HOW TO STAGE YOUR HOME
Updated: Jun 21, 2019
Are you selling your house? Do you want more money in your pocket? You NEED to read this.
Why is staging important?
WHY IS STAGING IMPORTANT?!?!
Let's put it this way, you wouldn't go on a date without first combing your hair, tidying yourself up, or putting on a nice outfit. Staging gets your house market-ready, putting its best foot forward and showcasing its beauty and functionality, and most importantly, it allows buyers to picture themselves living there. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the sales price for staged homes are 1-5% higher, and they sell faster than their unstaged counterparts, according to sellers' agents in a 2017 study.
Staging your home can mean hiring a Home Stager, Interior Designer, or a savvy Realtor. Whether or not you decide to get professional help, there are many things you can do yourself to get your home looking its best. I've compiled a list of helpful tips and tricks that will hopefully help your house fly off the market faster than you can say SOLD.
K I C K C L U T T E R T O T H E C U R B
Chances are, no matter how big or small your home is, you have little clutter corners stashed around the house. Maybe it's a junk drawer, or a messy closet, or maybe the whole garage is a mess. Whatever it is, get rid of it. This goes for more than just the old mail and newspapers that seem to pile up. Look around your home, at all the knick-knacks and personal items, and remove them. The less you have in your home, the bigger it looks. Also, the less you have, the fewer shadows are cast, meaning fewer dark spots. You'd be amazed how big your home can look without the leaning tower of magazines and the 17 awkward pictures from the middle school years.
S K E L E T O N S I N T H E C L O S E T
Now that you've removed all the clutter from your home, do not--I REPEAT--do not cram everything into a closet. Prospective buyers are bound to open every single door, and when your closet looks like a tornado hit it, they'll assume there's not enough storage space in the house. This is not a good impression, and a lasting one at that. If you have too much stuff, rent a storage unit, cram your trunks, or better yet, consider donating to a charity.
L I G H T A N D A I R Y
There's a reason why people tend to love open concept floor plans. Besides the functionality of it, open concepts make spaces appear bigger. If you don't have an open concept floor plan, there are still ways that you can get that light, airy feeling. Staying neutral and sticking to the same color palette throughout the house really brightens up spaces and makes them feel much larger. When two adjoining rooms are painted the same color, for example, they tend to blend into one another, making them feel like one large space. Also, play around with lighting. Like I said, we're going for light and airy. That means pulling back the shades and opening up all your blinds. Still have dark areas? Maybe pick out a cool lamp or replace your light bulbs with brighter ones.
F I R S T I M P R E S S I O N
The first thing prospective buyers will see is the curb appeal of your home. Based on their first impression, buyers decide whether or not they're even willing to walk through your front door. Pretend like your house is going on a first date and make sure it looks its best! This means pressure washing the siding and walkways, maybe adding some shutters or a nice wreath on the door, making sure the landscaping is neat and tidy, and adding a nice door mat with some potted plants by the entry. Also consider adding a sitting area out front--maybe some rocking chairs or a dreamy porch swing *swoon*.
A R R A N G I N G F U R N I T U R E
Okay this is a big one. Now that your home is clutter free and hopefully empty-ish, take a look around. If your rooms still look kind of cramped, chances are, you have too much furniture. Try to remove some pieces and re-evaluate. Maybe pull an armchair from the living room or a few chairs from the dining room table. Still feels claustrophobic? Keep on dialing it back.
If you have the opposite problem and your rooms now feel sparse, you might need to add more furniture or even replace your existing furniture for larger pieces. If you have a massive living room, just a loveseat is not going to cut it. Maybe opt for a clean-lined sectional to anchor the room.
As you're playing around with your pieces, remember that placement is key. Use your furniture as a tool to create smooth and fluid floor plans and create natural conversation areas. Make sure all the walkways and doorways are unobstructed, and define spaces with area rugs. Maybe even oppose your sofa with a couple of arm chairs to create a cozy, conversation space.
H O U S E T O H O M E
Now that your house is free of clutter and your furniture is positioned just the way you like it, it's time to add the finishing touches. Light and airy doesn't mean cold and sterile. You still want your house to feel like a home. This means adding back in some of those decor pieces that you initially removed. But hey, hold your horses. For every two things you place, remove one. Some classic finishing touches are pillows and throws draped over the back of a chair; fresh flowers; maybe a bowl of fruit in the kitchen; some books and a candle on the coffee table. Speaking of candles...don't forget about the general odor of your home. Before a showing, burn some irresistible candles or even bake some cookies (just don't burn them). Walking into a great smelling house is always a huge plus and likely one that will make your home stand out from the rest.
W E I R D T O C H E E R E D
Let's be honest, every home has a space that's just a little weird. In your house, maybe it's a strange alcove, or a weird nook in a bedroom, or even a big hill in your backyard. The mission here is to turn weird into cheered. In other words, transform that strange space into something that's celebrated and functional. You can turn that alcove into a workstation or a functional drop down area. An awkward nook can become a quaint reading and sitting area. And that sloped backyard can transform into a beautiful, functional space with a tiered garden or even an outdoor entertainment area.
The overall goal with staging is to really highlight the unique advantages your home brings to the table, and eliminate its disadvantages. You want prospective buyers to walk out of your house swooning, without any criticism whatsoever, ready to put an offer in. With any luck, you might just have a bidding war on your hands.
What are your thoughts? Have you staged your home in the past? What was the biggest change you made when staging?