You love your home. You adore the colorful walls, the plush furniture, and the gorgeous family photos that grace the walls. Your house is neat, tidy, and has plenty of room for movement. Why wouldn’t any prospective buyers fall in love with it, too?
Well, here’s the thing. Buyers couldn’t care less about your design tastes or your family photos. Ouch, right? Don’t take offense. A potential buyer’s reaction has everything to do with their personality and individual taste. So let’s talk about home staging. Have you seen those TV shows where design and construction crews come in, demolish and rebuild the kitchen, repaint the entire home, and refinish the hardwood floors? In reality, it doesn’t take that much effort to stage your home for showings. Instead of going all out, try these simple, inexpensive staging ideas that are sure to appeal to any buyer’s taste.
Toss the clutter. Getting rid of clutter is the number one thing you can do to help buyers envision themselves in your home. Ask yourself what you can live without, and box it up or donate it.
Finish unfinished projects. Come on. Admit it. You know you have at least one. That uncovered light fixture you never got around to replacing? The half-painted guest room? Take care of those now.
Change your paint. Seeing a very bright or dark color as soon as they walk in can be off-putting to buyers. Switch to a neutral color. That doesn’t mean you have to paint everything a boring white or beige. Neutral colors can be anything from a simple taupe or dove gray to a beautiful light blue or a touch of sage.
Create the illusion of space. There are a number of ways to do this. Paint adjacent rooms the same color to open up the area. Do the same with flooring. It joins the two rooms together, effectively opening up the space. Arrange furniture in conversation groups to show the function and flow of the room.
Appease both genders. If you’re dealing with both genders, keep the master bedroom neutral. You might think your frilly curtains and abundance of throw pillows are inviting, but that tough-guy buyer might not.
Lighten up. Let in as much natural light as possible. In areas that don’t see much sunlight, the key to remember is 100 watts of light for each 50 square feet. Combine ambient light (general overhead lighting) with task lighting (pendant, under-cabinet lights) and accent lighting (table/floor lamps). Table lamps give a warmer, more intimate feel for nighttime.
Replace outdated flooring. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on this. If your kitchen laminate is worn out or your tiles are cracked, you can replace it with vinyl tiles or planks, which have become very popular and are way less expensive than the real thing. Another option is to stain the concrete underneath. Stained concrete can give a modern, custom feel to a room.
Show off storage space. Clean and organize all storage areas, such as closets, kitchen cabinets, under-sink storage, and pantries. You don’t want potential buyers to see your cluttered mess. You want them to see how much storage space you have!
Do a quick update. Replace old hardware on any cabinets, drawers, or other fixtures with pull knobs and switches. Don’t forget light switch plates. These can get pretty grimy and yellowed over the years.
Repaint doors and frames. A new coat of white paint here will create a clean, modern feel.
Give nooks purpose. You know that odd 4’x4’ nook at the top of the stairs? Stick a comfy chair and a floor lamp there and transform it into a reading area. And that odd little niche space in the living room could be a great place for a built-in bookshelf or a little table.
Give bathrooms ambience. Roll up some fresh towels. Put out pretty soaps and accessories. Frame a boring mirror with painted molding. Hide any personal items. Doing this can give a bathroom a spa-like feel.
Display art creatively. A bunch of framed pictures hanging at eye level can honestly be kind of boring. Make sure you don’t have an abundance of family photos on the walls. Stagger your paintings and prints. Hang a bunch of small frames in a large grouping. Just don’t line them up around the walls in a straight line.
Don’t forget to stage the exterior! Make sure sidewalks and driveways are clean. Mow the lawn regularly. Plant colorful flowers or place them in pots on the front porch. Scrub the patio down, pressure wash the siding, and clean the windows. Hang an attractive yet neutral wreath on the front door, and voila! Pretty and inviting.
Bring the outdoors indoors. Seasonal flowers or greenery gives a finishing touch and brings a little sunshine to any room.
Choose just a few of these little projects, or use our tips as a checklist to help you get your home ready all of those showing appointments that are sure to come your way. Happy selling!