Staging is just a con, right? It’s just something realtors and stagers and interior designers (that’s me!) do to make more money. Who wouldn’t love your home just the way you are living in it?
The living room is set up perfectly for play time and TV watching. The dining room table is a great drop zone and the pile of shoes by the backdoor convey casual vibes. Already prepared for the next family!
Here’s why you shouldn’t stage your home:
- it’s already professionally styled
- the rooms are photograph ready
- everything is in it’s place and I mean absolutely no clutter
- your family puts things back where they belong every time
- and HGTV is setting up outside to film a reveal scene (by the way they stage all of those)
If that’s not your house, here’s what you can do to stage or at least make an effort to prep your home for sale.
How To Stage Your Home
1. Firstly, understand that selling your home is an emotional decision. It’s also a business. Don’t take any advice or instruction personal.
2. Have someone who will give you an honest opinion on your house. For instance, that can be a friend, realtor or me, an interior designer/stager.
3. Know what your budget is for getting your home ready. Make a list of things that NEED to be done (primary) and a list that SHOULD be done (secondary). Also, a list of IF THERE IS TIME/MONEY (not as important).
4. Cleaning and regular maintenance will save you over replacing everything. If you are in the market to buy, do you want a move-in ready house or one where you have to fix things?
5. Curb Appeal: The outside of your house is the first thing people see whether it’s online or in person. If it’s not in your budget for landscaping, make sure weeds are pulled and the grass is cut. It’s the little things.
6. Staging your furniture is different than living with your furniture. Set up your furniture so that your room looks bigger; larger pieces further away from the entrance to the room and a TV is not necessary. Be ok with some discomfort. It’s just until you sell.
7. Start packing. Get your mind set that you are moving. Also, it cleans out your closets and cabinets. Try to have storage places no more than 1/2 full and organized. It gives the idea that there is more than enough storage, but also that it’s in a place where you use it.
8. Remove some personal items. It’s understandable that you live in your home so family photos in a wall gallery are fine. The fridge covered in appointments and report cards make it hard for others to see themselves living there.
9. Prepare you home by cleaning. For example, pretend like your mother-in-law is coming to visit. Or someone you actually deep clean the house for who will go through your closets and open your cabinets. Because day to day clutter is daily, make sure you keep up on it as you might not get a big heads up on showings.
10. Add some green. Live or faux plants breathe life into rooms so make sure it looks like a room people want to live in. Faux are better if you aren’t going to be living there. Or you have a tendency to forget to water them.
11. Paint touchups work if you have the right color paint. If it’s not in the budget to repaint, at least clean the walls. If one wall is bad, make repairs and just repaint that one wall. Don’t make little spots all over if they don’t match.
12. Don’t invest in new furniture. If your furniture isn’t in good condition, rent some or have a stager (like me) bring in pieces. Paying twice for moving and having extra wear and tear on new pieces isn’t worth it.
13. Use a light touch when making your home smell good. Cleaning is the most effective. Overpowering smells can make buyers think you are covering up something. Also, pets and their items should be removed for showings. Smells can be imagined if people see food dishes and kennels.
14. It’s ok to have boxes packed up and ready to go. People understand you’re moving. Just make sure to keep things organized such as neatly stacking things in the garage instead of having random packaging in each room.
15. Treat every showing like it’s the first and last. Make the same impression for everyone because you don’t know what will make someone decide to buy your home.
A few more tips…
- have a separate set of towels just for showings so you don’t have to think about fresh ones (or worry your family used them)
- keep a couple bed pillows in fresh covers ready to swap out the ones you are sleeping on
- collect all bathroom clutter such as toothbrushes, medications and product bottles to store in a tote and take with you so you aren’t organizing the bathroom everyday
- remove valuables or secure them when you have showings and especially during open houses
- looking for more tips? Check out this post on living room staging
Need help to stage your home before putting it on the market? I do walkthroughs up to full stagings. Check out my projects to see how your home can look. I also have a store if you want to DIY your own staging. Fresh accessories always finish off a home!