Getting your house ready to list so you get the best price is the whole goal of selling real estate. Every real estate agent will tell you your house needs to be clean, uncluttered, and, ideally, up to date to appeal to the broadest number of buyers. Kitchens, baths and lighting fixtures are the 3 areas that most often date a house. A consult with a professional stager can help you with those areas so you invest wisely for the highest ROI. For a little inspiration, THIS kitchen update, and THIS bathroom update were done with resale in mind. THIS post gives an overview of what to do early and what to do right before listing. Staging is the final piece of the puzzle that will put your property in the best possible position to sell quickly and for the most money.
Now that you are ready for staging, here are the top 10 tips to keep in mind
1. Know your target market
and stage with that avatar in mind. The goal is to appeal to the demographic most likely to want the type of property you have. If your market is bachelor pad devotees, your staging will look different than for young families or empty nesters. The goal of staging is to elicit a positive emotional response - you can’t do that with a generic look - you need some personality to breathe life into the space and you need to know what personality you are channeling!
2. Stage to tell a story
Staging is all about aspirational living. Lead your prospect into an ideal day to evoke that emotional response…a cup and book in a reading nook, a tray of wine or cocktail mixers in the butlers pantry, fluffy robe and candles in the spa-inspired bathroom. PS aspirational living does not include toilet brushes and utilitarian trash cans – these are practical necessities, especially if you are living in the home during the sales period, but keep them out of sight!
3. Style for the photographs
Listing photos are your buyers first impression and will determine whether they visit the property or not. Things look much more cluttered in photos than they do in real life. Check your styling with your phone camera and edit accordingly. Sometimes furnishings and accessories need to be edited or rearranged for the listing photos – they can be always be moved back for showings if the room looks better IRL that way.
4. Add organic elements
Pretty much EVERY room can use some plant life, or at least fruit or flowers. Organic elements add life to a room
5. Style beds for a feel of luxury
For bedding use a set of pillows, another set of shams with a matching coverlet/duvet folded at the foot of the bed, and a throw pillow or two at a minimum.
6. Style bathrooms with fluffy clean white towels/bath linens
Add pretty soaps, plants, and jars of white cotton balls or cotton swabs. Add a bit of color with some accent towels. For spa luxury, add a fluffy white robe and natural elements like a loofah and sea sponge. Keep utilitarian necessities like toothbrushes and dirty laundry behind closed doors. And PLEASE don’t use the clean white towels or pretty soaps until AFTER the sales agreement is signed! Messy soaps and flat towels do not spell luxury!
7. Style a home office with ruthless organization
A clean, organized desktop and a holder with coordinated pencils/pens, along with some artfully arranged books and planners - and don’t forget a plant or flowers - makes an appealing space that sparks the imagination. Sure, everyone knows offices don’t actually look like this, but they WISH they did! Hide papers and clutter in color coordinated boxes or baskets.
8. Throw pillows and throws
These simple elements can revive plain or tired upholstery pieces and add color and pattern to the room (see THIS post for placement and number of throw pillows). Area rugs help define seating areas and soften dining areas in rooms with hardwood or tile floors. Area rugs are also a good way to define “rooms” in an open concept space.
9. Style mantels, shelves, glass-doored cabinets, and coffee tables.
You don’t need (or want) any of these spaces jam packed, but naked surfaces are not inviting and empty cabinets are just sad. Styling mantels and glass fronted cabinets draws attention to these positive features as well as adding personality to the space.
10. Be sure every room has adequate lighting
And, for the love of god, replace any of the horrid fluorescent or cool LEDs that energy audit companies insist on foisting on the unsuspecting public with incandescent or warm LED bulbs unless, of course, you are marketing your home as an interrogation room (see THIS post for a helpful and hilarious guide to light bulbs.) The mood of the room is ABSOLUTELY influenced by the light…this is one of THE most important details to get right.
If you are selling and want staging services (and you SHOULD want staging services since the ROI is always a win! (see THIS post for statistics on how much staging pays off), contact us! Our occupied staging clients invariably lament that they didn’t call us sooner so they could enjoy their beautifully styled home earlier, so even if you aren’t getting ready to list right this minute, a styling consult could totally transform how you feel in your home and set you up for a successful sale down the road!