Tips on Staging a House for Sale
You’re about to go through the process of selling your home. While you might have some ideas, you don’t really know how to stage your house for sale. Fortunately, United Country has found numerous tips to keep your house looking pristine, spacious, and inviting to potential buyers.
One question many people ask is, “Is staging my home worth it?” To answer that, yes, it is worth it. Staging a home will remove the personal touch you added to your house and present it in such a way that a potential buyer can imagine their lives in that home. This helps create a good first impression and improves the home’s appeal, which in turn can mean more interested buyers and higher selling prices.
What rooms should you stage? According to a report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the most common rooms that are staged in a house for sale are the living room (93%), kitchen (84%), master bedroom (78%), and the dining room (72%). The report also found that 83% of buyer’s agents found that staging helped buyers envision the property as their own, ultimately decreasing the time it took to sell the house.
- Clean your home.
A clean home is a must for any seller to do to show potential buyers that you have taken care of the property. Clean every part of the house, from the ceilings to the floors — and everything in between. Clean your home before allowing any pictures of the inside of the house to be posted to ensure that buyers will only see the house when it’s exemplary.
There are multiple red flags when it comes to clutter in the home. First, it can distract buyers from the home’s features. Second, it can make the home seem like it has less space.
To stage the house properly, try boxing up things you don’t need on a day-to-day basis. Think of things like: toys, board games, knick-knacks, seasonal clothes, hobby related items and papers. It’s also time to throw away things that have no further purpose. For example, things like: old food in the back of the refrigerator, toys and clothes you or kids have outgrown, and old furniture you don’t plan on keeping.
Buyers need to envision themselves in the house you are selling, therefore, start removing personal items like family photos, keepsakes, refrigerator art, toys in the storage unit or garage, clean off bathroom counters and keep clothes hidden away in closets as best as you can. In more direct terms, remove anything personal of the previous home’s inhabitants.
- Focus on Fresh
Try to implement more plants when staging your house. Green plants look fresh, clean and can be an inviting feeling for potential buyers. Try to not put all these plants too close together, but where they look good to the eye and in spots where they can be easily noticed. Try to keep these plants looking fresh and dusted as well. Keep the home smelling good as well. Try lighting a vanilla scented candle or baking cookies in the oven before buyers arrive. Anything you normally do to keep the house smelling great. Make sure the kitchen is well wiped down and any trash is taken out.
- Define Rooms
Make sure each room has a defined purpose when staging. Even if the buyer doesn’t want to use that room for the same purpose, the buyer can see the potential that the room has which helps maximize the square footage the house has to offer. If you have a finished attic, try making it into storage, and if you have a junk room, make it into a guest bedroom or office. It’s important for the buyer to see that every inch of that space can be useful and can provide what the buyer is looking for.
- Wallpaper and Paint
Try to repair any tears in the wallpaper and paint that you see before buyers come to look at the home or pictures are posted. No one wants their new home to have beat up walls, so try to make sure you can get it fixed. If there are major tears or spots have paint missing, you might be able to talk with the future buyer about repainting the same color, or painting with a color they prefer.
If you have carpet, make sure it is clean. No one wants their floor to be dirty, especially if it wasn’t them who dirtied it. Although it is pricey, hardwood floors are the favorite, add value to the home and look more up-to-date. Many pros that come from having a hard wood floor is that it is low maintenance, provides great long-term value, and is perfect for people with allergies. Hardwood floors appeal to almost everyone, and if one owner wants to put carpet over it, it is easily preserved for the next.
Open up your windows! Take advantage of natural light when showing your home and make sure all blinds and curtains are open. Turn on all lights for showings and pictures, even the closets. This makes the house feel warm and inviting, and it also saves the buyer’s time from searching for light switches.
Dust and wipe down your furniture to keep it looking clean, glossy, and smelling good. Move furniture around to where it makes the room as spacious as possible, but still pleasing to the eye. Add pillows, blankets and any pop of color to keep the rooms looking inviting and homey.
- Walls and Ceilings
Make sure to check walls and ceilings for any cracks that could alert and scare off potential buyers. If you do find cracks or anything suspicious looking, get them fixed or alert potential buyers about getting it fixed so you don’t end up losing a buyer for no good reason.
Many potential buyers first look at the house from the outside. Whether from pictures or pulling up to see the home itself, first impressions are a big deal. This can set the tone for if the buyer is even interested enough to look inside the house, or affect their mood when entering the home. Make sure the lawn is mowed, and the plants, hedges, and trees are freshly pruned and cut. Be sure to get rid of any weeds and anything odd on the grass or near the house. If you can, powerwash the exterior of the house to get rid of dust, pollen, bird’s nests, bee and wasp nests, and just because it makes the outside of the house look polished and unblemished. While power washing, make sure to clean the windows as well. Make sure the sidewalk leading up to the house is clean and clear and it might be a good idea to buy new floor mats for the front and back doors. If you have a pool, showcase it making sure it’s crystal clear. Make sure any outdoor space like a patio or deck is clean and set up in a way to look inviting and fun!
- Final Touches
The day before any open house, showing or scheduled pictures, make sure your staging efforts are maximized by adding small little details like fresh flowers, light a few candles, and put new, plush towels in the bathrooms. Make sure all beds are made and all sofas are tidied up.
The point of staging a house for sale is not to spend loads of money, but to emphasize the home’s best features. Keep in mind that potential buyers might have different interests, tastes, and likes about the home, but as long as it’s clean and all problem areas have been resolved or addressed, any buyer will be appreciative of the work you have done to present your home to the public. A United Country agent will be able to help you stage your home to give you the best value for your property. If you’re looking to sell your home, or to buy and invest, visit www.UnitedCountry.com where you can search by keyword(s), location, property type and more.
Sydni Miller, journalism student at University of Missouri