Home Staging Tips
Studies have shown that most buyers make a decision about a house within 15 seconds of walking in the door. Many other buyers make a decision without ever getting out of their car. The message here is that first impressions are very, very important when selling a home.
Prospective buyers make up their minds about your house even before they get out of the car. The feeling that prospective buyers get about your house from the street is called "curb appeal". There are many home staging tips which you can implement to improve the curb appeal of your home.
1) Eliminate Any And All Clutter
- Clean up your yard
- Rake the leaves and debris
- Shovel the snow
- Sweep driveways and porches
- Trim back overgrown bushes
- Thoroughly clean-up the area surrounding your home
2) Fresh Exterior Paint Makes All The Difference
A fresh coat of paint goes a long way to making a house look good. Don’t to pick too strong of a color for the exterior of your home. The idea is to appeal to the greatest number of buyers as possible, so keep the colour fairly neutral. Paint your front door and put some urns with brightly colored flowers on your front step or just inside the entryway. These things make a house seem cared for, different and important.
3) Freshen Up Your Landscape
Fresh sod or landscaping can make a major difference in curb appeal. Make sure you seed over any unsightly patches of grass, remove dead plants or dying shrubs. Make everything look clean, trim, and lively.
4) Eliminate All Outdoor Negatives
Take a good look at any other negatives around the exterior of your property - like oil stains on the driveway, old T.V. antennae or satellite dishes on the roof, rusted mailboxes, broken fence posts, crumbling stairs, etc. Get out the rags and cleanser and spend some time scouring your front door, porch, railings and steps. Tuck away all your recycling cans and bins at the back of the house.
Get rid of or clean up anything that detracts from the curb appeal of your property.
5) Add a Dash of Colour
Putting out some some simple flowers in a pot on the front porch, or adding a new doormat can create an attractive and inviting feeling to buyers.
Home Staging Tips To Improve The Inside Of Your Home
1) Eliminate All The Clutter
Some stagers say that clutter eats equity.
Purge your closets, empty cupboards, box up small appliances. Keep in mind that you want potential buyers to be noticing the house itself, and not your belongings. Homes look bigger and more stylish without any clutter. Preparing your house for sale is the perfect time for collections of newspapers, magazines, books knick-knacks, and other clutter to be boxed up for the move or thrown out all together.
- Take some books off your shelves
- Reduce the number of CDs or DVDs
- Pare everything down
- Take pictures, magnets and knick knacks off of the refrigerator
- Remove any stacks of paper from your desk- this includes kitchen and bath countertops!
- Small appliances and little jars, bottles, and tubes should not be left on display
- Be ruthless
By eliminating the clutter, you will also add to the feeling of spaciousness in a room.
2) Edit All Your Rooms
Lived in rooms typically just get overcrowded with stuff. If you had plan on selling, giving away, or discarding any furniture or possessions before moving to your new home, consider doing it before your current home goes on the market. If you simply have too much furniture in one room, move some of it to another area of the house or to a storage spot for the time being. This will free up space and make it seem more spacious and airy, often an appealing selling point for potential buyers.
3) Hire a Handyman
Dripping faucets, cracked tiles and mouldy caulking around the bathtub can knock thousands of dollars off the price of your home. It might be a little thing to you, but to a prospective buyer it can be a deal breaker. Even if it’s a little thing, if its broken – fix it.
4) Fresh Paint Always Makes a Difference
Your single best investment in staging your home may be a fresh coat of paint in key areas of your home.
Paint is the frosting on the cake. Use colors that will appeal to the greatest number of people. You may prefer something bolder or outrageous for yourself, but when selling a house, neutral-colored interior paints work best. You should also replace any worn carpets or other flooring. If you have hardwood floors that are in rough shape, having them refinished can often return many times the cost of the refinishing, and help sell the home much faster.
5) Furniture Arrangement
An easy way to create a sense of space is to get rid of some furniture. Moving a sofa and end tables into storage can give a small room some much-needed breathing space. So too can storing the table and chairs that normally sit in your kitchen, piled high with mail and magazines.
Make sure you have size-appropriate furniture for each room. If you have a small bedroom, don't put a king-sized bed in there. Conversely, if you have a huge master suite, putting a single bed in there looks unbalanced. Well placed furnishings can open up a room. Avoid lining furniture along all four walls. Try placing a piece or two on an angle.
In the living areas, include an area for cozy conversation. If space allows, create an out-of-the-way corner for reading. If a room has a focal point for selling, such as a fireplace or bay window, arrange furnishings to enhance this feature, not distract from it.
6) Pay Attention To Your Lighting
The brighter and sunnier a space, the easier it is to sell. Light makes a room seem bright and cheery. Start by investing in a good window-cleaning service. Make sure to clean windows and screens, inside and out. This can make a big impact on the light coming into a room. Stagers say clean windows let in as much as 30% more light than grimy ones. The difference is often amazing.
Show your rooms in the best possible light...Natural! If heavy drapes or curtains block the view outside, leave them open! The same goes for any kind of blind. Some stagers recommend showing homes with no window coverings at all. This helps to create an open and airy feeling.
Thoroughly clean the shades on your light fixtures, change light bulbs and add floor lamps if an area seems dim. Dump those energy-saving 60-watt bulbs and go with higher wattage lights for maximum illumination. Finally, when it comes time to show your home, make sure all the lights are on. Hallways especially should be lit. When those are dark, it gets depressing for buyers going from room to room.
If you have a room or two with dark walls or no windows, leave a few of the lights on at all times during showings. If overhead lighting seems too stark, try just leaving on a lamp or two for drama.
7) Keep It Fresh
Just like certain smells can trigger memories in a person years later, the scent of your home can leave a lasting effect on a potential buyer. For this reason, you want to avoid cooking smelly foods such as fish, liver, garlic, onions, or anything fried or spicy before showing your home. There's nothing worse than stepping into a house that smells.
The easy solution is to keep your windows open for 10 minutes a day. So if weather allows, open windows and doors to let in some fresh air. This strategy works better than deodorizers, since a lot of people have allergies to artificial room fresheners. The oldest trick of all? Baking a frozen loaf of bread, or cookies, just prior to your open house will leave an inviting fragrance for prospective buyers.
The smell will do wonders to help buyers bond with your home.
While you never want to over-perfume your home, you may want to light a candle as a quick and aromatic remedy. Staying away from sharp floral scents and sticking with a low key scent, such as vanilla or eucalyptus fragrance is best.
8) Keep It Impersonal
You want buyers to imagine themselves living in your home, not to feel like a guest in it. So remove anything connected to your family or personal interests. Hide your son's hockey trophies, store family photos, remove all traces of day-to-day life. If someone goes to your bathroom and the rim of the tub is covered with shampoo bottles and toothbrushes are lying around the sink, it's hard for the prospective buyer to imagine that this could be his or her bathroom. The buyer becomes very conscious of being in someone else's environment. That won't get you an offer.
9) Use Flora and Greenery
In spring and summer, an outdoor container garden or hanging planter is lush and appealing and can add a lot of first impression impact. If your house is going on the market early in the season, consider purchasing mature plants rather than starter plants. A home’s interior can also benefit from flowers and greenery. A stunning plant or simple, seasonal market bouquet can brighten up any room of the home and has a charming appeal.
10) Remember The Little Things
- Stained, dingy towels are a no-no for a home showing
- Wet towels should be tossed in the dryer before heading off to work while your home is on the market
- In the kitchen and bath, consider setting out guest towels and soaps
- Throw rugs and carpets should be in good condition, and if they are not completely necessary, such as in an entryway, or hiding a beautiful wood floor, they should be removed
- Never lay a rug over carpeting
- Tattered or worn bedspreads should be removed and replaced
- Beds should always be made
11) Clean Everything
Cleanliness helps put a buyer's mind at ease since it suggests that you've probably taken good care of your residence in other ways as well. So clean everything: walls, door handles, light fixtures and pantry cupboards.
There is nothing more attractive than a clean home. If you are not into cleaning yourself, hire a professional. Having a professional house cleaning service come in and do a thorough once-over is always well worth the cost.
Make a list for each room, paying particular attention to your homes entrance, both interior and exterior, kitchen, and bath areas. Your home should be as spotless as possible for show.
If you want to know about the VALUE of staging your home before you list it, Click HERE to read about HOW Home Staging Will Increase the Value of Your Property
If you're planning on selling your home, call or e mail Italia Arci to discuss how she can help you stage your home to maximize its value on the market.
Telephone: 416-571-2724 (ARCI)