Preparing to sell a home can be frustrating, costly, and time-consuming, and the process is considerably more difficult during a pandemic. But one proven way to hasten the sale is to stage the property. Experts have plenty of resources (and cash) at their disposal, of course. But there are ways homeowners can declutter, depersonalize, and stage their homes without running up a credit card. Sherwood Real Estate has put together some great ideas to help you get started.
Focus on Curb Appeal
Most buyers are looking at a home with an open mind. They think about where they can make improvements and what cosmetic changes will help the property feel like home. But getting buyers interested is your first challenge.
Concentrate on curb appeal when approaching home staging. An appealing exterior—such as clean windows and a well-landscaped yard—can encourage potential buyers to explore your home. Even in online listings, photographs showing the exterior of the property count for first impressions.
Forbes suggests focusing on three curb appeal elements: the front door, landscaping, and exterior home condition. Refresh the door with a coat of paint, trim bushes and mow the lawn, and be sure to power wash brick or siding before showing (or photographing) the home.
Welcome Natural Light
While not every part of your home will be a selling point for potential buyers, you can emphasize one element everyone loves: natural light. Hopefully, your home already has plenty of windows. Take advantage of them by removing heavy, light-blocking curtains.
Allow light in as many rooms as possible, replacing or taking down curtains if they darken a room. Modern builders favor natural light because it makes a house feel bigger, with buyers getting more excited over homes with many windows.
If you can’t let natural light in, consider alternative strategies. The Spruce suggests light-inducing tricks like using lighter interior paint colors, choosing mildly glossier paint, or using reflective or glass tiles for bathrooms and kitchens.
Natural light is also crucial for capturing appealing photographs for your home’s online listing. Don’t discount the power of photos as first impressions.
Start Packing Early to Depersonalize
Depersonalizing a space starts with removing your belongings. Even if you don’t plan to move until after your home sells, it’s easier to declutter if you prep for the move in advance. If you have room to hide your belongings, great. But if not, start packing well in advance of listing your home.
Let the property speak for itself, rather than giving your family portraits a voice. Collectibles, hobby materials, awards, and any sentimental items should be packed or stored. Remove your toiletries and hygiene products from the bathroom, too.
Remove Furniture While Decluttering
Clutter often refers to your knickknacks and smaller items. But furniture can clutter your home, too. To showcase the space in the best way possible, remove oversized furniture or pieces that don’t fit (even if you love them). Consider short-term storage if you don’t have a garage or other storage area on-site, though this may not be a realistic option during a pandemic.
If you own them already, keep plants and mirrors handy for staging. While you should remove personal effects, The Balance recommends using accessories in odd-number groupings to create interest. Mirrors can help add interest, too, as well as dimension. Small items with pops of color can also brighten up a space and make it feel appealing.
Benefits of Staging Your Home
You might wonder, why go through so much trouble to stage the property? The effort you put in can pay off by attracting more buyers to your listing and even boosting the price people are willing to pay.
In general, 28 percent of sellers’ agents stage homes prior to listing them, according to the National Association of Realtors. Realtors often rely on staging to get “difficult to sell” homes off the market. Either way, staging your home helps it stand out from homes that are vacant or, worse, cluttered and unkempt.
You might also wonder how buyers will be able to view your home while sheltering in place, but some realtors are offering high-resolution virtual tours that can show your home from multiple angles so buyers can still make a well-informed decision.
Staging a home doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. Though the payoff is huge, a few well-placed purchases and a little time can make all the difference.
Need assistance with selling your home? Contact Sherwood Real Estate and we’ll make sure the process is as stress-free as possible.