Tricks of the Trade – How to Stage your Home for Sale

Staging your House for SaleIn today’s competitive home market, it’s important to stand out. We’ve come to a time here in the United States where there are more homes for sale than there are buyers. That means those in the market for a new home have the right and the ability to be more choosy now than ever.

If you’re in the market to sell your home, there are a number of things you can do to make your house as appealing to potential buyers as possible. This is a real estate sales technique called “home staging”. You want to put your home’s proverbial best foot forward and when you “stage” your home for sale, you’re letting buyers see all the potential your home presents for them.

Home staging has been proven to reduce the amount of time a home is on the market and, according to a national survey, may even help you get more money for your home. You could hire a staging professional to come in and prepare your place, or you could follow these simple tips to giving your home a professionally staged look.

Many of the tricks home stagers use consist of simply de-cluttering areas within your home and making them more appealing to the eye.

Start outside and take a good long look at your home’s front entrance. Do overgrown plants and shrubs make it difficult to see the front door from the street? Do you have any broken or damaged steps or pavers leading up to the door? How about lighting – can you easily see the home’s street number at any time of day? A pair of hedge trimmers, a hose, some new pavers and a few hours spent sweating it out in the garden may be all you need to get your home’s entrance spic and span and pleasing to potential buyers.

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Moving inside, consider what you can do to make your foyer or entryway feel more welcoming. Oftentimes, these spaces become the place where we drop all of our stuff when we arrive home from work or school. Start de-cluttering this area by moving or putting away any coats, shoes, and other items that will distract buyers from just seeing the space.

If you don’t already have one, consider putting down a welcoming, contemporary area rug like this one from Momeni:

More than just a place to wipe your feet, it will give your entryway a sleek, stylish look. If you have room, consider putting in a small table with a lamp or vase full of flowers. It will make potential buyers think of it as a place to stash their keys or mail when they come into the house.

Let’s move into the living room next. Professional home stagers often remove all unnecessary furniture for a sleek, clean look in these spaces. You only want buyers to see the room’s potential, so don’t be afraid to temporarily remove an end table or two or store that recliner you’re not very proud of.

Another staging trick is to pull furniture away from walls to make room look bigger. Place your coffee table in the center of the room and then stage other furniture around it to create an inviting place to sit and talk. Bring in some flowers from the garden for a nice, neat centerpiece and you’ll be wowing buyers with your clutter-free look.

Finally, don’t be afraid to create a fantasy. Empty, unused rooms with no apparent purpose make potential buyers uncomfortable. If you have a room like this in your home, give it a purpose, even if it’s just for show.

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With just a few accessories, you could turn that empty room into a gym or a crafting area. If you’re a recent empty nester, this is a great excuse to turn your child’s former bedroom into a makeshift office or maybe even a small TV room. Remember that recliner we moved out of the living room? With a slipcover, a small table, a lamp, and an inviting area rug, that room could soon be transformed into a cozy reading nook.

These are just some of the many tricks home stagers use to get your house sold faster. You can find a multitude of tips online or use your imagination to turn your soon-to-be old house into a showplace. Just be careful – once you’re done, you might not want to move!

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