By Alena KairysFeb 10, 2023
In many ways, the home buying and selling process isn’t too different from dating. There’s back-and-forth discussions, compromises, trial and error, and the all-important profile pics (listing photos). In today’s digital world, using online multi-listing sites (MLS) is the most common way buyers shop for homes. Use these simple staging tips to get buyers to “swipe right” on your home.
A clean home is a basic, yet crucial part of prepping your home to sell. When your home is clean and organized, it conveys to buyers that you take care of your property and that the home is pleasant to live in. Start decluttering your belongings to make organizing easier. If you have something that you hardly use or has lived past its usefulness, donate, sell, or toss it. Then, give your home a deep clean. Carpeted areas may benefit from professional cleaning if they still look dingy after vacuuming. In addition to the areas you usually clean, pay attention to baseboards, walls, shelving, and ceiling fans. These areas may not get cleaned often, but the dirt and dust can be apparent in photos. Next, polish up your home by organizing it. Make sure all the beds are made (no laundry piles allowed!) and that closet doors are closed. Clear the countertops in your kitchen and bathrooms from excessive appliances and personal care products. You want to show off all the counter space in your home, not hide it under a bunch of clutter! Store away piles of papers or organize them properly in a file sorter. Look at your bookcases—are the books stacked upright or laying wherever? Stand books up correctly and neatly. Never leave piles of clothes or knickknacks on the floor, as this looks sloppy and reduces visual floor space.
Showcasing your personality is a key goal when creating a dating profile, but not so much when you’re staging your home. Buyers want to picture themselves living in your home, and it can be difficult to do that when you have family photos plastered everywhere. Go around your home and remove personal items from being displayed, including personal photos, your child’s drawings from the fridge or walls, and religious and political decor. Depersonalizing doesn’t mean your house needs to look boring and sterile—a few well-placed decor pieces can enhance your staging. Try using some cute, affordable throw pillows to jazz up seating. Natural elements are always a good staging accessory, and you can incorporate subtle seasonal elements into your home. A few real or faux houseplants on floors or tables adds a touch of greenery to your home, and it looks attractive no matter the season. Place vases of real or artificial flowers or bowls of fruit on tables to give a look of freshness. If you’re trying to make a room seem larger, hang a large mirror to give the illusion of increased space. Make sure your TV is turned off during staging photo sessions so as not to be a distraction.
Shed Some Light
Everyone knows the key to a great profile picture is good lighting, and the same goes for staging. Luckily, you don’t need fancy lighting equipment! Open your blinds to let the sun in, and leave the lights on for photos. If your existing lights aren’t brightening the room enough, consider replacing the bulb, as older bulbs dim over time. Pay attention to the warmth or coolness of the bulb, too. Warm light is yellow-tinged and less intense, while cool light is blue-toned and more intense.
Does your house look welcoming from the outside? A home that appears well-kept from the street draws buyers in and is one of the first pictures buyers see when browsing MLS sites. Your front porch is a prime area to add curb appeal. Try repainting your door, placing potted flowers near the stoop, and hanging a wreath on the door. It’s a good idea to clean the grime from your siding; check if the material is safe for power washing. Cleaning windows from the inside and outside will give your home extra sparkle; don’t forget the screens! For the surrounding land, trim overgrown grass, bushes, and tree branches. If you have fencing along your property, ensure there are no missing or damaged slats, and repaint panels if needed.
Don’t let poor or nonexistent staging hurt your home’s sale potential—show that your house is “forever home” material! Effective staging should make your home look like someone could live there, but doesn’t look lived in. You don’t have to spend a fortune—cleanliness and a little creativity can go a long way when selling your home.
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