Staging your home to sell can seem like an expense you don’t particularly want to endeavor, however it can increase the value of your property and get it sold faster…pretty brilliant aye? Well, this is all possible after a little process of decluttering, depersonalizing, deep cleaning and decorating. (Say that 3 times fast) Helping potential buyers fall in love with your home takes more than your average home cleanup day, BUT it’s a practice worth completing and we’re here to help make it easier + budget friendly. *Hand Clap*
Most sellers have mixed feelings about changing their home to sell, why change when it’s already decorated perfectly by them, the masters themselves?! It’s important to not take into account your personal style and to be open to show off your home in the best light to the masses.
Declutter, Depersonalize, Deep Clean, + Decorate
Typically the most time consuming, yet essential task to this process is decluttering your home. This can feel overwhelming if you’ve lived in your home over a long period of time. BUT, don’t assume buyers won’t take a peak inside that drawer in the very back corner that gets opened once a year. Yes, this means it might be time to consider cutting down your 359 kitchen gadgets to your top 340.5 *Gasp* In all seriousness, it is hard to detach yourselves from the items that you consider possibly needing one day. However, a clean and emptier home= a bigger home where homebuyers can imagine their life and personal items in it. A good rule of thumb is to go through every drawer and every closet and try to reduce about half of what is in there. Go room-by-room and start by clearing everything off the floor besides basic furniture; this includes toys, baskets and anything living under the sofa, bed or end table. Next, remove everything from all surfaces, from your kitchen counters to your end tables. Then move to the treacherous insides of drawers, cupboards, and closets. You want homebuyers to notice how roomy these storage areas are so they will see the potential room for their own items. Lastly, if there’s furniture in rooms that don’t have a specific purpose, relocate them to a more useful spot or set aside for storage.
Homebuyers want to feel like it’s their home when they walk in and though the family pictures from Disney World and your taxidermy collection are lovely, they might have to be set aside in this phase… Depersonalizing is broadening your audience, so sticking with neutral and universal décor is always a win.
A deep cleaning may come naturally to you and if not, you might want to consider hiring a professional cleaner for help. You can expect homebuyers to be eyeballing everything from baseboards to the creepy depths under your sink, so every detail must be accounted for!
Decorate …while keeping your personal style out of it
You should be extra minimal with furniture and accessories throughout the home to let the new homeowners have the mental space to visualize their own items in place. A budget friendly tip for staging your home to sell is simply utilizing your current furniture in a newway. Think about focal points in each room and what will sell the house, like that amazing brick fireplace or the stellar view outside. Place your furniture around these features to highlight them. As far as accessories, use what you already have like old books or pottery to add texture and color. Go flower picking in your back yard and place little bud vases around. If you are feeling stuck when it comes to decorating surfaces like bookshelves and tables, a good rule of thumb is to group items in odd numbers, especially groups of 3, with varying widths and heights. Accessories are the perfect opportunity to add a pop of color to make each room special and memorable for homebuyers. Add color with art, pillows/throws, or a beautiful rug. If your current items aren’t cutting it, run to IKEA for all the wonderful cheap knick-knacks. Another golden spot is the THRIFT STORE; there are so many treasures there for bookshelf and table staging
If your walls seem dingy or subpar, you may want to consider painting for a fresh new look! Painting the main common areas such as the living room, kitchen, dining room and hallways all the same color makes a home feel larger. Going with a neutral color, like white or light gray, creates a clean blank slate for the new family moving in. We recommend going with a bright white for baseboards, like Chantilly Lace, and a warmer neutral for the main walls. Here’s a list of our favorite neutrals by Benjamin Moore below:
Room-by-Room Guide for Staging
If your current sofa could use a face-lift, a slipcover could be the answer, or if we’re only dealing with a small stain, try covering it with a colorful throw or pillow. The living room is a place that homebuyers envision how they’ll be spending their free time, so make sure the furniture sizes are proportionate for the area, and that it embodies a relaxing social environment. When it comes to accessories, start with a clean surface and add minimal colorful décor items- you don’t need much! Small vases, pottery, books, and plants are great for living room décor. If you need plants, check out Target for faux and Trader Joes for live. Other accessories such as pillows and throws should also add a little color and texture to the space. Play with groupings of 3 pillows on one side of the sofa, and throw a blanket on the other side for good measure. Place a couple of books and a candle on the coffee table for the finishing touch.
The kitchen should feel fresh clean and organized, so make sure all cupboards are clutter free and in an organized fashion. This may mean reducing the number of cups and other dishes down to one set, even though they are behind closed doors. Removing everything from the countertops including items like toasters and coffee makers help emphasize the more important features in the kitchen. A couple of wooden cutting boards, cookbooks, and a jar of bright fruit will do just the trick.
Experiment with your dining room table and chairs to make sure they are placed in the most practical way keeping in mind the flow of traffic. Typically homeowners are looking to entertain, so take advantage of the space if it’s available. To set the mood of a functioning dining room- set the table with colorful dishes, cups, and napkins along with a top of the line centerpiece (a.k.a. flowers from ya yard!!!)
Attempt to gender neutralize the bedrooms- ditch the princess bedding and monster truck posters and go for a spa-like mood to make these rooms feel like a sanctuary. You want these spaces to feel as cozy and relaxing as possible, so the fluffier the bedding and pillows, the better. Whites, blues and greens are great colors for the bedrooms, so keep these colors in mind when choosing bedding + pillows, too. Add a lavender candle and a good book to the bedside table and you’re set. Tranquility complete.
The bathroom should be SQUEEKY clean with almost everything put away. So, staging these rooms is a piece of cake. Keep all personal items and toiletries packed neatly under the sink, and stage the bathroom counter with fluffy white towels and a decorative bar of soap.
Office/ Extra Rooms
If you have extra rooms that don’t have a specific purpose- give them one! Whether it’s a guest bedroom or an office, give homebuyers an idea of what they can do with these spaces and how much potential they have. It doesn’t have to be decked out in accessories and furniture, but a known purpose is necessary so it doesn’t seem like wasted space.
If you have a mudroom, this area can be a big selling point for homebuyers, so make sure to highlight it! Remove all personal items that aren’t neatly packed away in a basket or closet, and have a few pairs of your favorite sharp looking shoes neatly placed. If you have hooks, hang a snazzy leather or denim jacket on them to set the scene. Functionality and organization is key!
Our Last Two Cents…
It is recommended when selling your home to have the best marketing for it. Getting professional pictures taken is a way to really sell your home and you need to show off all your hard work anyway! A couple of tricks to capture the best pictures and wow the crowds are to make sure every light is on and all the window blinds are up for optimum natural light, a high priority homebuyers look for. & Lastly, some yummy snacks and nice tunes for your guests can never go under-appreciated. Happy house selling!!
Created by the amazing Elena Esters – @lena.esters