If you've found yourself binge watching HGTV at any point in your life--and, admit it, we all have--you are probably fairly familiar with the idea of staging a home for sale. In fact, some popular home shows spend their time teaching people how to transform homes that aren't showing well into quick-selling masterpieces.
The research supports the effort and sometimes small additional expense behind staging your home when you're serious about selling. Most buyers are looking for something that's "move-in ready" and staged homes tend to sell for higher prices and move off the market faster than those that have not been staged. But how can you do it yourself? I have been very blessed to work with a brilliant home stager, Shirley Marbach, who I considered to be the Queen of Staging. She has taught me, over the years, some great tips that I have seen work for my sellers over and over again.
Less is More
When you are selling your home, your goal is to appeal to as many possible buyers as you can, and clearing the clutter is the key way to do that. Since you're already moving, pack away the extras and store them. Think especially of knick knacks, extra books and personal items, anything fragile or valuable, and anything that features your family.
When a potential buyer walks into your home, you want them to be able to picture themselves and their family living in your home. As hard as it may be to take down those adorable fingerpaintings or pictures of the grandkids, you don't want the cute kids to distract from the spacious kitchen or the incredible views of the backyard.
Set Up Every Room For Its Intended Purpose
Take a look at this kitchen. All that's been done to it is a bit of staging, to help you see the possibilities of each space. Even if you aren't using that breakfast bar as anything other than a place to drop your keys and cell phone, it's a great selling point. Turning on lights, showing the spacious counters by placing nice looking canisters, and adding some greenery suddenly turns that beautiful place into a kitchen you can see yourself cooking in.
I love this picture, because it shows that staging doesn't have to be expensive or even time-consuming. If you have a guest room that has been used as something different, perhaps as a home office or a hobby room, but want to showcase it for what it can be for a buyer, do you have to buy a lot of extra furniture? No! This simple, inexpensive solution allows a visitor to see the room for what it is without costing you a lot of extra money.
One of my most recent sellers did an absolutely beautiful job of staging their home. When you watch this virtual tour, you can see that they have beautifully simplified their home. No clutter, no personal touches that might distract from the buyer's experience--just a beautiful home that demonstrates the space and the purpose of each room.
It can be hard to see your home as no longer your own, but that attitude, combined with the right staging, is what's going to help you sell your home and move on to your next adventure as quickly as possible.