Whether you’re planning to put your home on the market for sale—or simply looking for inexpensive ways to add a WOW factor to your rooms, the answer can be found in “staging”. Over the past decade, the practice of hiring professional stagers has increased dramatically, as these pros know how to work with the flow of a home, eliminate clutter, arrange furniture and enhance curb appeal. Best of all, it doesn’t take a complete overhaul of your rooms, but it does take a detailed eye—and a brutal honesty when analyzing rooms: something most homeowners find difficult to do. So let’s take a look at some of the secrets of the pros when it comes to staging a home for a faster sale. After all, the more beautiful your home presents itself, the greater the odds are that you can sell it for more money and in a shorter period of time.
Increase curb appeal. If your house can generate high curb appeal, potential buyers will be scrambling to see the inside of your home. Since this topic could fill the entire Report, here’s an outstanding resource to help with great ideas: http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/exteriors/curb-appeal/ways-to-add-curb-appeal/
Make it sparkle. Pretend your mother-in-law is coming over for an inspection. If a home doesn’t have a sense of clean, most potential buyers won’t spend enough time in your home to see it’s true beauty and value.
Here’s a detailed resource for tips to help clean and organize every room in your home:
Neutralize. Remember that you are trying to appeal to the largest number of people, so that will mean your wall colors should be neutral shades. Neutral colored rooms appear larger, too. But neutral doesn’t mean beige or off-white. These days, there’s a range of colors from warm tans to honeys to soft blue-greens that are considered neutrals.
Walk through a new homebuilder’s model home and notice what you see…or don’t see. You won’t find packed bookshelves, stacks of magazines, and a wall of family photos. In fact, there’s no personalization of the rooms in terms of “family photos” and personal belongings. Having a non-personal room allows others to walk into the space and envision themselves living there. This may not be how you want to live—but if you’re trying to sell your home, the objective is to get people to envision themselves in your space. And that means removing personal belongings.
Reconsider your furnishings. This is perhaps the trickiest part of staging—and therefore one in which the services of a staging professional can be of great value. Sometimes furniture simply needs to be rearranged. Professional stagers say one of the most common mistakes homeowners make is to push furniture up against the walls. They suggest floating furniture away from walls, and reposition it into cozy conversational groups. Other times, some pieces just need to be removed. And sometimes it might prove best to rent a few key pieces of furniture to really show off a room. Most of us don’t have the eye to determine what kind of changes would work best, but a staging professional will have no problem knowing what to do.
Look down. Have your carpets steam cleaned, and get rid of any worn carpets or area rugs. If your hardwood floor could use refinishing, this will be a good investment. Sometimes, a new and inexpensive area rug is a quick fix and can disguise the look of old floors.
Update light fixtures. It doesn’t need to cost a fortune to get a fresh, updated look for a room by replacing outdated light fixtures. Lighting makes a home warm and welcoming, but most of us have too few fixtures, or our lighting is too dim, or as harsh as a spotlight. Professional stagers recommend aiming for a total of 100 watts for every 50 square feet. Then install dimmers so you can vary light levels according to the mood you want to create, or the time of day.
De-clutter every room. This one can’t be emphasized enough. Problem is, what most of us consider “normal,” others see as clutter. Again, this is an area where outside professional assistance can be extremely helpful. When potential buyers walk into a cluttered room, all they see is the clutter. They don’t see the potential. So sell your home faster by getting rid of the clutter.
Here’s a good resource for details to help de-clutter your home:
Consider the details: It has been said “The devil is in the details,” and when it comes to staging, this is certainly true. So take a look at some of the smaller factors in your home: the light switches, doorknobs, and wall outlets. If they’re broken, or just plain ugly, replace them.
Consider your walls. If your walls are empty, or filled with family photos, you’re going to need to add some pizzazz with artwork. Photography makes a great statement and doesn’t have to be expensive. Consider enlarging and framing some of your favorite photos taken on a vacation.
Here’s a good resource article with tips for hanging artwork for the best effect in a room:
Let the sunshine in. As a Colorado resident—this one is easy to do. So take advantage of our sunny days, and give your home a lift. Replace old, heavy drapery with something light, airy and gauzy. This allows natural light to shine into a room and makes a closed-in space seem larger.
Accessorize with flair. When it comes to accessorizing, three is the magic number. (Though one and five work well, too.) Try displaying accessories in a triangle instead of lined in a row. And scale is important too. Be sure to vary items by height and width, with the largest at the back and smallest up front. Just remember that when it comes to accessorizing, less is more. So don’t go overboard.
Bring the outdoors in. Staged homes are almost always graced with bountiful fresh flowers and pricey orchid arrangements, but you can get a similar effect simply by raiding your yard. Take clippings of branches or twigs and put them in a large vase in the corner of a room to add height. It’s a great structural piece that doesn’t cost anything. Just having fresh flowers in the room will make a big difference; so if you’re lucky enough to have planted flower bulbs, bring them inside for a colorful touch.
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While it is true that our Front Range real estate market has improved, sellers still need to get their home in tip-top condition before putting it on the market. And that will take time! So get started now, and when you’re ready to talk specifics about your home, or the home you’d like to buy, call and let’s dive into the details!