Staging a house to sell isn’t quite as daunting as many people think it is. There’s no need to hire a crew or recruit a bunch of friends – there is a method to the madness. Stay calm, and get excited, because if you stage the house well, you’re far more likely to sell:
Clean, clean, clean and clean some more
Clean houses absolutely sell. Windows, carpets, walls, bathrooms—everything. Showing a house is a production of sorts, and if you don’t give it your all, it will be noticed. Potential buyers are ultimately looking for a place to call home, and if you’ve ever heard the phrase, “first impressions are the most lasting,” you know there’s truth there. Walking in to an environment with dirt stains on the carpet, dust layers on the banister, and grease stains still on the counter will not exactly give off an aura of comfort. Over-clean if you possibly can.
Make necessary updates
If a fireplace needs a new screen, or a shower door needs to be replaced– just do it. Buyers are looking for a place they can move right in to and begin making their own, not a fixer-upper with a long list of details that need to be addressed. Quick fixes can be made with small budgets, and more often than not, items may need a deep clean rather than a complete replacement. Potential buyers are more likely to fall in love with a house if it looks move-in ready.
Open the drapes
Natural light is nature’s best-seller. Buyers will be drawn to open and airy living spaces with abundant natural light. Even if the weather isn’t necessarily bright and sunny while you are showing, opening the blinds and arranging the room with light colored furniture and lamps will give the illusion of a bright and open room.
Appeal to both sexes
Chances are, you are never going to have an open house where only males or only females show up to the showing. Creating an environment that is too gender-specific will be a huge turnoff to those individuals that are not being catered to.
It’s always safe and smart to prepare the home with neutral colors. This includes the walls, tapestry, furniture, and even the decorations (if any) that you stage for the event. Having accent colors is completely normal, however, the majority of the overall feel should remain neutral.
Smell it up (in a good way)
Ever seen a movie with a realtor that is showing a house and throws a batch of cookies in the oven an hour before everyone shows up? Well as cliché as that sounds, it is completely brilliant. Smell is key when it comes to positive emotions and association. It doesn’t necessarily have to be cookie dough; (it could be a big bouquet of fresh cut flowers) but a good smell for the buyers is a huge power move.
There could be masked odors from the previous owners that you might not notice because you’ve become used to them, and nothing screams “run away” like a smelly house. Would you rather invest in a house that smells like warm cookies or wet dog? Chances are, your buyer agrees with your answer.
When it comes to staging a home, there is no such thing as over-preparing. Buyers want to love the house just as much as you want them to, so give them more than enough reasons to want to buy. Don’t just tell them about the best features of the house, show them. Showcase all the best assets, and bring everything else up to par. If you put in all the thought and effort, you will have offers rolling in and positive feedback from all your potential buyers moving forward.