Here are seven tips – and three common mistakes – from the experts on how to stage your house to get top dollar, and common pitfalls to avoid.
• Repair any obvious problems: As a potential buyer walks through a house and notices little things that are wrong, such as a dripping tap or a door that won’t shut, they become emotionally detached, Realtors say. “You don’t want buyers distracted by problems. You want to keep them focused on what a great house this is.”
• Use proper lighting: Light is very important, says Doug Cook, CEO of The Home Stagers Corp. Cook suggests that sellers keep on all lights during showings and turn blinds to the half-open position. “A dark and dreary home will be extremely hard to sell at any price,” he says.
• Get some curb appeal: Think a planted urn or a welcome mat. You need to get rid of any junk that’s sitting in front of the house. Make sure walkways are swept, the grass is cut and the garden is pruned and neat.
• Keep the decorating to a minimum: Over-decorating your house should be avoided; too many decorative items, artwork, vases and flowers end up creating clutter.
• De-personalize: It may sound harsh, but homeowners should remove all personal pictures and art containing people, animals and religious content. You still want to keep things that give it a homey touch.
• Make sure the kitchen and bathrooms shine: The kitchen and bathrooms are the key areas to impress. Add a bowl of fruit in the kitchen, white towels in the bathrooms and ensure both rooms are spotless.
• Pay attention to furniture placement: A common example of improper furniture placement can be found in the bedroom. People might put a high dresser on a wall that you’re facing as you walk in, and that makes the room feel very closed in.
And our top three home staging mistakes to avoid:
• Overdoing it: While it’s important to de-clutter and neutralize your home, don’t take this to the extreme.
• Losing all the colour: Your home doesn’t have to be only beige and white just because experts advise clients to neutralize. You can still have colour and interest in the house; you just don’t want it to be so over-the-top that people would have trouble imagining how they would fit into the house.
• Too much stuff: Simply put, many people just have too much furniture in their rooms. A cramped space is never appealing.