Anyone who has sold a home before knows just how important staging is to the selling process. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2019 Home Staging report, 83% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for buyers to visualize the property as a future home. When people are looking for a home, they are looking for new beginnings and a fresh start. Here are some tips on how to show buyers your homes’ true potential with home staging.
Stage where It Counts
Home staging can turn around a sale that was otherwise slow to sell. For the biggest impact, it’s best to stage before your listing photos are taken. This brings in more buyers from online listings photos since your home looks like something from a catalog. The NAR Home Staging report states that the living room, kitchen, master bedroom, and dining room are the most common rooms that sellers stage. Similarly, buyers thought staging the living room, followed by the master bedroom, then the kitchen were the most important when viewing a listing. Both buyers and sellers felt the guest bedroom should be last on the priority list. It’s important to find the right balance between cleanliness and looking lived in to help buyers imagine that they could live there; an experienced realtor will know just the right touch to apply.
If your home is filled with bright colors, patterns, or designs on the walls, you may want to consider re-painting to create a new space that is neutral for buyers. Stick with sophisticated neutral and earth-tone colors to appeal to the widest audience possible. Even though buyers may want bright colors themselves, a neutral home provides more flexibility to change it (or not). Re-painting can give new life to a room that can make it feel bigger and brighter.
Walls aren’t the only aspect of the home that can serve as a distraction to home buyers. Keep the kitchen and bathrooms clean and clear of too many appliances or products on the counter. If you have any bold or colorful bedding, try replacing with a neutral fluffy comforter with pillows to create a new comfortable space that a buyer can see themselves in. When selling your home, it’s important to keep your own style out of it. Remember that buyers may investigate the nooks and crannies of your home that you overlooked, so be prepared and clear out overcrowded closet spaces and junk drawers. And speaking of “junk” …
Although every room may not need professional staging, it’s still a good idea to have every room deep-cleaned from top to bottom. Even the cleanest of houses can benefit from a little organization. You want buyers to focus on the abundance of space, not the collection of clutter. Creating this new space helps buyers see that they will have room to grow. The key to home staging is to show off your home’s space, not your personal belongings. So, try to put yourself in the shoes of a buyer and walk through your home to see what you can put in storage or out of the way. Part of the decluttering process should include removing family photos, religious or political symbols, and other personal items from view; these types of items can distract potential buyers. Buyers also love to see a home with natural light, so be sure to open the blinds and push back heavy draperies to reveal the natural light your home provides. You can also replace any outdated light fixtures and add lamps to any dark areas in the home.
Buyers polled for the NAR Home Staging report placed more importance on staging the yard and outside space than the bathroom, children or guest bedrooms. Even if you are selling a property with limited yard space, you can always make a good first impression with a decorated front door. Pools, fire pits, outside kitchens, and patios should be thoroughly cleaned and maintained for the appropriate season. Eliminate dog signs, kids’ toys, branches, and leaves from the property. It also may be a good idea to power wash your home’s siding and walkways, wash the windows, and hang easy to read house numbers if you haven’t done so already. Adding a hammock or sitting area to your otherwise barren outdoor space can help buyers visualize themselves relaxing on the porch or in the backyard. The goal is to impress buyers with your curb appeal and make visitors feel invited and welcome to your home.