How to Stage a House Properly in 5 Simple Steps
Moving is one of the most stressful parts of life. By completing these 5 steps before prospective buyers view your home, you can rest assured you are putting the best version of your house on the market.
Staging a house is a strategic process that involves cleaning and rearranging the inside and outside of your home. Some of you are probably thinking why do I need to stage my home when I will be emptying the place before anyone moves in? The answer is simple: a staged home invites buyers to envision themselves living in the space. If your house is a mess and smells like kitty litter, buyers will be distracted from its genuine value. Even if you keep a tidy household, it’s not ready for buyers to visit.
While it can be a bit time consuming, it is well worth it. The National Association of Realtors reported that staging a home greatly decreases the amount of time the home is on the market. If that fact is not compelling enough, the same report shows that staging increased the number of money buyers offered between one and five percent (compared to similar homes on the market that weren’t staged).
1. Bye, Bye Clutter
Say goodbye to the refrigerator magnets and picture frames. Decluttering your home is the first and foremost step to a perfectly staged home. This does not mean shoving all of your clothes and knick-knacks into the closets and cabinets – buyers look in there too!
- You should remove all personal items that are not pristine or necessary (dingy bath towels, greasy cookbooks, etc.)
- Clear all of your surfaces; this gives the potential buyer space to imagine what they’ll put there next. (You can leave a bowl of fruit in the kitchen or a candle on your bedside table, for example.)
- Remove any furniture that is not required, or may be out of place. (Take your desk out of your dining room.)
If purging all of your ancillary household items sounds like a nightmare, think of it as a head start on packing!
2. Deep clean
After your house is decluttered, the next step is to do a deep clean. Start by opening up all of the windows to get fresh air circulating throughout the entire house. Nothing will put off a buyer more than an unfamiliar must. Odors from pets, food, and bathrooms should all be eliminated. Spraying a mild air freshener is always a good idea, too.
With a fresh scent in the air, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. From the grout in your shower to the streaks on your windows, every surface in your property should be sparkling. Bathroom/kitchen appliances and all countertops should be spotless. You’ll need a dust rag and a vacuum for the finishing touches. If you have a large home, it’s worth hiring help! It’s important for potential buyers to feel they’re moving into a space that has been maintained.
3. Curb appeal
Although it is not always the right thing to do, humans will naturally judge a book by its cover. This means potential buyers make their first impressions of a home before they enter. If a buyer pulls up to a visibly unkept exterior, they won’t be as enticed to see what’s outside. Here are some things to keep in mind when increasing your home’s curb appeal.
- Mow the lawn!***
- Power-wash your house and walkways.
- Clean your windows.
- Make sure your street address number is visible.
- Trim overgrown bushes.
- Plant flowers.
- Add a welcome mat!
4. Optimize your space
You decluttered in step one, so the room that used to hold all your random unpacked boxes and racks of clothes should already be empty. Now you need to turn that unused room into a functional space. This does not have to mean designing an entire room! Don’t be afraid to keep it simple by adding a chair and desk. But you can make your home stand apart from the others even more. It’s as easy as throwing in some free weights, a jump rope, and a yoga mat to stage a home gym. You could also put down some large pillows, a shag carpet, and hanging string lights to emulate a meditation room. The possibilities are endless for this one.
5. Finishing touches
The hard part is over; the junk and gunk are gone, your exterior is gorgeous and you have repurposed the storage room. The final step to staging your home is critical. When you think you have everything just right, do a final walk through, looking at everything through a visitors lense. Be certain that all closets and cabinets are organized, all bookshelves are dusted and carpets vacuumed. Standing house plants in the entryway, flowers in a vase on the dining room table, and a plate of homemade cookies on the kitchen counter are the perfect finishing touches to your staged home. Oh, and don’t forget to take out the trash!
While it might cost you a few bucks, staging your home for potential buyers will profit you in the long run. With proven decreases in time spent on the market and increases in offers above the listing price, staging your home is a must.