Home staging tips for sellers
Preparing your home for sale shouldn’t be a headache. If the property is your main residence, chances are very little will need to be done to get your property ready for viewers. Here, we’ll explore the ways you could – or should – get your home ready for sale by making it more appealing and potentially increasing your asking price.
It’s a good idea to get your head around the idea that you’ll need to maintain the process of staging your home right up until it’s sold if you want success. We’ll highlight the areas to address in order to maximise your home’s potential.
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Things to think about when staging your home
Before you go getting the builders round or start buying ornaments, it’s vital that you first take some time to assess your home and figure out what needs attention. Try and be both impartial and practical with your approach. And always try to be honest with yourself about what you need to do.
Here are some things to think about:
1. Know your market
Who exactly are you staging for? The needs of families, first-time buyers and the over 60s will all be vastly different from one another, and as such will likely have different expectations. Identifying your potential customer will help you stage your home and sell it to the appropriate audience.
2. Do an inventory
Next, take the time to go round, room-by-room, and curate a snagging list of things that need addressing in your home. From peeling wallpaper to grease stains on the cooker, prioritise what you can fix and clean.
Now you have a list, put it in order. Decide which are quick fixes that you can sort yourself and those which need professional attention. This is also the time to work out how much these tasks will cost.
Top Tip: When working out your priorities, be sure to consider which rooms are the most important and get them sorted quickly. Typically bathrooms and kitchens are the biggest selling points, so it stands to reason that these should be fixed first.
What do you want to achieve from home staging?
Ideal Home says that prospective buyers form an opinion with the first 7-10 seconds of stepping in the front door. The aim of any successful home staging should be to make your property memorable for a good reason. As such, your modifications should be tasteful. More often than not, the best amendments are the simplest, like cleaning the oven or giving the bathroom a lick of paint.
Speaking of the bathroom…
Themes – in any room – should be avoided at all costs because they run the risk of putting off potential buyers. You may well live by the sea and want your bathroom to reflect that. However, is rope and seashells on a blue and white colour palette an entirely original concept?
Themes are distracting. They draw buyers’ attention from what they should be focusing on; the room itself and potential they have to live in your property. As such, your home should be a blank canvas that inspires potential buyers to make an offer, not one that reminds them someone still lives here.
Top tip: There’s a difference between fashion and style. Fashion is often about making a statement and expires over time, like avocado bathroom suites and Artex ceilings. Investing in timeless and neutral styles and schemes will give your home more longevity.
The biggest gains start with a good ol’ clear out. Don’t wait until spring either. If you haven’t seen Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix or read her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, then please do so. The principle is simple; if something is neither useful or brings you joy, then get rid of it.
Truth be told, clutter is just another distraction for your potential buyer. They want to see past your belongings and admire the size of the room, or the lovely view from your window, rather than the hundreds of family photos or your collection of trinkets and various paraphernalia.
What’s more, with all the clutter gone, you’ll be grateful come moving day when you’ve got less to pack up and transport to your new home.
Pay attention to the floors
For some reason, many people neglect their floors. From, carpets and rugs to creaky floorboards and cracked tiles – you could make sure they're all ship-shape ahead of your viewings.
We’re not saying to go out and invest in brand new carpets, laminate flooring and tiles – unless of course, you have to – but a bit of TLC does indeed go a long way. Regrouting your tiles and waxing or staining wooden floors will certainly reinvigorate a tired room. Likewise, shampooing and hoovering can breath new life into an old carpet.
If your budget won’t allow for a new carpet, rugs might be a suitable alternative. They tend to be significantly cheaper and can easily cover a multitude of sins. Oh, and you can take them with you when you leave. Rugs are also a great way of defining spaces and emphasizing size. Plus, they’re also a nifty way of adding colour to a room when the walls are painted neutral, which leads us to…
Spruce up your walls
Freshly painted walls not only look brilliant but smell fresh and make a room feel brand new. When painting, bear in mind that tones should be sophisticated and neutral. Love it or hate it, magnolia is warm and can be bought in bulk relatively cheaply. Failing that, light grey, pure white or slightly off-white, all look clean and modern.
If walls are poor quality, there’s no need to call the plasterer unless you really have to. Wallpaper is relatively quick to hang and covers many a scuff, unsightly mark or garish colour.
Top tip: Avoid transfers and murals. Yes, this might be a home built on love and laughter, but these motifs aren’t to everyone’s taste and so are best saved for your new home where you’ll be able to appreciate them.
When it comes to windows, there isn’t much to say other than that blinds are more often favoured over net curtains. They’re modern, sophisticated and generally cleaner. If you’re not overlooked or have a stunning view, why not show it off and go with a nude window? An amazing panorama of a city skyline or the sea trumps curtains and louvres any day.
There’s many an argument about what to do with doors when staging your home. Firstly, give them a fresh lick of paint and WD40 the hinges where necessary.
Some say that closed doors are a great way of offering a big reveal to your potential buyers while keeping their attention focused on one thing at a time. Others say that open doors give the sense of more space and allow for more light, as well as generally being more inviting. Whatever you decide is best for your home, always let your guests enter the room first and go from there.
Decorative furnishings and more...
Mirrors and artwork are fine to display throughout your home. Mirrors reflect light and give a room the illusion of more space. If you’re unsure about artwork and ornaments, fruit bowls or floral arrangements are wonderful touches. Plants are generally a fantastic way to bring colour and life into your home.
On the subject of artwork… try and keep it neutral and tasteful. If you’re doubting whether the life drawing of your husband will shock and offend potential buyers, it might be an idea to play it safe and store it until you move for the time being.
Top tip: Remove unnecessary furniture from any room and pull large pieces away from the walls slightly as they’ll both help create the illusion of more space. Also, learn how to dress a shelf. This will ramp up the sophistication levels and prevent the cluttered look.
When it comes to your bedroom, make your bed. It’s the focal point of the room and therefore should be tidy. Nothing looks more appealing than a freshly made bed with clean sheets and crisp linens. Plus, they smell fantastic.
Speaking of smells… cooking fish or making a fresh egg mayonnaise sandwich might not be the best foods to whip up when scheduling viewings because the pong tends to linger. Do little things; take the bins out, prepare a fruit salad, run the tumble dryer or brew some coffee. Don’t go out of your way, just be considerate.
Summary: tips for staging your home
All-in-all, your house must look lived in – showrooms are great but can be intimidating or even seen as a bit sterile. Your home should be a welcoming and pleasurable experience for viewers. You’re presenting your house as a home to the next buyer and should seek to inspire them to want to make an offer. Appease the senses where you can and help them to make a connection with the property. Follow these steps and you’re on to a winner.
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