10 Tips to Stage Your Home and WOW Your Buyers
The outside of your home is just as important as the inside. Spend some time giving your home's exterior some love to create a sense of welcoming - so that your buyers are impressed before they even leave the car!
Create curb appeal:
Before a buyer will set foot inside, they have to be impressed by the exterior of your home. So spend some time making your home welcoming and attractive. Powerwash your siding and driveway, mow the lawn, weed or prune the garden, or plant some bright flowers. Wash your windows, replace old house numbers, or replace a tired mailbox.
Make your porch welcoming:
An extension of your curb appeal is your porch. Tidy up any furniture, buy a new welcome mat, add some potted flowers, and replace your doorknob. Add a tasteful wreath to your door and leave your porch light on in the evenings, especially if you will be showing at night.
Spruce up outdoor areas:
Whether you have a large backyard or a cozy balcony, your outdoor areas should not only be attractive, they should be inviting. Help your buyers to envision a lifestyle by adding seating or dining areas such as chair and tables, a hammock, or even a fire pit. Make sure gardens are cleaned up, the lawn is mown, and any fallen leaves or branches are tidied up.
Cleaning and Repairs
Nothing turns off a buyer like persistent maintenance problems, lingering repair projects, or a home that's just not clean! Don't lose out on a sale for an easily preventable reason!
Finish repair projects:
Nothing is more intimidating to a buyer than walking into an incomplete project! No missing floorboards, crooked shingles, cracked windows, or any other sign that anything needs to be replaced or repaired. Your home should appear in good maintenance from top to bottom.
Clear out the clutter:
Take some time to go through your closets, shelves, cabinets, and counters to clear out anything that's taking up space or making your rooms appear cramped, crowded, or dirty. Donate clothes, partially empty your closets and cabinets to make them appear larger, even rent a storage unit for furniture that is too large, unsightly, or mismatched.
Deep clean EVERYTHING:
It might not be the most fun part, but it is an absolute necessity that your home sparkle. Get all those hard-to-reach places, scrub dingy tiles and grout, deep clean the showers and tubs. If you're not a fan of cleaning, hire a professional to help. The results will be worth the expense. If you have a pet, you may want to steam clean your rugs or add some type of fragrance, such as soft-scented candles or potpourri, to mask pet odors.
Now that you've created curb appeal and tackled the basics, it's time to start looking for ways to impress your buyers and make your home stand apart from the crowd.
Depersonalize your decor:
Your home might have a certain style that you find tasteful - but not all home buyers have the same tastes in decor. Neutral and simple are always best. Repaint any bold or bright colored walls with neutral colors. Remove any personal decor and replace with tasteful yet neutral art and centerpieces. You want to create the sense of a home that's lived in but not yours, as the idea is to allow buyers to imagine their own personalizations in your home.
Create balance with furniture:
Placement of furniture can change the whole feel of a room. Your furniture should not overcrowd the room or leave it feeling too open. Floating the furniture away from the walls can actually make rooms feel larger and create a cozy, conversational feel.
The Final Details
Now's the fun part - the detailed staging and decorating that adds that "wow" factor, that sparkle, that little bit of something special. Just be sure to keep it simple!
Increase your lighting:
Make your home warm and welcoming by increasing the lighting - both natural and artificial - throughout your home. Open windows if the weather is nice, or at least pull back the drapes to let in as much natural light as possible. Increase the wattage of the bulbs in your lamps and fixtures, and aim for three types of lighting in every room - ambient (overhead), task (reading or under-cabinet lights), and accent (table or floor lamps).
Bring the outdoors inside:
Your decor might be neutral, but that doesn't mean it has to be boring. Bring in bright splashes of color in the form of potted plants, clipped flowers, or fall branches. This can help increase the sense of warmth and welcoming throughout the home.