Home staging 101
There are thousands of home-staging consultants in business for good reason: staged homes sell faster. Why? Successful home staging enables a buyer to see themselves in your home, and not how you’re currently occupying it. Professional staging consultants accomplish this by following some simple guidelines.
Divide and conquer
Take a good look around your home. Now imagine it with only half of the belongings. Some consultants even aim to remove at least two-thirds of items from a home to allow a room’s features (including size, flooring, and architectural details) to come forward so that buyers aren’t focusing on your collection of ceramic roosters instead.
Follow a witness protection program
Put your home under a “witness protection program” and remove anything that identifies who owns the property. That way a prospective buyer doesn’t have to mentally clear you out before they can imagine themselves in your home. At the top of the list are the family photos on the mantelpiece and notes to each other stuck on the fridge. Prospective buyers don’t need to know that Jimmy won the soccer tournament or that you’re out of milk.
Let there be natural light
Open your doors and windows, clean them and don’t block them! Just because you haven’t used that side door in years doesn’t mean that you should ignore it – keeping it hidden will make buyers suspect that there’s something wrong with it. (If there is, fix it.) Keeping windows clean and the curtains tied back will let more natural light into your home, which is a big plus for prospective buyers.
Out, out, darn Spot
While few can resist the unconditional love of a pet, many prospective buyers would prefer not to see pet hairs or smell evidence of Fifi or Fido. If possible, try to find a place for your pet to stay for a few days and have your carpets steam-cleaned to eliminate any lingering odors. Or try to have your pet reign in one room or on one floor and give the area a thorough cleaning prior to an open house. Remember also to tuck pet beds, litter boxes and food dishes out of the way.
Peek behind closed doors
Take a good look at your closets and cupboards. What kind of impression would they give a prospective buyer? Are they bursting at the seams or do they provide ample room for all your stuff? Take a minute to organize your items, wipe down shelves and air out your cupboards. Clearing out the clutter will work in your favour; interested buyers will always take a peek, even if they don’t admit to doing it.