You're thinking of selling your home, so you search on Google for "how to stage your home to sell". However, all you find are before-and-after pictures of completely renovated spaces. If you had the funds to update your home, our guess is you probably would have done so already.
It's no secret that homes that are prepared for the market, staged and cleaned tend to sell faster and for more money. While there are companies that can do this for you, what if you want to do it yourself? Is it possible? The answer is yes, it can be done with a little hard work and for free.
The first step is to adjust your thinking. If you're going to sell, look at your home for what it is right now; your asset. Start thinking like a buyer. If you were looking at buying this particular home, what do you want to see? You want a clean, bright home that you can envision your life in.
Prevent complaints and avoid incentivizing buyers to make lowball offers. Don't make the selling process longer and more difficult than it needs to be, especially when there are things you can control.
- Bathrooms: Pay special attention to grout, tubs, toilets, and glass. Bar Keepers Friend works wonders on these and will remove any lime, soap scum, and rust buildup with ease, even on glass shower doors.
- Kitchens: Stove tops, fridge doors, and sinks should be thoroughly cleaned and stainless steel polished.
- Walls: We know you probably don't want to paint (if you do, that's great!), so grab a Magic Eraser and get rid of all the scuffs on the walls.
- Windows: So important! Clean windows not only let in more light, but they can also help rooms feel larger. Dirty windows are VERY noticeable, so clean inside and out.
We understand that you don’t live in a hotel room, and your belongings are part of what makes your house a home. However, when there are too many personal belongings, buyers may struggle to envision themselves living in the space. It can make them feel like they are intruding rather than feeling welcomed. If they can’t get past YOUR stuff, they can’t see THEIR stuff in the house.
So get some boxes, start packing up all the personal items: family photos, excess decor and that mystery remote.
- Kitchens: This may be a tough task, but it's important to remove almost everything from your countertops. It's okay to have a few small appliances, but not an excessive amount. Only leave out your absolute essentials. To make it look more organized, group those items together - we'll explain this trick a bit further down.
- Bathrooms: Most of your things should be put away. Bathroom items tend to be seen as personal, but you can leave out some decor, clean towels, and add a plant. Plants go a long way in adding an aesthetic appeal to the bathroom. When it comes to the items to be left out, you're going to want to group them together.
- Surfaces: Coffee, dining, and side tables should be clear of clutter and personal items, except for a small amount of decor such as a few books, a reading lamp, or some flowers. you're aiming for "Ikea Showroom". Again, use the grouping trick here too.
You can definitely stage your home with the furniture you already have. You don't need an impractical white sofa and chairs in the living room to make an impact. The key is in placement and reduction to create flow.
- Unless you have a long and narrow space, avoid placing furniture flush with walls. This can make the room look smaller. Give the furniture as much breathing room as possible and focus on grouping them in the center of the room. Create a gathering space within the room.
- Unless you have angled walls in the room, don’t place large furniture on an angle; stick to a grid pattern for furniture placement.
- Ensure that the room has good flow. If you have a combined living and dining space, use your sofa or a chair to separate the areas. Avoid clustering all your furniture in one corner to create space, as it will only make the room feel cramped. Instead, ensure that there are clear pathways through the rooms.
- If you have large pieces of furniture (looking at you lazy boys and leather sectionals) pare down the rest of the room by removing excess side table, chairs and decor.
- Most of us arrange our furniture for maximum TV watching and while this may be practical, it will rarely yield an inviting room. Create a cozy gathering space where you can actually interact with other human beings (yikes, we know!). Position your chairs and sofas facing each other, keep windows and fireplaces unobstructed.
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