Part of what sells a home is it’s feeling of hominess. Stripping a home of its character and emptying the rooms does not create the emotional appeal needed to sell a home. Careful editing and thoughtful arrangement does.
Here are a few key steps toward marketing your home in its best possible light:
Everyone has heard this and yet, not everyone has done this. Some people live very uncluttered lives, but MOST people do not. And the longer you have lived in your house the more likely there are mountains of extraneous stuff you could part with easily…the broken appliances, no longer useful clothing, paperwork that can be shredded… Start as early as possible and work on editing the junk out of your life. You’ll be happier and selling your home will be easier.
2. Minimize any evidence of pets
I know your pet is the (cutest, cuddliest, smartest, most adorable) – fill in the blank – pet on the planet. Spoiler alert: not every buyer is going to feel that way. Minimizing the evidence of a pet in the house will go a long way toward maximizing the potential offers. Be sure there are no “pet smells”, stray toys, and obvious litterboxes, crates or cages at least during the time your house is being photographed and shown.
3. Arrange furniture in seating groups
For some inexplicable reason, realtors sometimes feel the need to shove all the furniture against the walls and into the corners in an effort to “make the room look bigger”. What this more often does is make the room look like a cold collection of “time out” chairs instead of an inviting place to sit and enjoy friends and family, exactly the opposite of that emotional appeal we are aiming for!
4. Use area rugs judiciously
Some sellers worry that buyers might not see the acres of hardwood flooring if they use area rugs…don’t worry, the floors will still be obvious! If you have hardwood or tile floors, area rugs are your friend. They define seating areas and add warmth and texture to rooms making the spaces more inviting and appealing. That said, do NOT throw a zillion area rugs about willy-nilly. They should serve an obvious purpose, not just cover up floors. And while too few can look Spartan, too many can look cluttered.
5. Style shelves and mantels
The same people who shove all the furniture into the corners, like to empty shelves and strip mantels. Again, this is not the best strategy. While removing personal items like family photographs is important for letting the buyer visualize themselves living there, thoughtfully arranged yet uncluttered shelves and mantels can draw attention to the some of the best architectural features in a room.
6. Use lighting strategically
I cannot emphasize the importance of lighting enough! Warm friendly light makes an enormous difference in a buyers perception of a space. Evict any lighting (we’re looking at you fluorescent light bulbs) that makes it feel more like a hospital or discount warehouse than a home. It will not always be a beautiful, sunny day and the choice of lighting can make or break the first impression of your home.
7. Accessorize properly
Throw pillows are your friend. Properly sized, nice throw pillows will add texture, color, and the perception of comfort. We are talking about nice plump throw pillows here – not the flat-as-a-pancake stained or worn one you’ve had for years and forgotten to throw out! Cuddly throws on chairs or beds can add similar elements. Bedding, especially in the master bedroom, should be fresh and well styled, and new, fluffy bathroom towels (that you can use in your next home) are essential.
8. Use organic elements (plants and trees)
Flowers, plants and trees can be a welcome addition in almost ANY room. They add an organic element that helps rooms feel more ‘alive’. Real plants are ideal, but only if they are going to remain looking stellar for the duration of the selling period. Faux plants are a perfectly acceptable and low maintenance option as long as they are a high quality (i.e. something the cleaning service would accidentally attempt to water!). Dust covered faux ficus trees need not apply…
Well staged homes have a proven track record of selling faster and for more money than comparable un-staged homes. People, unless they are purchasing the property for rental or investment purposes, buy first and foremost based on an emotional response to the house. A carefully prepared property will create that response in the largest number of potential buyers and is worth every bit of the investment.
If you or someone you know would like expert help staging your property, contact us at JRL Interiors to set up a staging consultation.