Professional home stagers set up furniture, decor and accessories to present homes in their best light. But their services can be costly. In this economy, more and more sellers want to “do it themselves”, and are looking to their Realtor for advice on how to save money but get a polished look.
Using the tricks of professional home stagers, you can “stage your home” to sell.
Show up the strengths, downplay the weaknesses
The key element to staging your home like a professional is to highlight the strengths and draw attention away from weaknesses.
Organize all of the cabinets, and remove clutter. Messy cabinets make it look like you don’t have enough storage. Storage sells. This is the #1 trick I tell my clients, and the biggest “bang for the buck” trick you can use. Toys, tools, and extra countertop appliances must go. Clean out medicine cabinets.
Too many books? Pack most of them up, and keep a few “special items” to stack on the bookshelves. Place them alongside a few treasured or unusual pieces to break up the space. If there is a weakness in a room, then decorate the room to distract attention from it.
Float your furniture
When arranging furniture, make the rooms look spacious. Control the flow of the room. Home sellers tend to push furniture against walls to create space, but “floating” the furniture — creating furniture groupings away from walls — adds space to the room.
For example, group a love seat, coffee table and two wingback chairs across from the sofa, all in the middle of the living room on a decorative rug. Furniture should be in good condition, but less is more. The bare minimum looks best.
Give each room a purpose. If you have a spare bedroom that can be used as a storage room, start by decluttering the room. Instead of a junk room, create a craft room, sewing room, reading room, office or game room. When each room has a purpose, you show how the space can be used — without clutter.
Rethink your lighting
Lighting makes a home appear welcoming and inviting. Unfortunately, many homes do not have the proper lighting to create this ambience.
This is not the time for saving energy. Replace low-wattage light bulbs with higher wattages. Have 100 watts of light for every 50 square feet of the room. Each room should have three types of lighting: general (overhead), task (pendant or reading lighting), and accent (lamps or sconces).
If you are fortunate enough to have natural lighting, then use this to your advantage when showing your home. Open all the shades halfway so light streams in. Remove heavy drapes — they block light and make rooms appear smaller. Try light linen panels for privacy yet airiness.
Turn bathrooms into spas
Buyers are looking for restful and relaxing spaces to make their home a sanctuary. Add accessories to your bathroom that transform it from a regular bathroom into a spa. When you visit a spa, you often find large and small towels rolled up and displayed inside of a basket or arranged on a decorative tray. Adding candles (lit or unlit) is another way to create a peaceful and calming atmosphere in the bath. Fill the tub for photographs as well. It’s all about creating a welcoming space.
No matter what the situation is in the housing market, you want to make your home as appealing as possible to potential buyers. Presentation is everything and can mean the difference between offers rolling in and your house languishing on the market.
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