Staging your home properly deserves your serious effort and time because if you do it right, it can pay off big time with more cash in your pocket from a higher selling price.
Proper home staging is all about emotion for the home buyer and making them feel a certain way when they walk through your home. This is what 90% of home sellers fail to do and as a result it takes them months longer to sell their home.
But it’s easy to do if you know what to do!
Pay close attention to my 9 home staging tips below and you’ll sell your home faster than you can put the ‘for sale’ sign in the front yard.
Tip #1 – De-Filth, De-Clutter and De-Stink
This is one of those ‘no-brainer’ home staging tips but it takes some grunt work. You need to clean your house from top to bottom, pack up all your extra junk lying around and get rid of any nasty smells lingering in the air or carpet (i.e. animal urine? ).
You may not have any ‘drop dead on your feet’ smells to remove but I’m sure you have plenty of junk you’ve collected over the years. Pack it up in boxes and rent a storage unit if you need to. Get it out of sight for when home buyers walk through your home. You need your home looking as spacious and un-cluttered as possible.
Tip #2 – Are You Good at Tetris?
Depending on how long you’ve lived in your house, your furniture may be in some strange places and positions. You’ll want to re-arrange it so each room looks like what you’d see in those new construction model homes. If the space looks small, move things around or take unneeded furniture out that’s not essential.
For example, you may not need 2 dressers in the kids bedroom and you can probably find a better place for your 50” widescreen plasma tv than in front of the bay window in the living room.
Tip #3 – Sorry…. Your Wedding Photos WON’T Sell Your Home
The big idea behind these home staging tips is to present your home in a way where home buyers can picture themselves living there. That’s your goal. If they can, you’re on your way to selling your home. But if they can’t, it may be because of your wedding, vacation and family photos hanging on the walls and sitting on your dresser.
I know you can’t imagine why someone wouldn’t want to see you and kids at Disneyland last summer but it turns home buyers off. As hard as it is, pack up all of your personal pictures so your home is more appealing and neutral to home buyers.
Tip #4 – Movie Props?
No, you don’t actually want to stage your house with movie props. But you do want to grab décor props to spice up your house such as a fake bowl of fruit, fake cheese and a knife sitting on a cutting board, freshly ironed hand towels for the kitchen and bathrooms, designer pillows to throw on the master bed, place settings with dinnerware on the kitchen table and/or breakfast bar, etc.
If you walk through a couple model homes, you’ll have décor and prop ideas coming out your ears. New home builders are masters at staging homes perfectly so copy what they do and buy a few cheap props at Target or Crate and Barrel. It’ll make a world of difference in selling your home quickly.
Tip #5 – Let There Be Light
One of the worst mistakes you can make is letting home buyers walk through a dark, dingy and depressing home. If you do, don’t be surprised if they walk out in less than 3 minutes.
Let all the light come in through the windows. If you need to change your drapes or shades, do it. If you have furniture blocking a window, move it somewhere else. Turn on virtually every light in the house when a buyer is walking through.
If your light bulbs are too bright or too dull, change them out. You need to create a comfortable atmosphere for home buyers; not remind them of the Halloween dungeon they took their kids to.
Tip #6 – What Did You Say?
Maybe you’ve lived in your house for so long that you don’t hear the annoying road noise, the gun range down the hill or the planes flying overhead every 3 hours but buyers sure will.
If you have outside noise that needs muffling, one the best home staging tips is to play light music inside the house. You don’t need to blast it; just turn it up loud enough to drown out as much of the noise as you can. Of course this may not work too well if you live next door to railroad tracks but it’ll help in most situations.
Tip #7 – Make Home Buyers Fall Asleep
When do we feel the most comfortable? When the temperature is so perfect that you want to curl up and take a nap, right? You don’t want home buyers dozing off on your bed but you do want to make them super comfortable.
A big mistake sellers make while they’re gone at work and Realtors are showing their homes to buyers is to turn the heat or air conditioning off (depending on the season). No, no, no! Set your thermostat to just the right temperature so prospective home buyers feel amazingly relaxed. When you’re somewhere that’s too hot or too cold, you want to leave right? Don’t let that place be your house!
Tip #8 – Fall in Love with ‘Rent-a-Center’?
If you have that nasty plastic covering protecting your 30 year old sofa or a red, green, purple and blue striped recliner that was clearly purchased during the Great Depression, consider renting some new furniture…..please!
With beds and tables, it’s easy and inexpensive to cover them with fancy bedspreads and elegant table clothes. You may be able to do the same thing with your living room furniture but if not, spend $9/week and rent a new couch with end tables. Home buyers want to see ‘new’ things in your house, even if they’re not actually getting them.
You know how there’s a difference between walking into Grandma’s house with her décor from 1942 and walking into your rich Uncle Bob’s home furnished with an imported Italian furniture collection? You want home buyers feeling like they’re walking into Uncle Bob’s house, ok?
Tip #9 – ‘Toll House’ Cookies Can Sell Your Home
The last of my home staging tips that will seal the deal for home buyers to make an offer is to bake cookies for them. Yes, I’m dead serious.
Imagine lying on the sofa watching tv and all of the sudden you smell delicious, homemade cookies baking. Your emotions immediately change and you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, right? The same principle can help sell your house.
If you’re holding an open house or you know buyers are walking through your home at 2pm, bake a few cookies just before folks arrive. That scrumptious cookie aroma will linger in the house and make home buyers fall in love with your home (assuming you’ve completed the first 8 home staging tips ).
It might seem overwhelming but go through each of my top 9 home staging tips one by one and get started. It’ll take some time to get your house prepared to sell but it’ll be well worth it. And in the current real estate market, you need every advantage you can get!