Ways to Stage Your Home

By Michael Nykiel, Mortgage Loan Officer

When you are selling your home, you want it to look its best for the potential buyers who will walk through the door. That is where home staging comes in.

Home staging is a method of decorating meant to highlight your home’s most impressive assets and help buyers imagine themselves moving in and living there. If you do it right, you should have no problem selling your home quickly. With so much to gain, it makes sense for sellers to put time and effort into staging their home, and fortunately, many of the best staging tips do not require spending a lot of money. Whether you’re just getting ready to sell or are trying to add new life to a stagnant listing, there are a few staging tips and changes that can help your home sell faster and for more money.

For starters, you want stage in areas where it matters most. Not all rooms are considered equal when it comes to home staging. You want to focus your efforts on the rooms that have the biggest potential to influence buyers’ decisions, and spend less time on the rooms that won’t make much of a difference. The most important rooms include the living room, master bedroom and kitchen, so this is where you will want to focus your efforts.

Secondly, you will want to get rid of personalized items. One of the primary objectives of home staging is to help prospective buyers visualize the space as their own. The fastest way to accomplish this is to set as blank of a canvas as you can. You want the home to have style and charm, but it should be devoid of personal touches that suggest this home belongs to the seller, not the buyer. Start by removing any personal photos, making sure to take down both framed photos on walls and surfaces and anything that’s hanging on your fridge. Keep clothes stored away and out of sight, and clear bathroom counters of personal items, like toothbrushes and contact solution. Remove anything overtly religious as well. While it’s true that de-personalizing your home makes it a little weird to live in, it is extremely useful for helping buyers better connect with the property.

Next, you’ll need to get rid of clutter. Clutter takes up space and space is what sells. You always want to make your home looks bigger and more desirable. You don’t have to get rid of things forever, but you should certainly pack them up and get them out of the house. Keep in mind, buyers will be opening your closets to look at their storage potential, so take your time removing as many miscellaneous and non-essential items as you can. The less clutter you’ve got in the space, the bigger it will look and the more appealing it will be to buyers.

Also, staging is a good time to tackle the tiny nicks, scratches, holes, and other impurities that signal neglect to buyers. Keep an eye out for any areas that could use a little TLC, then spackle and caulk as necessary. You may need to do some paint touch ups too if you notice areas where previously applied paint has chipped.

Lastly, clean up.  Spring cleaning has nothing on the cleaning you should do when you’re putting your home on the market. You want every square inch to shine, from the baseboards to the corners of your ceilings and everywhere in-between. A squeaky clean home suggests to buyers that the current tenants took good care of the property, a notion that extends beyond the kitchen counter tops to the entire house.

Good luck!