After decluttering, conducting a deep clean of your home, and fixing any repairs needed, you will want to stage your home. I highly recommend that when you declutter, you also pack any items you want to take to your new home, but don’t necessarily need in the immediate future.
I have put my own homes on the market both staged and unstaged. Let me share that staged homes sell faster, 100% of the time (at least in my experience!).
Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Have you ever walked into a house that you were thinking of purchasing and it was full of the seller’s stuff everywhere? Or it was already empty? Were you able to imagine how your furniture would fit, or how you would use the space?
Viewing a house that is empty or full of someone else’s possessions makes it hard to imagine how it would look or feel with our furniture, or how it would serve our needs. This is why it is imperative that you hire a pro stager.
One lesson I learned from my pro stager is that they can help you reach the buyer that is most likely to buy your home. For example, my 2b/2.5b + den house in Bellevue, WA was a three-story townhome with a “man-cave” (den) on the bottom floor. The house was a few blocks from Microsoft, meaning the house would most likely be purchased by a single guy in the tech field, or a young couple that didn’t need the more popular 3b/2b home. The stager helped to decorate and place furniture where it would make the most sense to this type of buyer.
Decluttering will help immensely in terms of getting your place ready to stage. Your stager might suggest removing some or most of your furniture. Place them in storage. They will bring in their own furniture and decorations. If you are doing it yourself, you can rent furniture for a very low monthly fee.
Some tips to help you declutter and stage:
Lighting. Buyers want a bright, cheery space. Your agent and stager will help you maximize your space. Open drapes, and/or change them to a more sheer, lighter color to let in more light. Make sure your front porch has lighting, and leave it on at night. Buyers may drive by to check out the area and your home in the evening hours.
Furniture placement. Consider circulation and flow, and rearrange living room furniture to create an inviting space. Can people easily get around? Some furniture, but not a ton, is needed for people to be able to imagine their furniture in your home.
Paint. Does the house need a fresh coat of paint? Make sure to pick a timeless neutral color. Two of my favorites are AC-31 and AC-32 by Benjamin Moore.
Dining room table. Stage it! This looks super nice! I love it when a dining room table is staged. A few small centerpieces with fresh flowers. A full setting of plates, silverware, and napkins. Glasses. A potential buyer will envision all the dinner parties they will be hosting!
Closets. Yes, people will open your closets! Declutter and neatly organize all the contents. After location, a bright space, and kitchen, closets and storage are the next priority for most buyers.
Clearly define each space. In the house I was selling that I mentioned earlier in the article, the bottom floor had no specific purpose. It was divided into two rooms – a very large area with a wet bar surrounded by cabinets and access to a laundry room, and a smaller space with a closet and french doors opening into the lower patio.
Because of the closet, the smaller room could be considered a third bedroom, but a bedroom in the lower floor with no bathroom on that level would not work for most buyers. Instead, we turned it into a den/man-cave. The large area was turned into a media room with couches and a huge TV, plus a home gym.
Did this help? Let me know in the comments section. Next up, why you need high quality photos.