dramatically improve the visual impact of your lawn by sculpting defined areas for trees, shrubs and flower beds, and when done properly, will guide the eye to the front door in a welcoming fashion.  Also, freshen up exterior paint.  Plant flower beds.  Clean the area around the front door/front porch.  Spiders love the covered area at the front door.  Buyers typically don't like spiders.
  2. Remove clutter:  this cannot be understated.  Act viciously towards clutter, it is your enemy.  This means remove all toys, most all knick knacks, most all framed family and personal photos, streamline bookshelves so that they artfully display objects and books.  If you have lots of indoor plants, get rid of them.  A very few beautiful and healthy plants properly placed will work for you, lots of lanky tired and suffering plants are not your friends.
  3. Create a sense of entry:  if you have a formal entry, make sure there is a focal point as an interesting furniture piece with artwork or mirror.  Fresh flowers will say "welcome".
  4. Create focal points of interest:  as the buyer walks through each room, there should be a focal point that furniture is placed to bring attention to.  The focal point will work best if it is at the far end of the room as the buyer enters that room.  An example is an antique armoire or large display bookshelf or media center.
  5. Remove extra furniture and rugs:  a common mistake I see is too much furniture.  Or those clunky "chair and a half" things.  They are usually awkward and suck up visual space.  They may have to go, because you are selling space and buyers need to see the rooms as large as they can possibly appear to be.  A large rug to anchor a seating area is a good thing, but small accent rugs must go, they visually cut up the space and diminish the feeling of "flow" that buyers are looking for.
  6. Lighten up:  If you don't have great lamps, you need some.  Buying modern, updated looking lamps can refresh a rooms appearance and provide a warm glow to supplement lighting.  They don't have to be expensive, I typically find great buys at Target or HomeGoods.  During a showing, every light and lamp in the house needs to be on.  Buyer's hate dark caves.
  7. Fresh color:  Evaluate your home's color scheme.  Does it even have a color scheme?  I find it best for visual flow to have a centralized color theme.  Each room should relate or complement the others.  Avoid bold or loud colors, neutral colors are safe.  I like warm, light or mid-tone colors.  Sometimes a striking color will work for you, but remember that buyers need to be able to visualize themselves living in your house.  Not everyone has the perfect furniture to go with pink or yellow for example.  And if you have floral wallpaper... rethink it.
  8. Evaluate kitchen appliances and countertops:  today's buyers are not only looking for great deals, they are looking for move-in condition.  Kitchen and baths are the highest priority for most buyers.  Stainless steel appliances and granite countertops have become the standard.  There are ways to work around this and a good professional realtor will guide you to make good decisions if you need to and are in the position to make kitchen and bath updates.
  9. Refresh with pillows and artwork:  it is amazing how the right pillows, artwork and accessories can really transform a space.  These items can create a strong color scheme and visual interest in a space.  They pull a room together and make it feel cohesive and comfortable.  Artwork should be properly hung and placed where it can make the most impact in a space.
  10. Organize and clean:  it doesn't cost anything but time and effort to organize your closets and storage areas and clean your home.  This is a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many homes I show that are not clean or organized.  This is a major turn-off to buyers.  Who wants to buy a nasty house?  If you don't have a professional house cleaner, I recommend having a professional deep clean your house in preparation for entering the market. 

1 comment:

  1. Great post!

    One good piece of feedback we got was to depersonalize so others could see themselves there - so we took down personal photos and replaced them with photos of flowers, scenery, landmarks, etc.