Do’s and Don’ts of Home Staging
The market is different everywhere, but the average home spends 4-6 weekson the market before getting snapped up by buyers. What is true across real estate markets is that nothing sells a property quite as well as home staging, which makes it easy for prospective buyers to imagine themselves in the space. Not only will buyers pour in, but your house will also look better in listing photos on sites like Zillow and Redfin.
In Houston, where the number of homes on the market is rising while list prices remain stagnant, staging your home to keep up with the competitive buyer’s market is a must. Because chances are, buyers can just as easily pass up your home if they can’t see past the clutter.
Read on for our do’s and don’ts of home staging.
Do’s of Home Staging
- Declutter and clean your home.
Before any buyers enter your home, put away your knick-knacks, and remove personal items like photos, laundry hampers, clothing, or personal hygiene items. You’ll also want to get rid of any piles, paperwork, or junk from your home. If you’re struggling to downsize your possessions, rent storage space while your home is on the market to simplify your decluttering process. You’ll also want to give your home a good dusting and run the vacuum cleaner before anyone sees the home.
- Paint your home in neutral colors.
It’s generally true that bold color palettes scare buyers because they don’t like thinking about how long it will take them to paint over an ugly yellow wall or the mural in your child’s room. Although you may not have time for full-on renovations, take the time to paint your home in neutral colors. This will make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves in the space.
- Stage rooms the way they are intended to be used.
You may use the extra bedroom as a knitting room, but it may be harder for buyers to imagine themselves in the space if they can’t see it as a bedroom or office. Stage each room in your house as it was intended to be used. This means that bedrooms should have a bed, dresser, and basic fixtures. You may consider removing half your clothes from your closet and storing items under the bed to create an atmosphere of minimalism that buyers will feel comfortable with.
- Improve the landscaping and take care of minor repairs.
If the lawn is looking a little… blah, try replacing the grass, adding pops of color near the front door with vibrant florals, and fix the crack on the front shutter. After all, you don’t want buyers to think your home is in bad shape.
- Make the room look brighter.
The best way to make buyers feel at home (yet sufficiently at a distance from your personal items) is to make your rooms appear brighter. While painting the walls in white or neutral colors is a solid idea, you may also consider getting new lightbulbs or fixtures, swapping in furniture from different rooms, replacing curtains, and opening the windows, so your home has plenty of natural light.
Don’ts of Home Staging
- Don’t personalize the decor.
As much as you like the photos of your kids and the Mickey Mouse figurine your grandma gave you, buyers won’t appreciate it. Get rid of anything that feels kitschy, dated, or overly personal to your family. Even if you don’t ditch it for good, at least put it into storage, so buyers don’t have to see it.
2 Don’t buy new furniture.
As tempting as it may be, you don’t have to buy all-new furnitureto stage your home beautifully. Instead, clear out any furniture that makes the room feel cluttered and aim to open up the space as much as possible.
3 Don’t decorate in your style.
What a lot of sellers don’t realize is that there’s a difference between decorating and staging. You don’t have to buy loads of new items or impose a style onto your house. Instead, aim for depersonalizing the home so buyers can imagine their own decor in the home.
4 Don’t just focus your efforts indoors.
Pay attention to curb appealbecause buyers need to have a good first impression of your home if they’re ever going to place an offer. Clean up piles of leaves, get rid of that brown patch in the middle of the yard, and put away lawn tools that make your home look messy. Always aim for a yard that is clean and fresh.
5 Don’t renovate the entire house just to make a sale.
In a competitive market, you may feel pressure to renovate your entire house to make a better sale. While some renovations may be a good idea (and give you a great ROI on the home), others are better for homeowners who plan to remain in their home for several years. Ultimately, if you only renovate to make a sale, you’ll find yourself knee-deep in expenses you may not be able to make your money back on. Remember, the key too good home staging is to clean out the clutter and focus on the small efforts that make a home even better to potential buyers.
It may feel overwhelming to stage your home to appeal to buyers. But with the right strategies, you’re well on your way to staging a home that feels just right to your potential buyers.