Anyone who has watched even a little HGTV has probably picked up a few tips and tricks on everything from buying and selling to remodeling and flipping a home. If you are in that group, you probably already know that staging the home can be very helpful to selling a home quickly and for the highest price. Unfortunately, most of us do not have the hundreds or thousands of dollars it would cost to hire a professional home stager so I thought I would offer a few tips that I have picked up along the way.
Don’t just de-clutter, move it out.
Many of us tend to use the space we have. If we like having people over, for example, we may have a living room with lots of furniture to provide seating for all our friends and family. This is great for living, but a lot of furniture or big and bulky furniture, can make even a large room seem much smaller than it is. So, while de-cluttering is an obvious, almost cliché, recommendation that must be done, do not limit it to just the little stuff. Look at the furnishings in each room and think like a minimalist to make your rooms look large and open.
Accept that it is not yours anymore.
As soon as you decide to sell your home it is time to come to grips with the fact that it isn’t yours anymore. Any colors or features that represent your personal style should be neutralized and personal effects, such as family photos and drawings on the fridge, need to be removed. The goal is to encourage your potential buyers to envision themselves in the home. Reminding them of you around every corner breaks up the daydream.
Go beyond what they see, control what they smell.
This is not to suggest your home stinks; though, we tend to get used to our surroundings, including smells that may not be as pleasant to others. Even if your home is safe from bad odors, numerous studies have shown that smells can invoke memories. Obviously, you are unlikely to know the childhood memories and corresponding smell preferences of your potential buyers, but there are several scents that tend to trigger positive reactions including vanilla and pine.
Is it an office or a bedroom?
Multipurpose rooms are another example of useful practicality for day-to-day living that can be challenging when it comes time to sell. If you have a room that pulls double duty, pick one or the other and go with it. Again, you want the buyer to envision the room to their own benefit. Even if you choose one and they would prefer the other, it is easier for them to mentally wipe the slate completely clean if there are not elements of both in that mental picture.