When you’re ready to find a new house, the first thing you have to worry about is selling your current home. As a veteran homeowner now, you might know exactly what you’re looking for in a new home. You’ll have things you love about your old house that you want to replicate, and things you dislike that you’ll want to change or update.
If you’ve never sold a home before, however (or it’s been a while), you might need a few pointers when it comes to staging.
Tip #1: Don’t Forget the Yard
The first thing people will see when they approach your house is the front yard. Even if your house itself is in perfect condition, expertly organized, freshly painted, etc., the state of your yard can negate that completely if you’re not careful. If your front yard isn’t well-manicured, cared for, appropriately landscaped, and clutter-free, you’ll lose that vital positive first impression.
So take care to mow the lawn, dead-head the flowerbeds, and put the toys and bikes away. Even if no one is scheduled to come by, it’s important to keep the yard orderly at all times. People may decide to do a drive-by without calling ahead first, and you don’t want your yard to be caught unawares.
Tip #2: Clean Out the Junk Room
Everyone has that one room that collects clutter. Whether it’s the spare bedroom, the office, or the garage, make sure it’s cleaned out and organized before you show the house. Find homes for all the extra “stuff” that has accumulated, even if it’s just in a temporary storage unit. Even one cluttered or disorganized room can be enough to put a potential homebuyer off.
Tip #3: Check Lighting
You want your house to appear as bright, vibrant, and appealing as possible, and lighting can be all you need to achieve the desired effect. Many homes are improperly lighted, and it’s a simple enough fix; you don’t have to rewire your rooms or add extra ceiling lights that you won’t even be able to enjoy.
Instead, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and buy a few standing or accent lamps for darker rooms.
Tip #4: Use Paint Colors
Use your paint to your advantage. You don’t necessarily have to repaint all the rooms in your house a neutral beige or white, but you should definitely touch up any scuffed or peeling walls. Neutral colors are the safest option, but as long as the colors aren’t dated, you should be fine with keeping the pink accent wall in your little girl’s room or the bright red one in the laundry room.
Prospective buyers want to be able to visualize themselves in your home, but they also want to see that it has personality and vitality. Go neutral, but don’t go boring.
On another note, if you’re trying to make a space appear bigger, paint it the same color as the adjoining walls. Tying two rooms together will make them feel more like one big space, as will matching the color of your walls to your drapes.
Tip #5: Update Kitchen
The kitchen is still the heart and soul of a home, and you want to make it as appealing as possible. Even if potential buyers don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen, dated cabinets and tile might be an unforgivable turn-off.
If you can’t afford to completely replace your cabinets, invest in new door fronts or knobs. Give them a fresh new coat of paint or a new stain. You might be able to get new fronts for your oven and dishwasher as well, both of which will modernize your kitchen. Give the walls a fresh coat of paint, arrange fresh flowers on the table or counters, and make sure the lighting is good.
Tip #6: Don’t Overcrowd (or Overcorrect)
Less is better. But not too much less. Overcrowding a room with overlarge furniture or too many decorations will make the room appear smaller than it is.
Don’t overcorrect, though – emptying a room too much will make it look barren and unlivable. Moving the furniture away from the walls to emphasize traffic flow. Repositioning couches, chairs, and tables into cozy, organized arrangements will make the space seem bigger, homier, and more attractive.
Once you’ve successfully staged your home, all that’s left is to find the new home of your dreams. This isn’t always easy, but knowing the tips to a successful staging will help you look at other homes with a clearer eye. Who knows…as you look for a new home, you might learn a few tricks from your fellow homeowners.