When you’re getting ready to sell your home, you might think to clean up your house and organize a bit before having someone come out and take pictures of it for a real estate listing or before people come over to look at it. But have you considered staging your home? By staging a home, you go a beyond ordinary cleaning and organizing to emphasize your home’s best features and make it easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in your home.
Staging your home can be an extremely effective way of helping your home sell faster and for a higher price. According to a survey conducted by Coldwell Banker Real Estate, homes that were staged stay on the market for about half the time of non-staged homes and sold for 6% above the original asking price.
If you don’t know the first thing about staging, one option is to hire a professional home stager. Of course, this will cost you some money, but hiring a professional stager is the type of investment that can pay for itself. The cost of hiring a stager typically costs between 1% and 3% of a home’s asking price, but generates an 8% to 10% return on investment. But if you’re on a tight budget or are a dedicated DIY-er, you could try staging your home on your own. If you want to try staging your home on your own, here are a few tactics professional home stagers use all the time:
Get Rid of Clutter
When you’re trying to sell your home, you generally want to create the illusion of spacious, open areas and clutter makes spaces look smaller and feel more crowded. If you’re having a few friends over for a little get together, you can always just hide some of the clutter that’s hanging around your house in a closet until your guests leave. But when you have potential buyers coming over to tour your house, you don’t have that kind of luxury since they’re going to want to open every closet and cabinet in your house.
If you’re planning to thin out some of your belongings before you move, you might actually want to do that before you have people start looking at your home. If you aren’t able to sell, donate, or otherwise get rid of some of your belongings, you could always rent a storage unit to keep them in until the house sells. Don’t forget to clear out some of your closets, too. Ideally, you want to have 20% to 30% of your closet space open. Removing some of your out-of-season clothing is a great way to free up some extra closet space.
Depersonalize Your Home
One of the biggest challenges of staging a home is making it look lived in, but somewhat generic. A professionally staged home will look something like you would see in a catalog: like someone has lived there, but you really can’t tell who lives there or what type of person that might be. If you have a lot of personal family photos, trade them out for artwork that’s less personal. It will be easier for potential buyers to imagine living there if they don’t feel like they’re
Make All Spaces Look Functional
As a rule of thumb, if something could be used as a functional space, buyers want to see it looking like a functional space. If you have a spare bedroom that doesn’t really get used for anything other than storage, making it look like an actual bedroom, home office, or a playroom would all more appealing to a potential homebuyer than seeing a room cluttered with random things. Even if they don’t plan to use that room for that purpose, it still looks more attractive than a room full of extra furniture and other things you can’t find a place for.
A fresh coat of paint can work wonders on a home. Since you want your home to appeal to a wide range of people, you’ll want to paint your walls neutral colors. Remember, neutral colors don’t necessarily mean white, off-white, or beige. Other colors can be great, too, as long as they’re warm, soothing, mid-tone shades.
Add Lived-In Touches
When a person is looking at a home, they want to be able to imagine themselves living there, but creating a completely blank slate isn’t necessarily ideal, either. It’s good to leave things out that would make sense to see in that space. For example, if you have a kitchen or dining room table, you might want to set the table nicely. A kitchen could benefit from having a bowl of fruit or some produce out on the counter. Leave a few magazines or books out on a living room coffee table. Those sorts of touches will add just the right amount of that “lived in” vibe.