Home staging is the process of adding decor, rearranging furniture, and expertly dressing up the home to make it look stunning for listing photos and walkthroughs. Home staging is marketing tactics that can make even the most dark, drab space feel bright, energetic, and homey.
The reason home staging is so important is that it can turn around a sale that otherwise wasn’t moving.
When you’re putting your house on the market, preparation and presentation can be the keys to boosting your home’s value and selling it quickly. While curb appeal improvements can definitely help, interiors are always the most important selling point. Most buyers today shop for homes online, making a home’s web appeal just as important as its curb appeal. To sell a home fast you want to attract as many potential buyers to your listing as possible. Featuring high-quality, staged listing photos and videos are a great way to boost your home’s virtual appeal and help it stand out in today’s competitive marketplace. Home staging doesn’t have to be a costly, time-consuming process especially if your house is already in good shape. You want buyers to be able to easily envision themselves in your home, so it’s important to declutter and remove personal items that might cloud that vision.
How Home Staging Works
If you’re selling a home these days, in most parts of the country, just putting up a for sale sign and hoping for the best probably won’t be enough. In a sluggish real-estate market, homeowners sometimes have to take extra steps to make a sale. For sellers trying to make a good impression, home staging has become a popular way to increase a home’s selling price and decrease selling time. Home staging is arranging furniture and decor with the intent to showcase a home for sale. It could cost you nothing, a simple cleaning and the removal of day-to-day living items can sometimes be all you need. But it can also involve some financial investment like painting, improving the landscaping and adding furniture and plants to give potential buyers an idea of what their new home would look like. However, staging isn’t decorating, according to real-estate professionals. It’s more like depersonalizing a home so that prospective buyers can imagine themselves in it. This can mean removing family photos, piles of newspapers and the cat’s litter box, as well as adding neutral-coloured paint and carpet and buying new appliances.
Utah Home Staging Tips
Boost curb appeal
This is something you always hear, and with very good reason. Many people thinking of touring your home will do a quick drive-by first, often deciding on the spot if it is even worth a look inside. Make sure your home is ready to lure in onlookers with these tips:
• Power wash siding and walkways
• Hang easy-to-read house numbers
• Plant blooming flowers and fresh greenery
• Mow lawn, and reseed or add fresh sod as needed
• Wash front windows
• Repaint or stain the porch floor as needed
Welcome visitors with an inviting porch
Even if you have only a tiny stoop, make it say “welcome home” with a clean doormat, potted plants in bloom and if you have room one or two pieces of neat porch furniture. Keep your porch lights on in the evenings, in case potential buyers drive by. Illuminating the front walk with solar lights is a nice extra touch, especially if you will be showing the house during the evening.
Make your home sparkling clean
From shining floors and gleaming windows to clean counters and scrubbed grout, every surface should sparkle. This is the easiest (well, maybe not easiest, but certainly the cheapest) way to help your home put its best foot forward. You may want to hire pros to do some of the really tough stuff, especially if you have a large house.
Clear away all clutter
If you are serious about staging your home, all clutter must go, end of story. It’s not easy, and it may even require utilizing offsite storage (or a nice relative’s garage) temporarily, but it is well worth the trouble. Clean and clear surfaces, floors, cupboards and closets equal more space in the eyes of potential buyers, so purge anything unnecessary or unsightly.
Strike a balance between clean and lived-in
Yes, I know I just said to get rid of all your clutter (and you deserve a big pat on the back if you did it), but now it’s time to judiciously bring back a few elements that will really make your home appealing. Think vases of cut flowers, a basket of fresh farmer’s market produce on the kitchen counter or a bowl of lemons beside the sink.
Style your dining room table
The dining room is often a blind spot in decorating the home. Between dinners, a large dining table can look bare and uninviting, so styling it up with visitors in mind can increase the appeal. An oversize arrangement can look too stiff and formal, so try lining up a series of smaller vessels down the center of the table instead.
Take a good look at your floors
At the bare minimum, give all floors a thorough cleaning (and steam clean carpets), but consider having wood floors refinished if they are in poor shape. If you don’t want to invest in refinishing floors, the strategic placement of area rugs can go a long way.
Rearrange your furniture
In the living room, symmetrical arrangements usually work well. Pull your furniture off the walls and use pairs (of sofas, chairs, lamps) to create an inviting conversation area.
Choose sophisticated neutral colors
Now is not the time to experiment with that “fun”-looking lime green. But that doesn’t mean you need to go all white, either. Rich mid-tone neutrals like mocha and “greige” create a sophisticated backdrop that makes everything look more pulled together.
Create a gender-neutral master bedroom
Appeal to everyone with a clean, tailored master bedroom, free of personal items and clutter. You can’t go wrong with clean, crisp linens, tasteful artwork and a blanket folded at the foot of the bed.
Open those closets
Open-house visitors will peek inside your closets. Closet space can be a make-it-or-break-it selling point for buyers, so show yours off to their full advantage by giving excess stuff the heave-ho. Again, this is really important, so even if you need to store a few boxes elsewhere, it’s worth it. Aim to have 20 to 30 percent open space in each closet to give the impression of spaciousness.
Clean up toys
Of course there will be families with children looking at your home, but just because they have kids too doesn’t mean seeing toys strewn everywhere will sell them on the place. When people are house hunting, they are imagining a fresh start. Show them that in this house, it is possible to have a beautifully organized kids’ room, and they might be swayed.
Use “extra” rooms wisely
If you have been using a spare bedroom as a dumping ground for odd pieces of furniture and boxes of junk, it’s time to clean up your act. Each room should have a clearly defined purpose, so think about what potential buyers might like to see here. An office? A guest room? Another kids’ room? Whether you buy inexpensive furnishings, rent them, or borrow some from friends, making a real room out of a junk room will have a big payoff.
Try a pedestal sink to maximize space
If you have a small bathroom but a huge cabinet-style sink, consider swapping it out for a simple pedestal version. Your bathroom will appear instantly bigger.
Use only perfect personal accents
Especially in the bathroom, it is important that anything left out for visitors to see is pristine. If you have a gorgeous fluffy white bathrobe, hanging it on a decorative hook on the door can be an attractive accent but if your robe is more of the nubby blue floral variety, you might want to hide it away. Look at every detail with a visitor’s eye, bars of soap should be fresh and clean, towels spotless, the garbage always emptied (you get the idea).
Entice people to explore the whole house
By placing something that draws the eye at the top of the stairs, in hallways or in corners, you can pique curiosity and keep potential buyers interested throughout a whole home tour. A piece of artwork, a painted accent wall, a window seat, a vase of flowers, a hanging light or even a small, colorful rug can all work to draw the eye.
Show how you can use awkward areas
If you have any room beneath the stairs, or a nook or alcove anywhere in your home, try to find a unique way to show it off. By setting up a small work station, a home command center with a bulletin board, or built-in shelving, your awkward spot becomes another selling point.
Beware of pet odors
Really, this can be a big one! If you have pets, get all rugs steam cleaned and be extra vigilant about vacuuming and washing surfaces. Also be sure to keep any extra-loved pet toys and doggie bones hidden when tours are scheduled.
Create a lifestyle people are looking for
Generally speaking, you want to play up what your neighborhood or area is known for. Have a house in a quiet, grassy suburb? Hanging a hammock in your backyard and a bench swing on your porch could be the perfect touch.
Stage the outdoors too
Even if your condo has only a teensy postage stamp–size balcony, play it up with a cute café table and chairs, a cheerful tablecloth and even a little tray of dishes or a vase of flowers. When people look at this scene, they won’t be thinking “small,” they will be thinking, “What a charming spot to have breakfast!”
Make sure your garden is in beautiful shape in the summer, and that any extra features you have, like a pool or a fire pit, are cleaned and ready to go. Take advantage of the cozy vibe of the season in autumn and winter, by building a fire in the fireplace and simmering hot apple cider on the stove.
A mirror not only adds some style to a space, but its reflective quality can also open up a room, making it brighter and seem less cramped (even if it’s tiny). If you lack artwork, consider picking up a sizable mirror at your local home store. It will make your space feel more curated and designed.
Replace Window Treatments
If you have old and heavy drapes, toss them for something more modern and breezy. Simple, functional window coverings on opened windows allow a space to breathe and appear visually larger and more open. Choose floor-length curtains and hang them near the ceiling, instead of at the top of the window frame, to make the room appear taller.
Buy Crisp, White Towels
To stage your bathroom, go with monochromatic hues. Put all-white towels in your bathrooms. Colored towels don’t feel spa-like and they can seem dingy and add heaviness to a space. White towels feel fresh and clean.
Buy rugs that actually fit your rooms and your furniture. For a living room rug, avoid one that’s too small; make sure at least the front legs of your couch or chairs are touching the rug. The right-sized rug in a complementary style to the room will make the space look larger and feel more “pulled together.”
And while you’re tidying everything up, give your shelves some style. Remove 25 percent of your books entirely, and then rearrange what’s left so that some books are vertical and some are stacked horizontally. Place a couple of trinkets within the bookcase to function as accents and bookends. This will add character and personality to the room while also lightening up your bookcases.
We know you went to great lengths to make your home your home, but now that you’re trying to sell it, keep in mind that not everyone has the same tastes. Take out personal photographs and everyone’s clutter. You want the potential buyer to be able to envision their lives inside the house.
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