Staging your home is one of the most crucial steps in snagging potential buyers. During our most recent speaker series, we learned from professional stager, Gina March, that on average staged home sells for 17% more than a comparable non-staged home. Most buyers already have an opinion about your house in the first 7-10 seconds upon entering, and you need to send them the right message. Set yourself up for success with these 10 tips for upgrading your home:
1. Boost Curb Appeal
Welcome buyers before they even enter your house with potted flowers and fresh greenery. Power wash the siding and walkways for a sparkling appearance. Hang easy to read numbers and wash the front windows. This sets the stage for as inviting property for onlookers.
2. Remove the Clutter
If you are serious about selling your home, this is a necessity. Remove excess furniture, bookcases, and nic-nacs to reveal architectural features. By simplifying the rooms, you’re inviting the buyer to imagine how space could be used.
3. Create Focal Points
Draw attention to windows, fireplaces, and/or architectural features by rearranging furniture. Avoid placing large pieces, like bookcases or dressers in the center of a room.
Add more lighting to seating areas to create cozy appearances that invite a buyer to sit there. Removing window screens allows 20% more light to enter the house from the outside. Dusting lightbulbs can also create a brighter appearance.
5. Create a balance of clean & “lived-in”
Chances are you are still living in this space as you are trying to sell it, so you want it to appear comfortable without insinuating it’s still “yours.” Organize and empty the closets out by 50% to give the impression of spaciousness. Hide medicine bottles and personal care products in a travel bag that can be easily hidden.
5. Beware of Odors (especially if you have pets)
Try placing fabric sheets in closets or in heating/AC registers. Put a bowl of apples in the kitchen, which not only is visually pleasing but absorbs odors! And for stinky drains, try mixing 1cup baking soda, 1cup vinegar, and a pot of boiling water.
6. Utilizing Accents
Consider making rooms pop by adding greenery and flowers, or visually exciting magazines on a coffee table. Prop a cook book up on a stand in the kitchen to say “cooking is fun here!” Place a wreath on the door make sure door hardware is polished or replaced.
7. Set the Dinner Table
Style the table as if to suggest a pending meal. An oversized arrangement can look too stiff and formal, so keep it simple with place settings and a floral centerpiece. Angle one of the chairs as an inviting gesture to take a seat.
8. Stick to Neutrals
When it comes to color, keep it neutral. Now is not the time to experiment with funky colors or themes, but that doesn’t mean everything has to be white, either. Keep it sophisticated with beiges and browns so everything looks connected.
9. Take Advantage of Extra Rooms
But use them 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. 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? Use the items you already have and the pay off will be huge.
10. Remove Yourself
Now is a good time to distance yourself from referring to this house as “your home”. Remove anything personal that suggests you still live there: photos, calendars, kids to do lists, personalized doormats. You want the buyer to enter a clean slate so they can imagine themselves in the space and not your family.
It is estimated that 90% of potential buyers are not going to be able to look past dirt, clutter, and imperfections. That means you have to get above the noise to reach them. Hopefully these tips have helped you get started.