How to: Stage your home
The key to creating the right impression is being able to envisage what potential buyers will look for in your home. Can they see themselves living there and spending time with friends and family? Is this a space they’d love to entertain in?
Home staging is essential in helping you bring their vision to life and can make a big impact on the selling price and timeframe. Ideally, you’ll want to focus on the entire house, but depending on time and budget, your main selling rooms take priority.
Your front entrance is the introduction area buyers will see. This is where they’ll base their first impression and determine how the rest of the house is going to show. The living room is usually one of the first rooms buyers see as they go through the house. This room will determine the general style of the home whether contemporary or traditional or somewhere in between. The dining room is where buyers will enjoy meals and celebrate holidays and special occasions. The kitchen is where people spend most of their time, and when entertaining friends and family, that’s where everyone tends to gather. The family room or great room is the second area where people spend most of their time relaxing and entertaining. The master bedroom and en-suite is a special sanctuary for buyers. They want to be able to go into this room, close the door and forget about everything else. It needs to feel like the perfect escape from their hectic and busy lifestyle.
The key is to look at each room and determine how you would feel if you were a buyer standing in the doorway looking in. How does your flooring look? Buyers want to purchase a home that is move-in ready and flooring is one of the top selling features a buyer is looking for, so invest in your equity and replace any worn or outdated flooring. What colour are the walls? If your house is painted in very bright or unusual colours, potential buyers may be turned off or at least feel that this is a starting point for them to negotiate on price since they will have to paint as soon as they move in. By going neutral with your colours and adding colour and texture with accessories like pillows and throws, potential buyers will be able to emotionally connect with the home and visualize living there. Does the position of your furniture show off the size of the room? Does the room feel cluttered? Does the furniture in the room tell the buyer how this room can be used? How much lighting is in each room? Properly placed furniture and lighting will show off the prime features and allow buyers to see how each room functions. Tips for preparing your home for sale:
1 Clean your windows inside and out. When buyers are touring your home they want to see the view from each room. If the windows are dirty, it may make them question how well your house has been maintained.
2 Use frosting spray or interior design film on windows that don’t have the best view. This will block a not-so-attractive view, but still allow light to come in. And it’s cheaper than buying blinds. If you already have blinds, turn the slates up so that light can still come through but the view is muted.
3 Clean out your closets. Buyers always check closets so pack away any off-season items and anything you don’t use on a regular basis. Try to remove as much off the floor as possible; this creates the feeling that the room is more spacious.
4 Create a spa-like feeling in all of your bathrooms. Use white or off-white towels and add a fabric shower curtain. Place greenery on counters or the tub area to create the feeling of warmth and relaxation.
It’s important that you depersonalize and emotionally disconnect from your house. By doing this, you will allow yourself to transform your home into what your potential buyers are looking for. And remember, taking the time to properly prepare your home for sale will help sell it quickly and for top dollar.
Carla Woolnough is the creator and host of the How to Stage your Own Home DVD series. She’s also the founder of the home decorating and staging company Nex-Step Design and the national spokesperson for RE/MAX’s "Are you Fit to Sell" program.