What is a home staging?
Home staging prepares a home for sale, and for the dozens of enquiring eyes that will be scouring the property looking for flaws. It creates an image of the perfectly decorated home, in move-in condition. This should be the next step after de-cluttering, cleaning and repairing your home. The changes may be as small as rearranging furniture to give the illusion of more space, or repainting with more neutral and soothing colours. Home stagers will offer great ideas for perking up a room with accessories and creating a new stylish look for your home.
Why stage your home?
In this day and age, having to deal with competition, staging is a must. It can give you the edge that may result in a faster sale or a higher sales price.
First impressions can make or break the sale of the house, and a home that is properly staged helps to maximize your chances of a positive first impression.
Your home will have an advantage over other unstaged homes.
A staged home shows well in web site marketing and video tours, and since the majority of homes are chosen over the internet, this is a vital form of advertising.
Tips for staging your home.
As you go from room to room, there should be a flow to your home. Avoid overly bright or bold coloured walls. This may mean repainting some or all of your rooms with more calming, neutral tones. Some people cannot understand that that bright purple wall can be removed with a coat of paint, and these distractions may result in no sales.
Clean the carpets.
Furniture: The most common trick used by stagers is to rearrange furniture to create a more stylish look. During my house sale, my stager suggested I move my dining room table into the living room, creating a living/dining room. This freed up space for my crammed kitchen table and voila, I had a brand new and improved living space.
Rearranging may also mean reducing the amount of furniture so that a room looks more open. This includes emptying out closets, even if it means putting some things in storage. Consider renting a few pieces of stylish furniture or pieces of art.
Tidy up your bookcases so that they look pleasing to the eye. This may mean packing away many of your books and keeping out the ones that display well.
Brighten the house up by cleaning windows, and go with higher wattage light bulbs (just until the home sells). Make sure that the lights are left on before an open house, so the prospective buyers are walking into well-lit rooms and hallways.
Creative use of fabrics as accent pieces for additional texture and colour are very common.
Remove family pictures, footy trophies, any traces of everyday family life. You don’t want the buyer feeling that they are in someone else’s space; they need to imagine their family living in this house.
Use plug in room fresheners, especially to mask pet and smoking odours. If you can’t get rid of a smell, overpower it by providing a distraction such as baking a cake and leaving the tray in the oven.
Make a list of general repairs, and if you can’t complete them, hire a handyman to polish them off.
Add fresh or silk flowers to many of the rooms.
Display bowls of colourful fruit.
Apply oil to cabinets to revive their finish.
Modernise your cabinet handles.
Clear everything off the counters, finding homes for small appliances – you’ll love the look.
Remove fridge magnets and small area rugs.
Have a table set for use, complete with place mats, place setting and napkins.
Have a set of thick and luxurious towels reserved only for open houses.
Fill baskets with scented soaps and lotions.
Use a scented plug in air freshener.
Remove the collection of shampoo bottles from the shower, or toothbrushes lying on the counter.
Clear off your night tables, maybe leaving out an interesting looking book.
Place containers of flowers on the patios, decks and entranceways.
Set the table with colourful picnic plates
Power wash the outside of the house, patios and walkways.
Freshen up the paint on all porches and doors
Weed the gardens and apply mulch; it makes them look like new.
In order to make your home staging a positive experience make sure you use either a real estate agent who is skilled at home staging, or a professional home stager. The latter is a trained designer and they understand how to create a mood or illusion for the buyer.
It can be difficult listening to strangers telling you how your home needs to look. You really need to be open minded and trust their expertise. Many people are surprised at how hard it is to separate from their homes; just keep telling yourself, “It’s not my home anymore”. You’ll probably enjoy many of the changes you’ve made and may reflect these in your new house as well.
Author: Melanie Burns
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