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Staging Your Home in Preparation to Sell

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Staging Your Home in Preparation to Sell

You know your house is beautiful. You have admired it every year you’ve lived there, so the idea of staging furniture to sell your home may seem strange to you. Don’t think of home staging as turning your house into something it’s not, but instead try to view it as accentuating the beauty you’ve seen all along.

In this article, we’ll explain why it’s in your best interest to stage your home, cover the basics of home staging and share some tips for staging specific areas, both inside and outdoors.

The Benefits of Staging Your Home

Some ideas may sound good in concept, but where’s the proof that home staging makes a difference when selling? Maybe some evidence from sellers and buyers alike will convince you. In a 2015 profile by the National Association of Realtors, 49% of realtors surveyed reported that home staging definitely had an impact on most buyers’ view of the home.

This same survey states that 81% of potential buyers believed home staging makes it easier for them to visualize the property as their future home. Not only that, but 46% of buyers were more willing to walk through a home they’d viewed online if it had staged furniture instead of empty rooms.

So staging grabs the attention of buyers, but will it make your home sell? An encouraging note is that a staged home led 28% of buyers to overlook any property faults. The most important piece of information, however, is that 52% of buyers were willing to offer more for a staged home compared to a similar home that hadn’t been staged. That means you’re likely to enjoy an increase in dollar value thanks to all your hard work.

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The advantages of home staging are obvious, but learning how to stage your home furniture may take some reading. First, you need to understand the basics.

The Basics of Home Staging

Staging your home is all about highlighting its strengths and downplaying any weaknesses. Showcase your bay windows or attractive spiral staircase, and camouflage any awkward nooks with furniture or stunning decor pieces. A handsome clock or a sofa table with intriguing books on display will draw attention away from your home’s less-than-lovely spots.

While it may be tempting to want to show off your personality, when staging, you need to strive for broad appeal. Quirky artwork or accessories can be eye-catching, but you don’t want them to alienate potential buyers. If you choose to decorate with art, only select the best and store away the rest.

Before you start staging furniture, however, it’s essential to have a clean slate. Dust, scrub, vacuum and sweep to get your house spotless. This includes neutralizing any pet odors! In addition to cleaning, you should clear away the clutter. Too many possessions or furnishings in a room can make it feel crowded. From the closets to the kitchen, your goal should be creating the illusion of more space.

Each area of your home is important in its own way, so we’ve compiled some unique tips for every space, as well as some all-purpose suggestions for home improvement.

Increase Your Curb Appeal

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Often the first impression potential buyers get of your home is from driving by. If the exterior is less than stellar, they probably won’t bother checking out the interior. You don’t need to go to extremes like repainting the entire house or scheduling a roof re-shingle, but you should consider curb appeal.

In terms of cleaning, it’s good to power wash the siding and walkways, as well as wash the front windows so they gleam. Mow your lawn and reseed any bare patches. Your house numbers should be big and easy to read, so if you’re not happy with their current font or placement, hang up new ones.

If there’s any painting to be done, it could be a simple project like redoing the front porch. Breathe new life into your outdoor deck or patio, and make your porch look welcoming. Add furniture if there’s room, making it feel like a great spot to sit down and chat a while. Benches, rockers and gliders, or a table and chairs could do the trick. Even small touches like a clean doormat or potted plants can go a long way.

Keep the season in mind while you’re staging, too. Style your yard with a beautiful-looking garden in the summer or a clean, usable fire pit in the autumn. Blooming flowers or fresh greenery are always a welcome sight in the warmer months. Also, be sure to leave your porch lights on at night so buyers can get a little glimpse of your house if they cruise past.

Brighten up the Living Room

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The appearance of your living room is something that can make or break a sale. This space is considered the social hub of the house, so discovering how to stage furniture in a living room should be your top priority.

The key is to float furniture away from the walls into vignettes, which defines the traffic flow and creates conversational groupings. Think upholstered chairs, comfortable loveseats and small sofas. The best arrangement will make the room feel both inviting and spacious.

All of your rooms should be well-lit, but one area that truly needs the right lighting is the living room. Make sure the curtains aren’t closed during showings, or you can utilize a window treatment like sheer panels to let soft light filter in. Then scatter a few attractive lamps to brighten up any shadowy corners that remain.

If the walls are painted in a bold color, this may reduce the chance of offers. Play it safe and repaint the walls in a fresh neutral shade. The goal is to find a color that looks sophisticated, not dull. Bright hues can still appear in the accents you choose.

Arrange the accessories you use in an appealing way. Odd-numbered groups work best, such as three, five or seven, and they should be placed asymmetrically so they don’t look too formal. Pick objects that are a variety of sizes but have unifying elements that make them fit together. For instance, they could have similar textures or all follow the same theme.

Display your artwork creatively so it will stand out, and consider putting up mirrors to add a sense of depth to the room. Arrange items on any bookcases so they don’t look cluttered. Finally, if your electric fireplace is elegant and sophisticated but you feel it’s overpowering the room, paint it the same color as the surrounding walls so it will blend in. If it’s fine as it is, just remember to give it a good cleaning.

Update the Kitchen

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There are many budget-friendly ways to pull off a kitchen renovation. To give the room a facelift, you don’t have to purchase all new cabinets. You could simply swap out your current cabinet doors or drawer fronts for new ones, painting them so everything is coordinated and installing stylish hardware.

If your appliances are very old, replace them with upgraded models. Stainless steel appliances are a big hit right now. However, if you don’t have the money to buy all new appliances, don’t fret. You can still give the kitchen a remodeled look by purchasing smaller items, like a new front panel for the dishwasher.

Throw out any old food from the refrigerator or pantry, and clear off the countertops. Pack away a large portion of your cabinets and drawers, only leaving behind some silverware and a matching set of neatly displayed dishes. Your potential buyers will be understandably curious, so they’re sure to be opening up the cupboards to see how much space there is and how it could be used.

Makeover the Master Bedroom

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Your master bedroom should feature a gorgeous but gender-neutral interior design. Dressing it up in hot pink or decorating it like a man cave won’t make the sale. Instead, focus on making it feel relaxing and luxurious.

As far as cleaning goes, the best thing you could do is have the carpet refreshed. If you can afford the splurge, hire a professional carpet cleaner to take care of it.

Be sure you don’t leave any personal items out in the open or in your dresser drawers, either. You can’t prevent visitors from poking around while they’re touring your house, so it’s your job to mindfully pack before allowing potential buyers inside.

It’s been mentioned before, but it’s relevant to note that the bed shouldn’t be surrounded by clutter. You don’t need to buy a new mattress for the sake of staging. Just be sure the one you have is supported by a nice bed frame and draped with cozy-looking linens.

The main thing potential buyers care about in a bedroom, besides the look of the bed, is the closet space. Take time to organize your closet, and then leave the doors open during showings, inviting visitors to take a peek. Strive to showcase how much space is available inside. If you really want to emphasize how much room there is, pack up some of your belongings so at least one third of the space is left open.

Design the Dining Room

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The dining room doesn’t necessarily have to look formal and stuffy. In fact, that’s the opposite of what buyers want to see! If it looks overly fancy, they may subconsciously feel that the home is too expensive for them. It should look nice, but not so much that it could be uninviting — like a museum exhibit they’re afraid to touch.

Concentrate on making the dining space look natural. The dining table shouldn’t be pushed up against the wall. Rather, it should be positioned in a way that looks like you could sit down for a meal. If you want to put out a tablescape, it should be well-styled. Use the guidelines for accessorizing your living room to create a lovely centerpiece that can serve as the focal point of the dining room. Don’t go overboard and set the table with dishes and silverware, though, because this could turn buyers off.

Make sure there is enough lighting so the room doesn’t feel gloomy. Open the curtains and switch on any lamps. If the light fixtures in your dining area are outdated, replace them with something more modern. Chandeliers are beautiful, but they are less so if they feature an out-of-style metal like brass or chrome.

Clean up Any Bathrooms

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When it comes to your bathrooms, you don’t need to go all out. The main thing you should do is give them a thorough cleaning. Scour your shower door, scrub the tile and wipe off the walls if they’re grimy. If your tile is old or unattractive, one thing you could consider splurging on is having it professionally painted.

Get rid of any products in the shower, on the counter or in the medicine cabinet. Again, buyers are curious, so they will be peeking around. Invest in a brand new set of towels and put any old worn ones away.

While leaving your shampoo bottle out looks tacky, little decorative touches can do wonders for an otherwise boring bathroom. You could add a soap dish by the sink, put out an empty wastebasket or even hang up a nice fluffy robe.

When considering your bathroom sink, ask yourself what would help the space the most. If it’s a little plain, bring in a new bathroom vanity. Vanities create a point of interest and bring in more storage space.

If your bathroom feels small, install a pedestal sink. Not only are they trendy, but they offer a better way of showing off your bathroom’s square footage.

Transform the Guest Room

If your house has any extra rooms, sometimes they have been well utilized, but sometimes they are less than presentable. It’s okay if your home office isn’t exactly in order or if your guest bedroom is just an air mattress on the floor. What matters is the potential this extra room carries.

Whether it was a crafting corner or simply used for storage, your extra room should be turned into another living space. You shouldn’t make any rooms off-limits, even if they were just a place to put junk — buyers expect to see the entire house. Throw away the trash and start from scratch.

Just like with all the other rooms in your home, a spare room should be staged. Don’t leave it up to your visitors’ imaginations. Fill in the gaps for them. You could set it up like a home office with a solid wood desk that exudes productivity, or make it a cute little guest bedroom complete with its own bed, dresser and side table. Even if these aren’t how you used the space, look at it as creating a believable story for the room.

Don’t Forget the Children’s Bedroom

Finally, don’t overlook your kid’s room. There’s no need to turn it into something it’s not and make it another guest bedroom. Many of your buyers are sure to have children they could envision in this space. It should just look as functional, comfortable and roomy as any of the other areas you’ve staged.

While it’s a spot where your child spends their time playing and sleeping, it shouldn’t look too juvenile. That means any plastic furniture has got to go. Replace their toy box covered in crayon scribbles or their miniature table and chairs with higher quality wood children’s furniture.

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Toys shouldn’t be left strewn across the floor, in this room or any others. For showings, most of your children’s toys should be stowed away. However, a few can be kept out to clarify that this is a kid’s room and to give the space some personality. Think of them as playful little accessories.

Some Additional Suggestions

We’ve given you some good ideas to think about for each specific room in your house. Now here’s some general advice to keep in mind that may apply to multiple spaces:

    • Create a good flow from room to room with pathways that feel open. You could also consider strategically placing intriguing artwork or decor pieces to entice visitors to keep exploring.
    • Finish any lingering home repair projects you may have. Don’t neglect any flickering lights or leaking faucets because they will be noticed.
    • Refinish any hardwood floors if they’re in poor shape. If you don’t have the time or funds, cover up problem spots with area rugs.
    • While having a clean home is essential, it shouldn’t be so clean that it doesn’t look lived in. Carefully choose a few personal accents to put out, like a bunch of fresh flowers in the living room or a bowl full of fruit in the kitchen. Only opt for the best.
    • Also on the subject of flowers, a natural touch can really make a space come alive. You could curate a bouquet at a florist or with items from your own backyard. Just be sure to match the season.
    • If your children have left their mark on your home, while you find it charming, your buyers might find it unappealing. Take down and store away any of your child’s drawings that may have been on display, and clean up any kid-related messes like crayon on the coffee table or soap residue from splashing in the bathtub.
    • Don’t shy away from moving furniture pieces, artwork or accessories into rooms other than the one they were originally meant for. Staging your home gives you the chance to try new arrangements you hadn’t thought of before.
    • Remedy improper lighting so each room feels bright enough. The lighting should fit the space — whether it’s ambient, task or accent lighting — and play up its best features. In rooms that are particularly prone to feeling dark, bring in light-colored furniture if possible.

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  • Wallpaper or wood paneling are highly outdated and won’t do you any favors selling your home. Tear down the wallpaper or use wood filler in the cracks between the panels, and then paint the room.
  • If you want to get creative, you can paint accent walls to draw attention to an attractive aspect of a room, such as a large window, a unique decor item or a stately piece of furniture.

While it may seem like a lot of effort to put forth, staging your home is in your best interest. Start with a clean and clutter-free foundation, and then fill each room with eye-catching accents and well-made furniture.

For quality furniture that’s sure to sell your home faster, turn to AmishOutletStore.com. Our handcrafted products are designed with both style and durability in mind. Your search for furniture is over with our fine pieces made with woods such as oak, cherry or QS White Oak.

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