Selling a home can easily be one of the most stressful times in a family’s life, but with some helpful tips on staging, it can be streamlined, and the time spent on the market shortened –thus reducing the time you spend stressed out. When asked about why staging a home is important, local realtor at the Karin Head Team EXP Realty, Amanda White, states that “People don’t want to feel like they are walking into someone else’s home, they want to feel like they are walking into their next home.”
When you think about this statement, it absolutely makes sense. When you walk into a house that you are considering buying, you are looking to see if you feel like your family could make it your next home. It is hard for even the most creative people to make this jump if the home is filled with personal photos and the current resident’s personal items. What a potential buyer needs to see is essentially a blank slate – somewhere they can grow into and see themselves turning into their dream home.
Now, blank slate does not mean empty. It’s important for buyers to understand where they can fit their couch, their bed, and other furnishings – as well as seeing which room is used for what purposes. By keeping basic furniture that is in good shape and relatively neutral (sorry folks, you should keep your elephant carved tables in storage) out and staged in a way that opens up the rooms to make them look as big as they can, you will help your chances of selling your home quickly.
The first thing that should be done, however, is the easiest way to upgrade your house: slap a fresh coat of paint on the walls. Unless you have painted your walls a generic color in the past three years, chances are you will greatly improve the resale chances by freshening it up. You may absolutely LOVE your bright green living room with the teal mantel over the fireplace – but that is a very specific buyer and your goal is to attract as many potential buyers as possible. Chances are the type of person who appreciates bold colors in a home is going into home buying expecting to have to paint the house regardless.
After a color has been chosen (most likely gray because, let’s be honest, it goes with everything), I would recommend having your realtor go through your home with a pack of post-its and have them mark anything that needs to be stored. White explains that it’s important to “depersonalize and declutter; everything should have a place and be in it. If it doesn’t have a place, get rid of it or store it away until the home is sold.” After the unnecessary furniture has been placed in a storage pod, box up all personal items that you don’t need to live during the selling process and send them to storage as well. Yes, it will stink to not have your family photos on the wall for a time, but do you really want everybody touring your house to see your photos from the beach in 2014 anyway? The trinkets that are left should be paired together in groups of three in aesthetically pleasing manners. For example, a framed print that states “Home is where the heart is” with a candle and a small houseplant on the mantel.
The final step is, thankfully, a simple one: your house should smell nice. Pet people: this means that your cat litter must be stored away, and any scent of a cat or dog (or ferret, rat, whatever other pet with odor you may have) must be eliminated. While showing the home, the pets themselves should also be out of the house if possible. You never know if somebody who may otherwise be very interested in your home is terrified of dogs, and your pooch in a crate in the bedroom ruins the experience for them. A quick and easy way to get the entire house smelling nice: pick up some simple vanilla plug-in air fresheners and scatter them around the house. They’ll make your house smell like cookies, and who doesn’t want to live in a clean house that smells like cookies?