To us, staging your home to sell is similar to going on a first date.
You set up this date in hopes to meet your future spouse. You don’t know if that’ll be the case but there’s always the hope, right? If you’re hoping to land “the one”, chances are you’re going to put some effort into prepping for this first date. We feel the same is true when it comes to staging your home to sell.
When you open the door to show potential buyers your space, there are ways to make it look its absolute best. Basically, your home is essentially going on its first date with his next buyer. And if all goes well after the first date, this new family will fall in love with your home and make an offer!
Okay, the good news is that staging a home to sell is not quite as nerve-racking as the dating world. All the same, here are five easy guidelines to prepare your home.
1. Reimagine Your Home Minimalistic
Removing clutter is by far the most important item on your staging to-do list.
Buyers want to envision themselves inside of where they will live. Having lots of little knick-knacks or too much clutter on open surfaces is an instant turn off to potential buyers, so eliminate the extra stuff. Even if they know it’ll go away, it’s distracting. To avoid this potential deal breaker, try to clear as many of the surfaces in your home as possible. If your kitchen has a lot of stuff on the counter, pare down and only leave out the essentials. If your dresser has loads of accessories, get rid of them. The less stuff you have laying out, the better!
2. Remove ALL Photos of You And Your Family
It’s really important to get rid of as many photos of people/family around the house before the showing.
It may be unreasonable to remove all personal photos on the walls throughout the house, but try to get rid of as many as you can. You want this new family to come into the home and picture themselves (pun intended) living right here from the moment they step inside. If the house is cluttered with memories from another family, this could rob them of that gut feeling and derail them from thinking that this home was made for them.
3. Pressure Wash Your Sidewalk And Driveway
You may think the walkway up to your front door is nice and pretty, but have you taken a pressure hose to it before? The difference between a freshly hosed off walkway and one that has never been manicured is night and day! A pressure hose can range anywhere between $25-100 at a hardware store, but almost nothing else you could buy would have a bigger impact.
If you want this new family to envision themselves living in the home right away, then it’s up to you to set the scene by staging how amazing their life would be if they lived here… that again means no random clutter room, no unused room and minimizing unlocked potential. Even if there is no furniture during your showing, it should still be super obvious what the potential of any given space might be.
If it’s a nice day, open the windows and the curtains so they can see the bright light streaming in and the birds chirping outside. If it’s a cold winter day, turn on the cozy fire and strategically place a cozy blanket, book and cookies in the area. Whatever you can do to make the home feel like it’s clean yet still cozy, that’s a great way to make a first impression. Just imagine it’s like a mock room from Ikea.
Getting your home sold faster will ultimately save you money (potentially a lot!) so investing some time to make a great first impression is well worth it in the long run. Even though you probably have so many other things on your mind, it is important to go the extra mile staging.
Adding pleasant aromas into the home is a great way to do this; You can inject these scents by baking fresh cookies or even just lighting a great candle. Buying some fresh flowers to display throughout the house is also a great idea to add a pop of color without any of the clutter. Some people also play light, relaxing music (not too loudly!). We think anything to add that little extra touch of “home sweet home” is well worth the time – it’ll definitely be worth the money.
With these five tips, we are confident that your home is bound to make an amazing first impression and hopefully find that special buyer who is interested in taking their “first date” to the next level.
We’d love to hear what you guys think too! Are there things in an open house or showing that are an instant turn-off? Are there qualities of a house that make you fall in love at first sight? Are we straight crazy for comparing home staging to the dating game? Wait, maybe don’t answer that last one…