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How to Stage a Home for Sale

Staging your home for sale can make a difference in how quickly your home sells and for how much

What is home staging?

Staging is a personalized process designed to show your home to its best advantage. Staging can be as simple as decluttering and cleaning the house, storing away personal items, rearranging some furniture, and putting out a vase of fresh flowers. It can also mean a full-scale removal and replacement of all furnishings, wall art and accessories to modernize a dated home.

Staging can also include vignettes that show the pleasures of using a room in a certain way. For showings, you can set a dining room table with attractive placemats, dishes and glassware. In the winter, you may light a fire in the fireplace, pull up an easy chair, set out a book and toss a comfy throw over the arm of the chair.

Making small spaces appear bigger

The number one reason home-buyers purchase a home is to get more space, so it’s important to use staging to make small spaces appear bigger.

You can bring in additional light with reflective surfaces. Mirrors can bounce more light into any room and make it brighter. Glass-topped tables look light and show off rugs and flooring, which can make any room look bigger. The floor is valuable real estate, so move as much lighting as you can to the walls and ceilings. Get rid of heavy drapes. Move curtain rods up to the ceiling and replace them with lighter-weight fabric, blinds, or shutters to let more light in.

Reduce the number of pieces of furniture in the house, especially bulky pieces, oversized pillows and furniture with skirts. Get rid of heavy wall-to-wall carpeting. Your home will look on trend, appealing and more spacious.

Reducing clutter makes it easier for your potential buyer to see the bones of the home. Pack up out-of-season clothes, knick-knacks, collectibles and magazines. Organize closets and drawers so it appears the home has room for all the family’s needs. An organized home that appears to have sufficient storage will appeal strongly to the right buyer.

Kitchens and baths

Older homes can be terrific buys, but often they have dated features. And the one that bothers homebuyers the most is a small kitchen. As a seller, you may not have the will or the budget to remodel, but what you can do is look at where you can increase countertop and storage space.

Do you need more counter space? Appliances such as coffee makers and microwaves can be easily built into the wall.

Open shelving on unused wall space in the kitchen or bath can be both decorative and functional.

If you do happen to replace countertops in a kitchen, make the island taller so you can add more drawers. Extend the countertop beyond the cabinetry about 12 to 16 inches to accommodate barstools.

Don’t forget to stage your outdoor spaces, too.

Curb appeal is essential – the first impression the buyer has of your home. Trim trees, shrubs, cut the grass and pick up toys, tools or any trash. Make sure your porch has inviting container plants or flowers, a new welcome mat, and fresh pillows on the swing. Paint your front door a fresh new hue. Your buyers will be well-primed to like what they see inside, too!


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