As a real estate professional, you’ve no doubt heard of a home that has been “staged to sell.” This means that a home has been visually organized in a way that will appeal to the majority of buyers – often resulting in an increase of offers and decrease of selling time. For some, this means bringing in the big guns and hiring a professional home stager. But home staging is also something you can do yourself with the help of a motivated seller.
Today we’ve compiled eight easy, inexpensive steps for DIY home staging that can be used to transform any residential listing into a buyer’s dream home.
- Clear a path. Walk through the home as if you were viewing it for the very first time. Can you easily get from room to room? Is there an inviting flow throughout the space? If not, rearrange furniture so it is easier to tour. This may require placing large or redundant pieces in storage.
- Clear the counters. This is one of the hardest steps for most sellers, but it can also make the biggest difference. Buyers are looking for a clean slate and lots of space, so it’s important to keep surfaces clear. Put necessary objects – like keys and pens – in appealing baskets or tins for the duration of the sale. Remind your clients that how you live in a home and how you sell a home are two very different things.
- Make it sparkle. You can’t underestimate the value of a good, deep clean. Gleaming windows and shining stainless translate to “move-in ready” for potential buyers. Urge your sellers to hire a service, and arrive for showings early to make sure beds are made and floors are swept.
- Don’t forget the closets. Buyers are nosy and will peek inside closets. After all, storage space is one of a home’s most valued features. Make sure your sellers aren’t cramming their cupboards full. Encourage them to organize their closets and get a storage unit to hold overflow, if needed. As an added benefit, it will make the move easier when their home sells.
- Limit family photos. Home staging creates an environment that welcomes potential buyers to mentally move in. Tons of photos of someone else’s family can impede on that vision. Remove all but a few family photos. Whenever possible, be sure to completely clear the fridge door, too.
- De-scent and re-scent. You love animals. The seller loves animals. But buyers don’t always love animals. So if your listing smells like pets (or smoke), air it out then use this handy trick to clear stale scents. Place two capfuls of vanilla extract in a coffee cup, then place it in the oven at 300 degrees for one hour. Within twenty minutes the whole place will smell heavenly.
- Let there be light. Throw back the curtains! Disobey your father and leave the lights on in every room. Bring in more lamps, if you can. Light sells houses. No one wants to buy a dark, dingy cave. Well, almost no one… Shrek might, but he’s probably not your average buyer.
- There’s power in flowers. Don’t forget the finishing touches: a potted plant by the front door, a cheery arrangement highlighting a window with a view, even a single flower in a bud vase can brighten up a bathroom vanity. Live plants are a breath of fresh air in any home (just please skip their silk and plastic counterparts).
Keep windows open, lights on and counters clean.
And just like that, your listing is ready for its close-up. Home staging helps you highlight a place’s best features and downplay many weaknesses. For more great tips on how to get any property open house-ready, follow our Home Staging Ideas board on Pinterest.
What about you?
Do you regularly use home staging to sell your listings? What do you find gets the best results?