When you’re putting a home up for sale, staging is an incredibly important step in attracting buyers and getting the best price for your sale. Staging shows off a home in its best light and helps buyers see how they might enjoy the home as their own. Most of all, staging gives buyers a blank canvas to project their own ideal lives as they look at photos and walk through the home. The key is to make your house simultaneously beautiful and impersonal, like a magazine spread. And today, we’re here to walk you through the eight steps to stage your home perfectly for market using your own furniture.
1) Partner with a Real Estate Agent
The first step is to partner with a local real estate agent who knows the neighborhood like the back of their hand. They will have a deep understanding of both the standards and prices for local homes and who the local buyers are. As Redfin explains, your real estate agent provides an objective third-party view and a savvy decorator’s eye. While you are seeing your family home transformed into a magazine cover, they will see what buyers see and can help you perfect your home staging to truly appeal to the local market.
2) Remove All Personal Items
With the help of your real estate agent, start by removing all personal items from the rooms you plan to photograph and show. Remember that your goal is to help buyers visualize their own personal lives here, and your own personal items may make buyers feel like they are intruding. So lovingly pack up all your family photos, heirloom quilts, and decorative collections. Anything that personalized the space, it’s time to pack it for the move to your next home. Rather than filling your closets and garage so buyers have to overlook boxes, you can store your items off site and out of the way.
3) Keep Only Your Most Attractive Furniture
Smart staging shows off how big your rooms are, so it’s usually a good idea to remove about half of all the furniture. You’re transforming the home from a cozy place to sit into a spacious place to walk through. Pick your most attractive furniture to leave just to demonstrate what each room could potentially be used for.
4) Clean and Polish
Now it’s time to clean everything from top to bottom. Vacuum and steam-clean. Polish everything until it shines. If this phase is too much along with everything else on your plate, hand the task off to a professional cleaning service – it’s that important. Once all is spotless, consider repainting in the latest neutral colors. Try to think of your home as a hotel room now instead of as the family homestead and prepare it as if you were hosting royalty. Because that’s what you want buyers to feel like when they step through those front doors.
5) Snap a Beautiful Photo-Tour
Once you and your agent are satisfied with the staging, it’s time for photos. HGTV suggests turning on all the lights, pick the most attractive time of day for sunlight and snap a full tour of photos. The best real estate photos are ones that give the buyers a sense of how the rooms flow together. When you upload the photos, remember to caption them with the name of each room. Buyers love to know exactly what they’re looking at. Get every single room of the house, especially the kitchen and bathrooms which are deal-makers/breakers for many buyers.
6) Plan Your First Open House
Finally, you’re ready to host your first open house. Trust your real estate agent on how to plan the perfect open-house for buyers in your neighborhood. Set up some inviting music and snacks and be prepared to be a gracious host as buyers curiously wander through your beautifully staged home.
With a little creativity and elbow grease, you can effectively stage your home, DIY-style. Get input from your agent, do some decluttering and depersonalizing, and present the house well for photos and events. Soon, you’ll have your place sold!