Selling your home can be exciting yet stressful at the same time. On the one hand, you are thrilled to be moving into your new place. But, you are also worried about selling your current home at a decent price and as per your expectations. Home staging is a popular way of preparing your home for sale by making it more appealing to potential buyers.
While home staging is typically performed by a professional stager, that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t play your part in pumping up your home to attract potential buyers. Here are 10 things I recommend home sellers to do to ensure the home staging process makes a lasting impression on their buyers:
- Spruce Up That Exterior
First impression is often the last impression. If you want to wow potential home buyers and fetch a higher price for your home, make sure that the exterior of your house wins them over. Remember your potential buyers will immediately form an opinion about your home, as soon as they lay their eyes on it.
Therefore, upgrade the door, coat the walls with fresh paint, repair the door knocker, clean up the patio, and add a few flower plants. Remove any yard equipment, tools, or toys lying around.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to go out of your way or invest much money to enhance the exterior of your home. A simple and neat look can do wonders.
- Brighten up the Place
Open up the curtains to let natural light in as this will give your house a cozy yet open look and feel. Bright spaces tend to look bigger than they are, creating the illusion of space. Add more lamps around the house, so that your realtor can switch them on during the viewing sessions to make the house bright and spacious.
- Return All Rooms to Original Functions
While converting one of the bedrooms into a home office, exercise room, or crafting area would have worked perfectly for you, the potential buyer might actually want an extra bedroom or have ideas for that space of their own. It is ideal to leave it up to their imagination what to do with that extra bedroom. Therefore, restore that room to its original function.
- Remove Excess Furniture
The goal of home staging is to give potential buyers every excuse to fall in love with your house, and they can only do that when they can easily walk about the rooms. With your family’s preferred furniture settings, this might not be possible.
Therefore, you should aim to create as much open space in the staged rooms as possible without ruining the impression of a fully functional house. Remove every unnecessary item out of your home and rearrange what is left to create more room to walk around.
- Make Necessary Repairs
When a couple or family comes to view your home, they want to be able to visualize living in that space. Looking at damaged doorways, chipped paint, broken fixture or other issues will distract them. Think about it, would you want to buy a home where so many repairs are needed?
Leaving damaged and worn items unattended will only give your potential buyers the impression of wear and neglect, which can influence their purchase decision or they might even pass by your house altogether. This is the reason I always recommend sellers to fix up all the small problems so that your home stands out.
- Declutter and Organize Rooms
A home loaded with things will definitely not give a good impression to potential buyers. Make sure you put in serious effort into cleaning the whole place well before the potential buyers are due to arrive. This is a good time to start packing your things in boxes, so it would be easier for you when the time comes to move out.
Declutter all the rooms by throwing away the things you won’t need, packing up things you currently don’t use but want to keep, and be sure to move all the boxes into a storage facility. A clean and tidy looking house feels welcoming and will add to your efforts of creating a distraction-free visit.
- Prep the Yard
Your garden or yard is the first thing that your potential buyers will walk through when they arrive. If yours looks dirty or unkempt, you need to make sure it does not when buyers arrive to view your home. Take care of the fences, level the lawn, and clean the walkway and patio before the viewing appointment is due.
- Make Some Improvements on a Budget
Some homeowners with a bigger budget opt for major renovations before selling to increase the value of their property. This helps in giving the house a new and modern look, which attracts various potential buyers who are then willing to make higher offers.
However, you don’t have to start full-scale bathroom or kitchen renovations. You can make small improvements within your budget to enhance the curb appeal of your home. For instance, repainting the house, placing in planters around the house, or even fixing or replacing a lighting fixture can improve the look of a room.
- Keep Pets and their Stuff Away
A successful home staging requires an atmosphere where your potential buyers do not get distracted. The more they get distracted, the less they will be thinking about buying your house.
One big distraction could be your pets. You should do more than making sure your pet’s bed, bowls and toys are out of the way. I would strongly suggest that you keep any cats or dogs with you during the viewings of your house or leave them at a neighbour’s or a friend’s house, so they do not feel agitated around strangers or distract them.
- Maintain a Balance
One of the most important things you can do to make your staging work well is creating a neutral atmosphere. You should try to make sure that when a potential buyer walks around your house, they do not feel like they are intruding into anybody else’s space.
The house should look and feel homey without giving an impression of someone else’s house. This impression allows creating the right kind of picture in the mind of your buyer. This means moving things around, taking family photos off the walls, and other such ideas.
Home staging means examining and imagining the house from the eyes of a potential buyer and arranging the property to suit their needs and requirements. While some homeowners feel they can perform home staging on their own, a real estate agent or a professional stager can perform a more thorough job since they know and understand the ins and outs of the process.
If done right, home staging can make a significant difference to your sale. Residential properties generally stay in the market for months before they are sold, and home staging can significantly reduce this period for most properties.
You can always play your part in this process by performing the above-mentioned things. Discuss with your realtor (ME) or the professional stager about more things you can do to enhance the appeal of your home.