By Alyssa Mammano
According to National Association of REALTORS® 2017 Profile of Home Staging, seventy-seven percent of agents representing buyers said that a staged home helped their buyer visualize themselves living in the home and forty-nine percent of those agents said that staging a home impacted their buyers’ impression of the property. Staging a home for sale has also shown an effect on buyers’ offers to purchase the home. Offers are augmented between one to five percent for a staged residence versus a vacant listing. Below are our tips for staging your former home in ways that will appeal to the average buyer.
De-Clutter and De-Personalize
The first step to preparing your home for purchase is to remove the clutter and personal items so that buyers can picture themselves and their families living in the home. Pick up items off the floor and tabletop surfaces to create a clean and cozy feeling upon entering the dwelling. You don’t want buyers tripping over Barbie®’s Dream House trying to navigate the living room and furthermore, you don’t want them thinking that there wouldn’t be enough storage space if they were to live here. Clear walking paths and arrange the furniture to provide comfortable living spaces. Remove family photos and take down the kids’ artwork from the fridge. These items will make you much happier in your new home and will allow buyers to see themselves in your former estate.
Move Furniture Away from the Walls
Speaking of arranging the furniture, a common misconception when furnishing your home is thinking that pushing the couches and chairs against the walls will make the rooms feel larger. However, pulling the larger items away from the walls to create cozy seating areas will encourage conversations and family time. This will not only make the spaces more user-friendly, but will also make the rooms feel more spacious and grand. Center a large area rug in your great room, place a sofa on one edge and comfortable chairs at the opposite edge. Position a coffee table in the center to anchor the room, and add end tables or standing lamps to complete the layout.
Turn Unused Rooms into Something Useful
If you have rooms in your home that don’t currently function and are used to collect clutter, clear them out and stage them as an office, a craft room or another defined living space. Turn a table into a writing desk and outfit it with a lamp, notebook and vase of flowers. Transform the space under your staircase into an intimate reading nook with an armchair and a standing lamp. Or, section off part of the garage to become a workstation with a pegboard and a workbench. If buyers see usable space, they are more inclined to imagine what they can do with it after moving in.
Light it Up!
Dark rooms definitely do not sell homes. Staged homes have a warm and welcoming feeling when they are properly lit with natural light as well as recessed lighting and lamps. Make sure that window treatments are open to allow sunlight to flow into each room when the house is being toured and turn on ceiling and accent lights to brighten up the place. If you have enough lamps but your home still seems dim, swap out the lightbulbs for a higher wattage. A good rule of thumb is to plan for 100 watts of lighting per each 50 square feet. Standing and table lamps are also great décor pieces to liven up a dark corner or add an accent to an end table.
Vary Wall Art
Many homeowners think hanging frames in the center of a wall is the ideal placement for artwork. While this does help to warm up a space and is preferred over blank walls, it may serve you to spice it up a bit. Group smaller frames into a collage or stagger a group of art pieces at different heights across the length of a feature wall. Another popular option is a photo ledge that stretches down a long hallway or multiple ledges stacked up a shorter wall. Layer photo frames in a similar style and complementary artwork along the ledge for a homey feel.
A great staging tip is to group décor pieces in threes and situate them in a triangular arrangement. This set-up is pleasing to the eye and will prevent you from overloading on accent items. For example, a coffee table can be accentuated with a stack of classic novels, a tall candle and a decorative succulent. A kitchen countertop will draw in buyers with a cupcake tree, a small plate of cookies and a spiraled stack of napkins. And your backyard oasis will feel more luxurious with a bottle of wine and two glasses. Scaling your decorative items properly is important, as well. Choose a taller item, a wide item and a smaller piece that all fit nicely together.
Bring the Outdoors In
Your home is a shelter from the elements, but the most impressive homes have found a way to integrate into their environment and let the outdoors in. Natural light is always a desirable feature for buyers, so large windows and doors with inset glass are great features to have. In addition to that, flowers and ferns from your garden can be beautiful accessories for your kitchen table, entryway and even in the restroom. Cut the cost of a pricey arrangement by selecting greenery from your backyard and placing it into an eye-catching vase. Stay in season with fall foliage or spring blooms depending on the timing of your sale.
Set a Serene Scene
Soft, cool tones create a peaceful and inviting setting for buyers who are looking to purchase your former home. From your wall color, to your furniture, to your linens, orchestrate a neutral color scheme that could be desirable to any buyer. Bold colors could be off-putting, especially in semi-permanent elements such as tile, so be sure to choose hues that all buyers can find appealing such as light grays, taupes and whites. Setting a serene scene with pillows, draped blankets, hand towels and linens affords a warm and welcoming environment in which buyers can imagine themselves living.
If you are looking to sell your home more quickly and possibly for more money, staging your property has proven to be well worth the investment. Above are just a few tips and general rules of thumb for making your home more appealing to buyers. What are some of your favorite staging tips? Let us know in the comments below!