In last week’s blog post, we covered a few tips on how to prep your house prior to listing it for sale. We discussed improving curb appeal and light remodeling to make the home more universally appealing. To that effort, we also mentioned the importance of de-cluttering, de-personalizing and cleanliness. So now that the house is neutral and clean, how does one dress each space to additionally enhance a buyer’s impression of the house? This is where the art of staging comes into play. Should you want to take a crack at staging your house, here are some few helpful tips to consider.
Roll up your sleeves and start moving furniture. There’s a common belief that rooms feel larger if the furniture is pushed up against the walls, but it actually isn’t true. Reconfigure your sitting areas by floating furniture away from the walls. Reposition sofas and chairs into groupings that look conducive to conversations. Not only will this make the room feel more inviting, but it will open up the space and the area will appear larger. Give yourself permission to remove furniture items entirely if the room requires more breathing room for better traffic flow.
Style your dining room table as if you’re expecting a dinner party. Bring some greenery indoors as flowers and plants instantly add vibrancy and life into any room. Place pleasant, non-controversial artwork or photography that befit the style of your home on walls that seem too bare. Dress each bed with complementary linens and pillows for a comfortable, lived-in look. For the master bedroom, remember to tow a gender neutral line when selecting bedding and accessories.
Do not forget to consider lighting. The first thing a real estate agent does when showing a home is to turn on all the lights, regardless of the time of day. So at some point, mimic a showing and turn on all the lights in the house to give yourself the buyer’s perspective. What you want is to make sure that your home looks warm, inviting and well-lit. As it turns out, most homes are improperly lighted. To remedy the problem, increase the wattage in your lamps and fixtures. Aim for a total of 100 watts for each 50 square feet. Make sure you have all three types of lighting in the house: ambient (general or overhead), task (pendant, under-cabinet or reading) and accent (table, floor or wall lamps).
Make Awkward Spaces Functional
One way to really add value to a house via staging is by creating a purpose for an otherwise awkward space. The area under the staircase can sometimes fit a small desk for a quaint office nook. Transforming a blank space into a practical area gives the house a feature that is memorable to the buyer. It also gives the impression that the house is bigger and thoughtfully functional. If you have an awkward space, check out interior design websites like Houzz for inspiration on how to give it a quick transformation.
Make Every Room Count
Most of us have a room in the house that is a “hobby room” which is a euphemism for “dumping ground.” As part of the decluttering process, make sure the room is thoroughly cleansed and all unnecessary items are removed. Then, give the room a purpose. Would potential buyers want to see a guest bedroom? Or an additional kid’s room? Making a real room out of what was your junk room will have a big payoff on buyer impression.
The goal of staging is to breathe new life into the house, giving it universal appeal. Chances are, while living in the house, you’ve made it work very specifically for yourself over the years. Staging removes some of the specificity and quirkiness. When well done, it gives buyers an idea of how to use every space well and maximizes the home’s potential for positive impressions. Staging is immensely valuable tool in selling a house.