Home staging is the process of depersonalizing the home that is listed for sale. Staging encompasses three core procedures: decluttering, depersonalizing, and defining.
When staging a home for sale, homeowners should first take a look at their home as if they were a prospective buyer. What seems off about the home? Is there excessive clutter inside, or is the yard overgrown and shaggy looking? Are there a lot of personal memorabilia, like family photos, religious artwork or icons, and little tchotchkes and knick knacks?
If the homeowner wishes to hire a professional home stager or someone such as an ASP© Accredited Staging Professional Real Estate Broker, they should look through their portfolio and their website. Research what they have done in the past. Homes that are staged and priced right often sell in a shorter amount of time than non-staged homes. A professional will hold themselves to a high standard of professional integrity, sincerity, respect and ethical standards when working with clients, real estate brokers and other colleagues.
The main focus of home staging is to make the home the most appealing to the widest audience. You want a home buyer to be able to see themselves living in that home with their own items. If the home is overrun with extra furniture, funky smells and lots of personal items, the buyers can have a hard time seeing past that.
Just like with meeting people, first impressions happen within the first few seconds of seeing a home. You want those few seconds to make a positive impact.
First step would be to clean the home, this is the DECLUTTERING phase.
- Give it a good thorough washing
- You also want the home to smell clean, so if you have a smoker in the home, nix it and move that outside to a designated area.
- If you have pets who have a litter box inside, move their items to the garage, or other less conspicuous spot. Be sure it is cleaned every day, at least twice a day is preferable.
- DO NOT use obnoxious air fresheners that smell perfumy. These can be distracting and unpleasant, and for some, an allergy.
- Clean also goes for outside. Mow the yard, weed the flower beds, trim trees away from the house, and pick up any toys, yard decorations, and pet “deposits” that can make your yard look uninviting and dreadful. You can add a little beauty by planting flowers in pots or flower beds to brighten up the exterior.
Now we’re on to the DEPERSONALIZE phase.
- Remove or pare down all those family photos, extra pillows, counter clutter and personal items.
- Remove off season clothing from closets to make them look bigger, and get rid of extra towels and bedding.
- Remove extra dishes and pans from the kitchen.
- Filter down the books and items in your bookcases so that they look bigger and more attractive.
- Securely store away medications, jewelry, and other valuables and personal information. Better to be safe than sorry.
- If your rooms looked cramped and small, remove excess furniture to open up the floor plan.
Now you can move on to the Staging portion, DEFINE.
- If you have rooms that are painted bright, loud colors, you should think about painting them a more neutral color palette. Neutral colors provide a nice backdrop to brighter accent colors and give the potential buyer a blank canvas to see their furnishings in place.
- Rethink the purpose of a room. Make an unused extra bedroom into an office, or change that office back into a bedroom. Extend the indoors out if you have the space to do so. Patios and outdoor gathering spaces are very popular and make the home more useable for year round entertaining.
- Rearrange the furniture arrangement to open up a better traffic flow from room to room, and to help the space feel balanced and cohesive with the rest of the house.
- Less is more! Keep this in mind.
When your home is listed, it is important to enlist the entire family to help keep it showing ready. This means keeping the clutter down to a minimum and keeping rooms picked up and clean. No laundry laying around, or dirty dishes in the sink.