Staging a home is more important than ever. Not only does it highlight the best features of your property, but it also allows buyers to imagine what it would be like for them to live in that same space. People have immediate access to HGTV, Instagram, and Pinterest, where they get to see beautiful, perfectly spruced homes. Buyers have high expectations, and staging your home can help meet them.
DO: Clean your home
A clean home is a happy home. No one wants to walk through a filthy house, especially one that they're considering purchasing! Vacuum, polish, dust, make beds, sweep, mop, and remove any trash. But it would help if you were consistently cleaning your home, don't do it right before a showing because you don't want to overwhelm buyers with the smell of chemicals. It's better to clean up after a showing and then maintain it rather than waiting before people visit and doing an intense cleaning leaves your home smelling like bleach.
DO: Remember that less is more
At the end of the day, the goal is to appeal to buyers by making your house seem neutral and ready to accept a new owner. That means getting rid of clunky furniture or clutter. It's best to have a simple layout so buyers can imagine how their own things would look in the space.
DO: Neutralize the furniture and colors
It's best to decorate your home with neutral colors, decorations, and furniture. Anything specifically suited to your taste should be removed, and bold paint colors should be painted over if possible. While you might love the zebra-print rug in the living room or a neon orange couch, potential buyers might find loud, clashing colors too distracting to appreciate what the property has to offer.
DO: Minor repairs
Anything you can fix with a quick trip to the hardware store should be taken care of. Change light bulbs, fix leaky faucets, patch holes in the walls, clean the carpets, and do fix anything else that could detract from your home's appeal.
DO: Pay attention to curb appeal
Never underestimate the power of curb appeal. The first thing people see when they arrive at your house is the front yard and doorway. Overgrown grass, unkempt gardens, and chipped paint on the front door will turn people off. Take care to weed, mow the lawn, repaint the front door, and other things that will make the walkway look inviting.
DON'T: Take staging personally
Don't get offended if your realtor or a professional staging service asks you to take down paintings or move furniture. They're not insulting your personal taste but thinking about the prospective buyer. These decisions are not personal. They're not dissing your style or your home's previous layout. The housing market is extremely competitive, and it is your realtor's job to make your home look as appealing as possible to a broad audience.
DON'T: Spend money on significant renovations
By that same token, don't feel obligated to shell out hundreds of dollars on a new furniture set or significant home renovations. Save your time and energy for your new home and focus on decluttering and making small fixes.
DON'T: Assume your home is perfect as it is
It's hard to look at a place you've lived for years with your family objectively. You might see a cozy, warm living room where you spent countless hours with your family, but a buyer may see flaws and disorganization. That's why it's so important to trust your realtor and believe in their ability to make your property look the best it possibly can before it hits the market.
DON'T: Push furniture against the walls
In most cases, a professional stager will take care of arranging and rearranging furniture, but if you're making adjustments on your own, make sure you keep in mind how you're using the space. Don't block walkways and make people navigate clunky chairs and couches, but don't push everything against the wall. Anchor your room with an area rug and a simple setup that makes the space look bright, light, and airy.
DON'T: Let pets run around
It should go without saying but keep your pets out of the space once you're showing your house. Dogs and cats leave hair behind and all kinds of funky odors. Plus, you don't know whether a buyer has allergies that could ruin the entire experience.