Staging Your Property for Sale | Indoor Staging Tips for Sellers
The definition of home staging according to Wikipedia is the ‘act of preparing a private residence for sale in the real estate marketplace. The goal of staging is to make a home more appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money.’ While it is always best to hire a professional to stage your home for buyers, there are many things that you can do on your own to organize, de-clutter and show-off every space in its best light.
All homes are unique. Each on has its own positives and its own negatives. By staging the property, you promote the highlights and turn negatives into positives. But, where do you start?
There are two major considerations to start with:
First, you need to determine the focal point of each room. The focal point of the room is the is the place that your eyes go when you enter a room. Each room has a unique natural focal point. You can choose to either accentuate that focal point (if is a positive feature) or draw buyers eyes away by creating a new focal point with staging. Also, remember that a cluttered room can be confusing to the eye, create too many ‘focal points’ and actually put-off buyers.
Second, you need to allow natural light into each and every room of the property. You can do this in larger rooms by opening blinds and pulling back curtains. In smaller rooms you can use mirrors and different style window treatments that allow more light to enter the room while still providing privacy.
Working room by room, you can add indoor ‘curb appeal’ to every space in the home. Should you decide to do this yourself and cannot decide what should stay in a room and what should go, then just remember that ‘less is more’. Start by de-cluttering each room and then enter the room with a fresh set of eyes. See where ‘it is’ that your eyes are naturally drawn and then work from there.
What is truly important is you have approximately 4.6 seconds from the time that a buyer enters the house for them to form an opinion on what to expect from the rest of the home. You should focus on that initial ‘WOW’ starting in the foyer and then work your way through the home.
Indoor Staging – Starting in the Foyer
If the foyer is dark with no way to accentuate natural lighting, then you will need to add bright lighting to this area. Adding mirrors to any room will help to reflect light around any space. So, if you have a decorative mirror anywhere in the house then consider moving it to the foyer area.
Artwork and greenery are keys to creating a great focal point for your foyer. Remember that you have 4.6 seconds to get that initial ‘WOW’. Investing in an elaborate vase and some beautiful elegant floral arrangements from your local craft store will help to draw buyers eyes and get that initial positive reaction. Once you have that initial expectation of a gorgeous home, you can save dollars on staging other rooms of the home.
Staging Your Windows and Treatments
Windows should be clean on both sides throughout the house. If horizontal blinds are installed, then turn the blinds to an upward position to allow the light to fill the room while still allowing for privacy. Window treatments and curtain rods can be extended to show-off smaller windows by making their wall space wider. Fineals should be chosen to highlight the size and shape of the room.
Staging for Bathrooms
Bathrooms should be well lighted and, most importantly, clean. Remove all area rugs and toilet covers. Area rugs make bathrooms appear to be smaller and more cluttered. Stick with two light colors for bathroom décor and remove all personal products from the countertops. Curling irons, hairdryers, deodorant and toothpaste are not going to entice buyers… but large countertops will. By removing all of your personal items from the countertops you give the illusion of space even in small bathrooms.
If you have children with small bath toys, then place them in a colander that is complimentary in color to the bathroom décor. Colanders allow water to drain from children’s toys so that you can keep the bathroom un-cluttered and yet still functional. A colander sitting over the drain with several toys is much more well-ordered than several toys all over the bathtub.
Shower products should be placed in a plastic container and kept under the bathroom sink when not in use. This allows you to leave the shower door/curtain in the open position and give the illusion of a larger space.
Staging Closet Space
Everyone loves a large closet! Put out-of-sight all clothes that you will not be using over the next few months. Donate any clothes that you haven’t worn for a while. Organize everything else on the same style hangars by arranging long clothes together, short clothes together, shirts, jackets and pants. By arranging in this manner you give the illusion of uniformity. Using the same style hangars prevents attracting the buyers eye away from the illusion of space. Everything in a closet is about uniformity and space. Arrange all shoes from largest to smallest and line them perfectly on the floor. Items on shelves should be neatly stacked. Again, uniformity and space are key.
Staging for Indoor Lighting
Even on a bright sunny day, indoor man-made lighting can be used to draw light into otherwise dark corners and help to compliment the natural light coming in through windows. Use the brightest light bulbs and light colored lampshades. Use ‘natural light’ light bulbs in closets and don’t forget the light bulb over the stove!
Furniture Placement and Accessories
Depending on how much floor and wall space is available, some pieces of furniture o personal accessories may need to be removed or re-arranged. Large furniture items that take up too much space would be better stored in the basement, garage or a storage facility. Personal awards, trophies, photos and collections should all be packed away. Depersonalize the house as much as possible so that buyers are more focused on the features of the property and not that cool collection of antique replicas.
Remember that buyers are looking to imagine themselves living in the property. Eliminate distractions and remove as much clutter as possible. Give the buyer’s imagination space to roam!
For additional tips and techniques on home staging, please visit Lynda B Staging