Staging a house is an opportunity to showcase your home and help buyers imagine their life in your space. Staged homes sell faster and at higher price points, according to the National Association of Realtors. Buyers are used to seeing "picture perfect" homes on decorating shows and online listings. When you stage a home, you strategically arrange furnishings and decorations to help your home look its very best. Here are some tips to help get you started on the right path.
1. Rearrange or rent furniture. Arrange furniture to showcase your home's best features. For example, if you have a fireplace in your living room, create a seating arrangement around the fireplace, rather than a TV on the wall. Doing so will draw a prospective buyer's attention to this special feature. Large, bulky pieces of furniture in smaller spaces can make a room feel crowded. You may wish to place some pieces in storage and rent items that better suit your home's size.
2. Depersonalize. Remove clutter and pare down highly personal design touches, like souvenirs or family photos. A good rule of thumb is to remove about 50% of your personal belongings, which will help your home appear more spacious. Don't overlook hall closets or the master bedroom closet. If these spaces are stuffed or overflowing, buyers may worry about whether your home will have sufficient storage.
3. Give every room a purpose. Buyers generally expect to see standard offerings in a home: a kitchen, a living space, a dining space and a master bedroom. If you've been using your dining room as a craft room, for example, it's a good rule of thumb to turn it back to its original purpose. Next, consider how you can best showcase additional spaces. If you have a bonus room, for example, don't leave the space empty. Help buyers imagine their new life in your home by staging a home office or a game room.
4. Deep clean for a fresh look. Give your home a "mini spring cleaning": Scrub your bathroom and kitchen, removing soap scum and making countertops and appliances sparkle. If you have carpets, consider having these professionally cleaned to remove dust, dirt and dander. Choose brighter, whiter bulbs to illuminate your space. Air out your home: open the windows pull back curtains and open blinds. Avoid scented candles or air fresheners, which can trigger allergies in some people.
5. Improve Curb Appeal. Imagine a prospective buyer driving up to your house: what impression does your home make from the road? Mow the lawn, trim any overgrown landscaping, and add potted plants and a welcome mat to your front door. Power wash walkways and clean windows. Finally, check that your home's house number can be easily found and read from the curb.
6. Add the finishing touches. Fresh flowers on the dining room table, a bowl of fruit on the counter, and folded white towels in the bathroom: these little touches help your home feel like a welcoming sanctuary to prospective buyers.
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