Contributor’s website: Stage to Sell
I have a lot of thoughts on that distinction, but that is a topic for another article. The thing that struck me about this particular article by blogger Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist, was her statement that regardless of their personal design style, most buyers want a home that meets four standards:
It must be:
Let’s take a look at some ways that staging can help in these four areas.
Make it welcoming!
One of the easiest ways to make a home more welcoming is by rearranging the furniture to create a layout that invites buyers in. Here’s an example of a living room that was not very welcoming.
By reconfiguring the way this room was laid out, we created more room for additional seating AND opened up the room so it felt more inviting.
TIP: Try to avoid having the back of a sofa be the first thing you see as you enter a space. It may mean the couch is not directly across from the television, but I assure you it will make buyers feel more welcomed into the space.
Though anyone with a good sense of style can make a house look pretty, that alone will not sell a home. It is crucial that the home appeal to its target demographic (whether it’s young couples, families with kids, or retirees). To push buyers over the edge from simply liking what they see to making an offer, the home must make sense for that buyer’s lifestyle, i.e. it has to be functional.
Case in point: I have staged two separate “family homes” in the last few months that had four total bedrooms, but only two on the top floor. This might not seem like a big deal to some, but to a parent with more than one child, it could be a game changer. No one wants to have to go down a flight of stairs in the middle of the night to comfort a crying baby or change a diaper. The simple answer was to make the second upstairs bedroom a child’s room, but I took it a step further. I staged that second bedroom with not one, but two twin beds. In this way, a parent with two or more kids would see that there’s sufficient room to have all the young ones close at hand.
TIP: Think about who the target buyer is and make sure you are appealing to that type of buyer. Also try to fit in a home office somewhere in the house. Especially in homes with only 2-3 bedrooms, buyers are looking for an area to either work from home or at least check email and pay the bills. If one of the bedrooms doesn’t have to be taken up by a desk, you will appeal to more buyers.
Repeat after me… “The way we live in our home and the way we sell our house are two completely different things!”
TIPS: Walls should be a painted in soothing tones. If not a neutral, go with soft blues and greens which help to encourage restfulness. Clear off surfaces and make the bed with a solid color comforter. Add color and pattern in small doses through art and accessories, but keep it simple.
One thing all buyers are looking for is storage space. Some homes have more than others, but we can all agree storage is something you can never have too much of. One of the reasons many buyers are selling is because they’ve outgrown their current home, and often it’s due to the age old problem: too much stuff and nowhere to put it.
The only way to help a buyer envision their own mass of stuff fitting into your limited cabinets, closets or bookshelves, is by making the most of what you have. Organization is key!
Built-in cabinetry should also appear sparse and neatly organized. Start by removing 1/2 to 3/4 of the books on your shelves and keeping out only the nicest looking books and decorative items.
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Contributor’s website: Stage to Sell
(credit images: annie pinsker-brown, photos 11 and 12: michael mcreary)