First impressions last, and this is especially true with your home on the market, making staging a key element in the selling process. As the moniker suggests, “staging” involves the strategic arrangement of furniture and decor to appeal to the psyche of potential buyers. In fact, a recent survey shows that not only do staged homes sell at higher prices on the market, but they sell faster, too.
While the benefits are obvious and tangible, staging a home does have its costs. For instance, professional staging can set you back between $500 to $5,000, depending on factors like the size of your home. Even going the DIY route doesn’t come without expenses like storage. But for the homeowner on a budget, the latter is undoubtedly the less expensive evil. Thankfully, with zeal and a good checklist, staging is not that hard to do.
A well-staged home makes it easier for buyers to visualize it as their own which, in turn, makes it easier to sell. It goes without saying that you need to make it less “you” and showcase the possibilities. So look at your home objectively with a critical eye. This is the first step to depersonalization.
In a nutshell, depersonalizing your home requires stripping it of personal touches to make it neutral enough for various tastes and preferences while still keeping it warm and inviting. Some of the worst offenders include busy wallpaper and accent walls, which would need to be stripped and/or repainted into a more inclusive color palette.
On the other hand, patterned or worn furniture is easier to remedy, either with a neutral-colored slipcover or some furniture polish. And at the very least, you might only need to box up some family photos and kitschy personal collections!
As a rule of thumb, at least 30 percent of your household items needs to be moved out of sight when staging for an open house or promotional photos. This invariably creates space that buyers will see as potential—space otherwise occupied by clutter.
Indeed, decluttering becomes a real necessity when you put your home on the market. Unfortunately, we are generally oblivious to our own clutter which makes decluttering a real challenge, though not an insurmountable one.
Take note that decluttering is best done methodically, so make it a more manageable task by tackling one room at a time. Pay extra close attention to horizontal surfaces such as counters, islands, and tables as various knickknacks tend to accumulate on them over time.
Don’t disregard closed doors. Weed out closets, cupboards, and drawers ruthlessly, and make sure that whatever’s left behind is clean and well-organized as buyers tend to take peeks in these areas, too. Don’t ignore the obvious, either. Survey rooms and remove furniture that’s unnecessary or in bad shape.
Of course, don’t just pack away your clutter in drawers or out-of-the-way closets as this defeats the purpose of your efforts. Instead, make it easier on yourself by sorting and boxing up clutter, valuables, and other personal effects and labeling them properly.
For safekeeping, consider putting them in storage. Self-storage options are available at flexible and affordable rates for any amount of time you need, whether it’s a few weeks or several months. In Freeburg, you can find a 10’x10’ self-storage unit for as low as $60 per month.
With your space decluttered and depersonalized, you now have a blank(ish) canvas to work with. Remember that when it comes to staging, it’s the little details that matter. Accessorize surfaces with simple accents in uncontrived groupings and make use of soft features like throw pillows and covers as these look inviting in pictures. For fabrics such as curtains, bedding, and towels, stick to light, neutral colors for a cleaner and airier look. You can even emphasize coziness and space by rearranging furniture.
The challenges in staging and preparing to sell a beloved home are great. But when all is said and done and you’re handing the keys to deserving new owners who will love it just as you once did, you’ll find that the payoff is ultimately greater.
By: Suzie Wilson
Photo credit: Pixabay
Photo credit: Pixabay