Stage Your Home for a Quicker Sale at a Higher Price

Stage Your Home for a Quicker Sale at a Higher Price

It’s a difficult reality that when you put your home on the market, it becomes more than your home: it becomes a product, and it has to be marketed like a product. That’s why home staging is a growing trend in real estate, especially in competitive markets. Staging isn’t decorating; it’s marketing.

Two of the primary goals of staging are to make the home appear as large as possible and to make it easy for potential buyers to picture themselves in it. This may be as simple as rearranging furniture to make rooms appear more spacious or as complex as replacing worn furniture with rented pieces in key rooms.

When you think about staging your home, start where first impressions are formed: outside. Mow the lawn, prune bushes, pick up debris, and plant some fresh flowers. If necessary, put a fresh coat of paint on the front door, but at the least, wipe it down with soap and water. Power wash any siding.

When you move inside, think about de-cluttering and de-personalizing. Cleaning goes without saying. As you clean, try to pare down at least one-quarter of your furniture, one-third of your books and one-half of your knick-knacks. Store items you don’t want to get rid of off-site so that closets, counters and cabinets are clean and clear. Crammed closets will make potential buyers think they are too small.

It seems counter-intuitive to put away family photos: they make us feel at home, so it seems they should make others feel that way as well. In reality, you want buyers to picture their family in the home, not yours.

Similarly, you want them to envision the home decorated to their taste and lifestyle rather than yours. Most people can only envision what they see; they won’t be able to look past the bright purple paint to see the rest of the home’s potential.

By Tracy Stepp,