While Staging is an art that cannot be captured in a generic set of rules that apply to every home for sale, there are common themes among the many staging consultations that I perform each year. I thought that I would share the top five with my readers:
1) Remove all “non-decorative” items from two key selling areas of the home, the kitchen and master bath. This rule applies to secondary bathrooms as well and includes personal hygiene products, medications, trashcans, and/or cleaning products. These items prevent sellers from imagining themselves in your home and remind buyers that the home is used. Solution: Purchase some inexpensive caddies to organize and store these items inside your cabinetry.
2) Show rooms for their intended purpose. Just the other week I consulted on a home in Mooresville that had their formal dining room set up as an office. This sends the message to potential buyers that there is not enough space in this house to have an office elsewhere, and they may not realize the intended purpose of the room.
3) A house on the market shows better if it is furnished. Staging vacant rooms helps define the purpose and size of each room, creates a more welcoming atmosphere, and demonstrates how prospective buyers could position their furniture in each given space.
4) Paint each room in the home a warm, yet neutral color in order to appeal to the largest audience of potential buyers. This is a small investment for the seller to make, but it is well worth the expense. If a home’s colors are too taste-specific, buyers may keep looking at other properties thinking of the additional amount of time and money required to make the home their own. When it comes to choosing paint colors, I do want to point out that there is a difference between neutral and sterile. I typically recommend Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige as a good “go-to” color for selling your home.
5) Last but not least, depersonalize your home. Pack up all tchotchkes, knick-knacks, and personal collections; store pet paraphernalia for MLS photos and showings; reduce the amount of personal photos in your home (I typically tell sellers one to two photos per space is ok). This will allow buyers to focus on the selling features of your home rather than your personal property.
It is hard to be unbiased and critical when it comes to our own homes. Over time, we tend to collect a lot of “stuff” which eventually fades into the background where we don’t even notice it anymore. By bringing in a professional, you will get a fresh set of eyes that can bring you the perspective of a potential buyer. After all, your home is your biggest investment.