Stage Your Home for Optimal Selling Appeal
By Kathy Pierce
We often hear the question at McKinney Realty, LLC… “What can I do to make my home most marketable and appealing to a potential buyer?” Well, we have the answer, and we like to help. Following are some simple tips to do just that. But beware, you may like the change in your home so much, you may reconsider selling!!!
- Say Goodbye to Clutter
Less is best when staging a home for sale. Clutter and over-accessorizing can make spaces feel crowded and disorganized. To optimize appeal; remove extra books, personal photos from walls and shelves (it confuses buyers), toys, games, storage baskets, etc., anything that is basically personal since personal memorabilia may be considered clutter by potential buyers. Most staging professionals end up removing ½ of a room’s furniture and accessories when staging for a showing. Consider storing that extra furniture somewhere to make your space look large, uncluttered and full of potential.
- Clean Up
If you do nothing else, thoroughly clean your home. Sparkling and clean is the best selling point. When everything looks new and clean, a potential buyer gets that ‘it’s-ready-to-move-into’ feeling. Clean windows let in bright light. Well swept floors, vacuumed rugs, smudge free appliances and squeaky clean bathrooms lend an appeal all of its own. Try a subtle air freshener too, or open the windows and doors for a bit to air out your home before the showing agent arrives.
- Pack your Home with Visual Potential and Vision
Potential buyers will visualize a larger space overall if adjoining rooms are painted in the same neutral color. Consider painting your walls the same color as your draperies or choosing window coverings in neutral shades for a more open feel. Bold colors are not as attractive to the average buyer. Use punches of color in minimal accessories rather than in large doses. Create conversational areas with a re-grouping of your furniture. Furniture pushed up against walls can lessen the intimacy of a space. ‘Float’ furniture in the center of a room. Then anchor your grouping with a rug to create a desirable setting. What you want to create in your home is the feeling that the buyer can put his/her furniture in this space and it will fit in every sense of the word.
- Front Door and Curb Appeal
The first impression of your home probably lies at the curb! Spend some time ‘sprucing up’ the exterior. A freshly painted front door, a well manicured lawn, and a clutter free yard welcome buyers inside.
- Give Purpose to Every Room and Space
Many of us have a ‘catch-all’ room or a ‘catch-all’ closet. Consider giving purpose to these spaces. A ‘catch-all’ room where our extra stuff is being stored can become a well-designed office, a functional craft room or a den with pizzazz! This ‘extra’ well-used space may be just what the buyer is looking for! Be creative in using furniture and accessories from other rooms to dress up these spaces for a purposeful function. Clear out or give away unused clothing, shoes and personal accessories in your closet to make them look larger and well-organized. Consider storing some of your belongings off-site to enhance your closet and small spaces.
Bright means happy and beautiful in this department… always. Dim lighting can present a depressing atmosphere to potential buyers, and maybe even suggest there is something to hide. HGTV advises that rooms be lit with 100 watts for every 50 sq. feet. Consider varied forms of lighting in each room; including overhead, as well as lamps or under cabinet/over cabinet options. Place lamps in creative places such as the top of your armoire or bathroom vanity. Before your potential buyer arrives, turn them all on… and open all those blinds and draperies too for natural light at day time.
- Neutrals and Not Themes
Remove any themed type décor… that superman comforter in the boy’s room should really go, as well as that beach themed bathroom with the starfish shower curtain and matching rug! Though you may enjoy these ‘special’ themes for personal reasons, your potential buyer may not be so inclined. Stick to neutrals as much as possible for optimal appeal in each room.
- The Master Bedroom
A master bedroom should be gender-less in decor… attractive to both male and female for optimal interest to buyers. Say goodbye to the pink bedspread and lavender chair. Neutrally colored linens are attractive to both genders. With the tremendous choice in patterns, texture and colors of linens, you can still be creative and unique but within the realm of most tastes.
- Table Tops
My best girlfriend operated a bed and breakfast years ago. I recall noticing her table always set and ready for guests no matter what time of day I visited. It gave me such a welcoming feeling. Though it’s not necessary, or even wise to go all out in this area, a little bit of table dressing can be magical. Large overstated arrangements in the center of your dining room table may be too much for most homes, but consider a small grouping of vases filled with fresh cuttings, a few wine glasses on a colorful tray with matching cloth napkins, or a bowl of fresh fruit arranged alongside some attractive candle holders.
Simple arrangements on coffee tables, hallway tables, fireplace mantels, and bedroom side tables can also create a pleasing effect, but keep it simple. Arrange any accessories in threes, choosing items with a unifying element such as color, style or shape. Then, place the biggest or tallest item at the back of the grouping for great eye appeal.
Did you know that Stacey McKinney, our broker/agent at McKinney Realty, LLC is an Accredited Staging Professional Real Estate Agent? Sellers are welcome to ‘pick her brain’ for the latest in staging ideas.