There's no doubt about it. Putting your home on the market can be extremely stressful. In many cases it is the biggest investment you have made in your life and you want to be sure to get through the process quickly and having made some money. Staging your home properly can help you sell your home faster and, in some cases, at a higher price. There are many tips and tricks out there on how best to stage your home. We've consolidated some of these ideas into the four D's of staging your home to help guide you through the process of attracting potential buyers.
You have spent a lot of time in your home and have most likely put your blood, sweat and tears into making it just that, a home for you. When you put it on the market, you have basically entered a competition and staging helps to ensure that you bring your "A" game. Staging can be difficult for some people because they feel like they are erasing their imprint on their home. It's important to remember that you need to detach yourself from your home if you really want to help it sell. You want other people to visualize themselves living in your home. It's not personal, but it is an important step.
All the things that could distract a potential buyer from visualizing themselves in your home need to be removed. Photographs, trophies and awards, posters and knickknacks, and anything else that is exclusively yours should be placed in a box and stored. Depending on the size and quantity of these items, a great place to store them is in the unused space under the beds. Storage containers specifically designed for under beds will protect them from dust and keep things looking organized should a nosy buyer take a peek.
Help the buyer focus on what is valuable about your home: plenty of space, the open concept, professional kitchen, amazing en-suite bathrooms, two-car garage with workshop, a backyard for entertaining, whatever makes your home desirable. It is hard to see any of this if they are overloaded by clutter when scanning a room. Furniture that is not proportional to the room can also overwhelm the room and eat up the valuable space buyers are seeking. Taking some simple steps will help to organize and showcase your home to a potential buyer. Remember to keep it simple.
- Clear off the countertops in bathrooms and kitchens and leave only the essentials such as soap dish, towels, coffee maker, etc.
- Clean out and organize closets. Resist the temptation to use closets as storage for your clutter. Buyers will open doors to see how much storage is available in closets. The roomier, the better.
- Minimize art and decorations. Consider displaying artwork that is not too taste specific such as landscapes or abstracts that use a particular color in the room.
- Rearrange furniture to free up space. Give rooms an identifiable purpose, such as an office or craft room by using furniture from other rooms. If you have large pieces of furniture and need to free up space, consider renting a storage unit to store those pieces and any boxes resulting from your decluttering.
- Clean up the yard – front and back. Rake leaves, mow the lawn, and put away yard tools and any toys that may have accumulated outside.
- Once all the clutter is managed and rooms have been rearranged, make sure the space is clean and shining. Wipe down, scrub, vacuum, and polish. Sweat equity goes a long way.
Now it is important to really survey your home with fresh eye. Elicit help from a friend with a critical eye. They will help you spot areas that may need some extra attention such as paint touch ups or repairs. Here are some details to consider:
- Spend some time on the curb appeal of your home: plant colorful flowers or add potted plants to the front of the home for pops of color, stage a seating area on the front porch if you have one, touch up the paint on your mail box if needed, wipe down the front door and remove any handprints from the glass panes.
- Up the wattage on your light bulbs to increase the brightness throughout the house. This will be particularly helpful for showings on a gray day.
- Accessorize the right way. With a fresh palate after cleaning and decluttering, add back a few smart textures and elements such as throw blankets. Stagers suggest grouping accessories in odd numbers and by unifying elements through color, shape, or texture.
- Before a showing, open the windows for a few minutes to get fresh air flowing and place fresh cut flowers or branches appropriate for the season in vases in your kitchen and bathroom. Have the table set for a dinner party to deliver the wow factor.