Staging your home can be a fun, inexpensive experience that will significantly affect the amount of leverage you have when negotiating the sale of your home but first you need to know where to start. Haphazardly staging your home without a plan or guide to what you are doing will result in a staged home that lacks a cohesive flow and missed opportunities.
Burned out bulbs must be replaced! - This is huge. Because you live in your home you will become less aware of things you see every day including the third bulb that burned out over the bathroom mirror 6 months ago. Take a friend or family member who doesn't live with you through your home and see if they notice any burned out bulbs that you might have missed.
Burned out bulbs mean lack of maintenance to a home buyer and they will gladly deduct dollars (in thousand dollar increments) if they suspect they will have to do a lot of work before moving in.
Take out excess big furniture. - Another epic mistake most do it yourself homeowners make when staging a home is leaving their large furniture sets in a room. Large furniture will dominate any room, especially smaller rooms, so consider taking some of the non-essential seating space out of a small living room to showcase the available square footage.
Dark furniture and poor lighting don't mix! - On the topic of large furniture, dark furniture can be equally harmful to your home's ability to show well. Because furniture is large in nature, dark furniture pulls the eye towards it. Unless your home features many expansive windows that allow sunlight to illuminate the entire room during the day, stay away from dark furniture.
Detach yourself from your home. - Detaching yourself from your home is very difficult to do but it's better to develop a thick skin about your home now so you don't take buyer feedback on your house personally.
One key aspect to detaching yourself from your home is to remove photos of family and other personal effects that may hold sentimental value. When you show your home you should only be showing the house and not family photos or interesting furniture pieces. Once buyers lose focus it is next to impossible for them to refocus on touring your house.
Raise the bar on your windows, literally. - Low sitting windows with drapes can be a kiss of death to vertical space conscious home buyers. Raise the bar above your window and mount it closer to your ceiling to give the impression that the ceiling is higher than it actually is.
Clear away ‘catch-all’ stations around the home. - Everything has a place and sometimes that place is all in one spot. Coffee tables, kitchen counters and tables by the main door are highly visible locations that tend to end up covered in mail, keys and random travel belongings.
Clearing these spaces is important as home buyers will deduct points (and dollars) for the perceived loss of space.
Get a pressure washer and wash away the elements! - Your home's exterior bears the burden of making the first impression that will make or break a buyer's interest in your home. Many times I have toured homes with clients who refused to go into a home because it didn't look clean. Back to deferred maintenance, buyers don't want to buy someone else's problem.
Get a pressure washer (they can be found in many home improvement stores and rental centers) and spray down the exterior of the house. Pay special attention to the corners of the home which can harbor multiple generations of spider webs, insects and grime.
Understanding the top seven must dos of home staging will help you avoid costly staging mistakes and help sell your staged home faster than competing homes on the market.
Joshua Ferris is an associate real estate broker in Orange County NY and specializes in both Monroe New York and Newburgh New York real estate . Learn more about Orange County by visiting Josh's Monroe New York real estate guide.