If you’re like most home sellers, you want to sell your home for the greatest amount of money in the least possible amount of time. And the best way to do that is with a little home staging. How exactly does home staging work? It actually doesn’t have to be that difficult—all it takes is a little time, a little effort, and a little know-how.
Here’s your guide to staging your home to sell.
Nix the Clutter
One of the most important things you can do when getting ready to show a home is to get rid of stuff. We’ll say it again. Get. Rid. Of. Stuff. Clutter is the enemy of staging. Clutter makes rooms look smaller, dingier, older, even dirtier. So if you don’t regularly use it, sell, donate, store, or toss.
Remove or Replace Old or Large Furniture
The same goes for furniture. Old? Tired? Unused? Taking up too much space? Get it out. For the showing portion of the home-selling process, you might want to rent a storage unit to keep that old-but-loved furniture you’re not ready to part ways with just yet…but also isn’t doing your home any favors. Need to fill space? Consider renting a newer, smaller, or more stylish piece.
Give Every Space a Purpose
Are there rooms, hallways, or corners that are just kind of… there? Spaces you’ve never known what to do with, perhaps have served as a gathering place for papers and clutter? Get creative and give them a purpose! Add a chair and make it a reading nook. A shelf and make it a hallway library. A planter and make it a garden!
Increase Your Lighting
Bright, cheery, and open is the look buyers typically want to see, and you’d be surprised how easily this can be accomplished with just a little lighting. Got great natural light? Open those blinds! Need a little help? Increase the wattage in your bulbs—you might want to aim for more of a daylight look, which is around 5000 – 6500 Kelvin.
Tip: Aim for three types of lighting: ambient (overhead lighting), task (reading or under-cabinet light), and accent (table or wall).
Neutralize & Undecorate
Wait… undecorate? Actually, yes. Your goal here is to make your home feel lived-in but generic, homey but customizable. In other words, you want to enable your buyers to imagine their lives in your home. To do that, you’ll want to remove any personal decor (think: family photos, posters, awards) to make buyers feel less like they’re invading your personal space and more like they’re taking their first steps in their next home.
While you’re at it, you’ll also want to tone down any bright, bold, or outdated walls or wallpaper. Repainting with warm, neutral colors can really give your home that “showroom” look (especially when coupled with bright accents like pillows or flowers).
Rearrange Furniture for a Conversational Feel
Take a look at how your furniture is arranged. Is all the furniture pushed back against the walls? Does that couch make sense with those chairs? Try floating furniture away from the walls, or turning chairs in to face each other, for a more conversational, cozy feel. And don’t think that just because you’ve always had that chair in that room, it has to stay there.
Don’t Forget About Smells
Got pets? You’ve probably got smells, too. You might not smell them anymore, but you can bet a buyer will—the moment they step through your front door. Consider some deep carpet cleaning (or replacements) and perhaps a candle or potpourri. And definitely keep some windows open to air your home out with fresh breezes.
Add in Little Extras
Now that your home is decluttered, neutralized, logically rearranged, and smelling good, you get to have some fun with the little details! Now’s the time to offset those neutral colors with bright pillows or a folded throw blanket on the back of the couch. Bring the outdoors inside with a vaseful of flowers. Add a tasteful piece of artwork to the wall. Set a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table. Hang folded towels on bathroom racks. Even consider setting the dining room table with nice plateware.
And Don’t Forget the Exterior
It’s easy to get caught up on the inside and forget that the first thing a buyer is going to see is the outside of your home! So before you get too crazy on the interior decorating, take a walk outside and look at your home with an objective eye. How does it really look? Does it need powerwashing or paint? Are the windows clean? Is the landscaping overgrown—or lacking entirely?
Spend some time making sure everything looks tip-top… and then add nice little finishes, like a new welcome mat, a potted flower, or a nice porch chair. Same goes for the backyard, too… don’t be afraid to invest in some new outdoor furniture.