Staging your home like a pro

Written by Claire Schneider

Home staging started in 1972 as a concept of making a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers. Staging a home makes a huge difference when putting it up for sale, especially in today’s competitive market. In fact 95% of staged homes only take an average of 11 days or less to sell and are sold for 17% more than non-staged homes. This shows how first impressions are not just important in real estate – they are critical. Buying a home is a big deal and buyers need to know they are making the right decision. Staging helps potential buyers realize the full potential of a home.

Staging your home doesn’t have to take long or cost a lot of money. Here are a few simple tips to help sell a home.

Declutter. When staging your home, make sure to take out unnecessary items. This includes decoration items and furniture. By taking out these items, it will maximize the size of the room.

Depersonalize. When potential buyers are looking at your home, they want to envision themselves living there. One of the best ways to help them accomplish this is by removing any family photos. They don’t want to be reminded of the family that lived there before but rather the memories they can create when they move in.

Increase lighting. Adding more light to a space can make it feel warm and inviting. This may mean bringing in more lamps but it could also be as simple as increasing the wattage of the exiting lamps. Make sure you have three types of lighting: ambient (general or overhead), task (pendant, under-cabinet or reading) and accent (table and wall).

Paint. You can easily transform any room by changing up the color. For a room to appear larger, paint it the same color as the adjacent room. This will create a seamless look and make them feel like one big room.

Vary wall hangings. Many people make mistakes when it comes to hanging wall art and hanging it in a high line encircling each room.  Art displayed creatively makes it stand out and shows off a space. Break up that line and vary the patterning and grouping.

Add flowers. Flowers are a great design element for staged homes. They show the home is well cared for and adds a fresh, soft touch. To save money, find a flower that blooms and stays nice for nearly a week. Don’t use fake flowers, especially in more expensive homes.

Have three. According to HGTV, when it comes to eye-pleasing accessorizing, odd numbers are preferred, especially three. Think about the different ways to arrange items. For example, instead of having them all in a row, why not try a triangle. Also make sure the items vary in size.

By following these seven simple tips your house will be that much closer to having buyers feel at home.

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4 Simple Tips to Get Your House Sold

Guest blog by Lisa Kirchhoff 

Lisa Kirchhoff

The real estate market has been a tough one in many areas of the country, but even so, there will always be people out there looking to buy a home. Whether it’s a young couple searching for their first starter home, a family in need of a bigger home, or an older couple hoping to downsize to something smaller, homes of all sizes and styles will always be in demand. So how do you set your home apart from the many others on the market? It’s simple when you follow a few tips:

1.       Clean. It may sound like an obvious task before putting your home on the market, but cleaning should also include everything from surface dirt on places you might normally miss (light switches, door frames, ceiling fans, to name a few) to tossing old toys, knickknacks, paper, and general clutter. If you have items you want to clear out buy may not be ready to get rid of for good, rent a small trailer, storage space or Pod unit to store it. Moving out an extra end table, floor lamp or large toys will visually unclutter a room so potential buyers can focus on the unique features of the home- not your stuff. Use moving blankets and furniture covers to protect items in storage until you’re moved into your new home.

2.       Stage. If you’ve seen the home staging shows on the popular home and garden cable TV channels, you know the right changes can make a huge difference in the appearance of your home. But don’t be scared off by thinking the job is just too big. Every little thing counts: remove personal photos and mementos, add a vase of fresh flowers to a few rooms, place extra lights in rooms that feel dark, tone down bright paint colors or add a layer of neutral beige to white walls.

3.       Start outside. First impressions count. When prospective buyers walk up to the front door, they’ll take notice of things you may not always recognize:  peeling paint, weedy flowerbeds, dead shrubs, a broken mailbox. They may believe that if the outside has not been kept up, the owners have not kept up repairs on the inside, and house tour will begin with a negative slant. Keep your front steps clean and the lawn mowed, add a potted plant or two, touch up paint on the front door, add a fresh new mailbox and house numbers, and keep weeds out of your landscaping.

4.       Be flexible. Having your home on the market can be an exhausting experience, but staying flexible with showings can be the difference between a sale and prospective buyers finding something else instead because your house was not available for a showing. Keep your home as clean as possible at all times so you can be ready if a realtor calls to ask for an immediate showing. It can be difficult with small kids, but keep a few empty laundry baskets or large plastic boxes handy so you can quickly toss in toys and other clutter from countertops and shuttle them to your vehicle before the relator and prospective buyers arrive. Keep a box of disposable cleaning wipes in each bathroom and in the kitchen so you can quickly wipe down surfaces in an instant. Also before they arrive, open blinds and curtains to create as much natural light as possible.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Kirchhoff is a writer and blogger for USCargoControl.com , an e-commerce company that specializes in moving supplies for both professional and DIY movers.