You only get one chance to make a first impression. And first impressions are HUGE when selling your home. I am so passionate about this topic, and more than that, I love helping my clients with the staging. There is often confusion about what exactly that means and I would love to bring some clarity on this!
First, staging your home does not mean to “patch over” issues that your home may have. A dishonest sale does not work in anyone’s favor. Instead, the goal of staging your home is to present your home in a way that is inviting and encourages a potential buyer to picture their own family there! A “welcoming” house is key.
Here are some helpful guidelines I share with my clients who are interested in “unlocking new doors”:
- Declutter. A home that has less in it will appear larger. Take half of the books off your bookshelf, remove all but the essential items from your kitchen counters, and consider removing a chair or side table from your living room or bedrooms. Removing those unnecessary extras will give the impression of a bigger space. You will be moving soon anyways, so it won’t hurt to box a few things up early!
- Take note of your curb appeal. Your home’s curb appeal is the ultimate first impression. If the outside of your home is messy and uninviting, chances are that a potential buyer already has their mind subconsciously made up about the inside of your home. Keep your grass mowed, wipe down any patio furniture, and maybe even consider a little bit of pressure washing to really help your home shine.
- Open it up. This applies to many areas of your home. When showing your home, be sure to leave doors open. This way, no rooms are overlooked and your home has an open and inviting feel. Keep blinds open to let in as much natural light as possible. Consider repainting all of your walls in one consistent, neutral color, and use solid-colored bedspreads. These things all help minimize distraction and encourage those walking through your home to feel comfortable and be able to visualize their own style of decorations and furniture in your space.
- Depersonalize. It is difficult to picture yourself in a home that has someone else’s family portraits on the wall! Take note of the things that you can replace or eliminate that can help your home feel just as inviting, but not as specific to your family.
- Touch up your finishes. This is a small thing that goes a long way! The simple act of applying a new coat of white paint to your baseboards gives the impression of crisp lines and cleanliness. Consider re-calking door frames and window frames if needed, as well as stripping any distracting wallpaper.
I know all of these take time and energy and may not be at the top of your to-do list when you are in the middle of moving your family to a new location, but it is so worth it for the process to move even more smoothly. If you feel you are running out of time, don’t be afraid to hire a professional to do a couple tasks for you. I would love to give advice as well if you need a second eye to look around your house before you sell. The bottom line, though, is that a well-represented home will often sell faster than one with little effort spent on presentation. Happy home staging!