The act of preparing a home for sale has slowly turned into a veritable art form. If you’ve ever attended an open house or toured properties online, then you’ll know what we’re talking about. Home staging doesn't just help the seller find a buyer faster, but it also boosts the sale price. There are two possible scenarios: one in which the residence is vacant at the time of the sale, and the other in which you still live in it. In both cases, some tender loving care can make a big difference in the eyes of prospective buyers.
The main goal of home staging, or setting up a house for sale is to make viewers and potential buyers picture themselves living there. This is where a lot of people make mistakes; they strip down a home to its essentials, removing any hint of personality, thinking that this will help sell it faster. The truth is that people are more drawn to a home that looks lived in so that they can feel at home and get a taste of what it would be like to live there.
This is why we think that everyone should know some essential home staging tips and tricks. These suggestions can help you sell a property quicker. If you don’t have the time or the eye for such details, then you might want to hire a home staging company. People working at such firms have studied interior design or have an excellent eye when it comes to bringing out the best features of a space. But even if you do choose to delegate this process to a professional, these are useful tips to keep in mind for the future.
Cleanliness is essential
A clean space is a welcoming space, even more so when it's a place that's intended to serve as a home. Remember that feeling when you go on vacation, and you rent a charming bungalow or cabin in the mountains. When you first set foot inside, everything is so sparkling clean and fresh, that you cannot refrain yourself from thinking - Oh, I could just live here! The same psychology applies to home staging, so be sure to give your home a deep clean. From shining floors to gleaming windows to clean counters; every surface should sparkle. This will tell prospective buyers that you've taken good care of the property.
Repair, repaint and replace
Tiny nicks, scratches, holes, and whatever else you've been meaning to take care of but haven't will need to be addressed before the showing. Repair or remove any pieces of furniture that have been scratched or gnawed on by pets. Don't shy away from a touch of paint where it's necessary, especially if there are areas with chipped paint. Moreover, if you have rooms that are painted in dark colors, consider brightening them up with whites or beiges. The main idea is to show potential buyers that you've maintained the property well.
What you wish to sell is space, and too many items scattered around take up space. Decluttering is the simplest way to make your home look more spacious and more desirable to those coming inside. Designed To Appeal President Donna M. Dazzo recommends not going overboard with this step, though. "The less furniture, the better, but not to the point where it removes functions from a room, e.g., a dining area that is needed to show that there is a place to eat if the space doesn’t have a separate dining room, or to the point where the room appears sparse and soulless. But it is important to remove personal clutter, excess books on bookshelves, excess decorative objects, etc. Keep the shades and drapes/curtains open to allow in natural light."
Keep in mind that buyers will be opening closets and cabinets, and they might even look under the sink and explore all other corners of your property. This is actually a good sign though, as it shows that they're interested in the home and wish to discover more about it, so don't leave anything to chance.
Highlight the best features
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's important to highlight any unique features of your home. Prospective buyers are going to be looking at dozens of properties so make sure yours stands out by showcasing the best things about it. For example, perhaps you have large windows looking out to a lush garden; if that's the case, make sure you don't have anything blocking the view, such as a large sofa or a TV stand. Instead, try to place an armchair there, angled toward the window, and move the problematic furniture piece elsewhere. Or, perhaps your place has beautiful hardwood floors, so make them visible - replace the big area rug with a smaller one and rearrange the furniture. The idea is to draw attention to the best features of your home and show them off in the best possible light.
Show off art, not personal photos
Like we’ve mentioned earlier in this article, it’s crucial that potential buyers can picture themselves living in the home, so it’s essential to, let’s say, get yourself out of that picture. The smoothest way to do this is to preserve the charm and style of your home while minimizing the personal touches that shout that this home belongs to the seller, not the buyer. Replace any personal photos that are hanging on the walls with paintings or pictures of landscapes, especially if those are the first things people see when they walk into a room. That goes for your children's art you've been keeping on your fridge, too.
Rearrange the furniture
Keep in mind that furniture that runs from one end of a wall to the other shrinks the room, so try to rearrange your furniture in such a way that you create as much open, walkable space as possible. This allows buyers to navigate the home without bumping into anything and also helps them better visualize their own furniture in each room. Anything damaged or not matching with the rest of the furniture in the room should be taken out. This doesn’t mean that you’re deceiving the viewer by doing this. As Donna M. Dazzo puts it, ‘if the space is vacant, it should most certainly be staged for the photographs/viewings to show scale and purpose; e.g., how big is that room really and can a living and dining area fit? What’s the purpose of this room, is it a living room or a bedroom?’
If all this sounds overly complicated to you, and you don’t have the necessary time or willingness to stage your home for sale yourself, then don’t panic, as there are a lot of professional home staging companies in NYC to choose from. We’ve selected a few suggestions, find them in the table below.