Nowadays, if you want to sell your house quickly and for top dollar, a coat of paint and a good cleaning aren’t enough. To inspire the all-important fantasy element that makes a buyer want to live there, you’ve got to romance it a little -- and that’s where home staging comes in.
For a reasonable fee, a home stager will assess your home objectively, and work to maximize assets and minimize flaws. This might include decluttering closets; adding, moving or storing furniture and accessories; recommending minor repairs; and polishing up the décor to make it sparkle. But, says Toronto stager Caroline Altman of Lighten the Load, there’s a lot you can do yourself to prepare your home for its star turn, whether you hire a professional stager or not. Here are her top ten staging tips.
1 Emotionally detach. Especially if you’ve lived there a long time, it’s hard, but crucial, to let go, and think of your house objectively as a product on a shelf. Your memories will last forever -- but hopefully the selling process won’t.
2 Depersonalize. Remove trophies, children’s artwork, religious artifacts, and family pictures. You want buyers to fantasize themselves here, not feel as if they’re intruding on your personal space.
3 Declutter. Remove extraneous furniture and accessories; rooms that are pared down feel bigger, and also allow the buyer to imagine her furniture in the space.