We know that everybody has different taste when it comes to furnishing our homes and many of us spend a lot of time and energy giving our living spaces personality. We fill them with the things we love that tell a story about who we are and what we are like. 

 

But what if the personality of your house conflicts with that of a potential buyer? In other words is it possible that your personal taste can put people off wanting to buy your home?  Well the answer is yes! It doesn’t matter how beautiful you think your home is, if you are planning to put your home on the market this summer, you need to think about ‘staging’ it for sale.

 

Home staging is a popular process these days, which involves adding or more often taking away decor, rearranging furniture, and dressing up your property to appeal to the maximum number of potential buyers. Staging prepares your home to look stunning for those listing photos, virtual tours and walkthroughs. If you get it right even the most dark, drab space will feel bright, energetic, and well… just like home! 

 

This form of visual merchandising can turn around a property that is ‘getting stuck’ on the market or it will ensure that your newly listed property will have a greater appeal and therefore sell more quickly, allowing you to fetch maximum price. Now what could be wrong with that? So before you list your home it might be well worth your time to consider a few home staging ideas. 

 

There are many professionals that can help you prepare your home for sale as they know the house markets well. An expert estate agent or a professional staging company should know everything there is to know about staging your house to sell. Whether you decide to do your own staging or hire a professional company… here are a few pointers as to what the process will entail.

 

The eight ‘Ds’ of home staging are to declutter, depersonalize, desaturate, deep clean, define spaces, deodorize and dim the lights! But remember not all rooms are created equal when it comes to selling, so you should turn your attention to the important spaces. The rooms that will have the biggest impact on the potential buyer are the kitchen, bathrooms, living room, dining room and the master bedroom. You needn’t spend as much time focusing on the rooms that have less influence, such as guest bedroom or children’s bedrooms. However, don’t forget the outside… you want to encourage those drive-by’s to come in!

 

Decluttering: Getting rid of clutter is important as clutter can detract the buyer from the beauty of your home and it also makes spaces feel smaller. Removing clutter will give a more airy, spacious feel and allow potential buyers to appreciate the ‘bones’ of the property. Too many items on coffee tables, pillows on chairs and art pieces will make a space feel cramped. Half full cupboards and closets give the illusion that there is plenty of storage space. Remove rugs as they tend to make a room look smaller. If you really can’t part with your things consider putting them in storage for the duration of the selling period.

 

Depersonalizing: You want your buyer to be able to envision themselves living in your home. So it helps to remove personal belongings such as framed photos and memorabilia. Same goes for your clothes, cosmetics and toys. Put them out of sight to provide a clean canvas on which the potential homeowner can draw up their own ideas as to how the house might look when that move in. Furniture with too much personality can be off putting, use simple pieces with clean lines in neutral colours. Make sure the furniture fits the room and one piece does not dominate. Sectional sofas such as corner-groups can make a room feel small, go for smaller sofas pairedwith occasional chairs. Add one or too monochrome cushions and maybe a single throw for cosiness. Same goes for the master bedroom… use good quality bed linens to really show the room off.

 

De-saturating: Many wallpapers and strong, custom paint colours are very personal choices. It is best to remove any paper and paint the walls in de-saturated shades such as grey, beige, pale cream or blue. Clean, newly painted walls in neutral colours are a great plus to a new buyer who probably will not want to have to immediately redecorate their new home as soon as they move in. 

 

Defining spaces: Ensure that each room has a single purpose and that the spaces within each room also has a function. This way you will show your buyer how to best use the square footage of your property. Make a converted attic into an entertainment room, playroom or den for example. Turn the junk room into a guest room or office. Show buyers how versatile your space is.

 

Deodorizing: It goes without saying that bad smells are off putting. Make sure your house smells fresh and inviting. Old cooking smells, pet odors, and the smelly damp bathrooms can kill a sale. Overly strong airfreshners can also be repelling and raise a red flag as to what lies beneath. Instead do a little baking, apple and cinnamon pie or chocolate chip cookies always smell good. Splurge on a good quality scented candle, vanilla is the most alluring to most people. Fill vases with flowers which will both smell and look fresh! Smell is everything.

 

Deep Cleaning: A clean home shows potential buyers that you’ve taken good care of it. Clean from top to bottom, floor to the ceiling and everything in between. Make sure appliances are spotless, your bathrooms sparkles and even clean the spots where you don’t think anyone can see. Your goal should be to make everything look new. Give a spar atmosphere to your bathrooms with beautifully folded fluffy white towels, chunky scented soaps and a few candles.

 

Decorate: Window treatments are important but should be non-fussy. Hang a venetian blind at a window with a ‘not so wonderful’ view. Put ceiling to floor curtain panels either side of the windows as this will add height to your rooms. Replace flooring where needed and polish wood floors. You can get whole-house flooring deals at most flooring retailers for much less that you would imagine and it may be worth it if your floors are in poor shape, adding more value than the expense of replacing them costs in the first place. Again choose beige or grey. Hang wall art sparingly…the bigger the better in most cases to make a statement and it will make the wall seem larger. Again choose de-saturated colours… abstract art tends to have the broadest appeal.

 

Dim the lights: To show your property off to the best advantage it must be lit properly… but bright is not always right.  Update old ceiling fixtures and fit a dimmer to tone down the central lights. Invest in good looking table and floor lamps to set the mood and illuminate dark corners. Mirrors both amplify the light and visually double the square footage of any room. It is a good idea to hang a collection of mirrors opposite a window which will reflect the incoming light as well as the garden view.

 

Staging your home for sale may well turn out to be one of the most lucrative projects you ever undertake. Potential buyers are not just looking for a building to inhabit—they are looking for a place where they can realize their dreams and improve their lifestyle. Staging your home properly before you put it on the market can create a more emotional purchase for the buyer, which will ultimately can generate more money for you, the seller.

Good luck with your sale!