Home staging! Now there’s an idea!
If you aren’t having much luck selling your home, you might want to give home staging a go. You can either choose to work with a pro or save a few dollars by doing it yourself.
Home staging is becoming increasingly common with lots of TV shows providing tips on how to go about making a house more attractive to potential buyers.
If you’ve had a few visits from potential buyers but no takers so far, then maybe home staging is the next step for you.
You don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune to be able to sell your home more quickly and for a better price. The experts say you have to invest about 1% of the value of your property.
Now then. Where to start?
1. Pare down
The first step and the most boring one is to remove all the clutter, everything visible as well as the hidden stuff.
When a room is filled to capacity, future buyers tend to feel claustrophobic and end up thinking that the house lacks storage.
Go with “less is more” and remove paper, bric-a-brac and even clothes from closets to show that there is enough room to store everything.
Sure it’s a dreary and somewhat time-consuming task but you’ll have to do it anyway when you move.
It’s only natural that your home will have your personal touch, but to make it easier to sell, the opposite holds true, so downplay the personal aspects.
Family photos, drawings on the fridge, toiletries on the bathroom counter, objects left lying around on the furniture are all things that just make it harder for potential buyers to picture themselves living in your home.
Removing all these personal items makes it easier for buyers to imagine the space the way they would like it.
3. Fix whatever is broken
If you’ve neglected to repair some things around the house, potential buyers might be reluctant to buy and may be discouraged by the amount of work that needs doing. Many prefer a turn-key house.
Don’t overlook any work that isn’t completed, like an unfinished floor or ceiling.
Things that need fixing and unfinished renovations make it harder to negotiate. Buyers might significantly lower their offer… by much more than it would have cost you to do the repairs yourself.
So get out your tools. See it as an investment.
4. Get painting!
Paint is an excellent way to freshen up a room and give it a different look without breaking the bank.
Opt for soft neutrals like white, pale grey and beiges.
You might think them boring but future buyers are unanimous on the subject, as opposed to say fire engine red or electric blue.
5. Scrub and scrub again
A well-kept home is a clean home.
Before each visit, your home must shine like a new penny, so clean every nook and cranny, even those we tend to neglect sometimes.
Watch out for unpleasant smells like cigarette, pet odours and certain cooking odours.
An old favourite of real estate agents is to bake muffins or bread just before a visit. Apparently visitors find the smell comforting.
6. Move the furniture around
Your furniture isn’t part of the deal but it can go a long way in helping to show off your home.
Just remember, too much furniture can make the space feel cluttered, too little can make your home feel bare and cold.
It’s also important to use furniture that suits the room. A desk in the master’s bedroom is not inspiring and would be better off in the den or basement instead.
The idea is to find a happy medium with the right proportions, often by trial and error.
If you don’t know where to start, you can always hire a decorator or home stager to help out.
Some of them will even store your furniture for you and rent new to achieve that “wow” effect.
Harmony is all about having a common thread throughout the house, from one room to the next, a connecting element that makes for a good flow.
Choose a style and keep things simple for a pared down look.
You don’t feel like you’ve got an eye for detail? Hire an interior decorator. They’re trained to pull together harmonious decors on a budget.
8. A final touch
Use tried-and-true tips to make sure that visits from potential buyers go off without a hitch:
- Turn on all the lights, even during the day. It will give the impression of a bright home
- Turn off TV sets
- Play soft music
- Make yourself scarce and let your agent do their thing (unless of course you are selling the home on your own)