The Art of Home Staging

With a housing market still hot (though softening) and buyers jumping on homes as soon as they hit the market, home staging has become more important than ever. Staging is a form of art that involves a combination of design, science and psychology.

Bankrate recently reported that homeowners should remove personal belongings from their home before it goes on the market. Here are some tips for doing just that.

1. Declutter

Decluttering is one of the most important parts of staging your home. It helps potential buyers see how they can move in and make it their own. It also makes the space look larger.

Keep in mind that decluttering for home staging is different from regular decluttering. You want to remove all personal items and minimize decor. Also, don’t forget about closets – buyers will want to check out storage space too.

It’s also a good idea to donate or sell items that you don’t use anymore. This can help free up some cash and make your home feel more open and inviting. Also, be sure to declutter the outdoor spaces as well. This will create a great first impression and increase curb appeal.

2. Remove Personal Belongings

The main goal of staging is to make it easier for buyers to envision the home as their own. That means removing personal items, including family photos, mementos, toiletries, and kids’ artwork. It’s also a good idea to remove any hobby items such as sports memorabilia, music instruments, or even home exercise equipment.

Many of these items can be packed up and stored in a garage or basement until the home is sold. In fact, sellers should start packing up their belongings before they list the home for sale. This makes the process much faster and easier for a seller. Besides, decluttering and removing personal belongings can help a home look more spacious in photographs. That’s a big plus for prospective buyers. Almost all buyers’ agents agree that staging helps homes sell faster and for top dollar.

3. Create a Clean Canvas

If your home is decorated with bold colors or has a distinctive decorating style, it may be time to hire a professional for a full staging. While this stage is more costly than decluttering, it can have a huge impact on how quickly a home sells and at what price.

A stager can swap out garish colors for neutrals and get rid of personal signs of ownership, such as candid family photos, monogrammed towels, and kitschy collectibles. This makes it easier for prospective buyers to imagine themselves living in the house and will make the space more appealing.

Staging can also help make a home seem more spacious and multifunctional. For example, a stager might transform an unused bedroom into a guest room or office to inspire buyers and highlight the room’s potential.

4. Focus on the High Impact Rooms

Home staging involves redecorating, cleaning, and other aesthetic strategies to make a property more appealing to potential buyers. It can be done by the seller, real estate agent or a professional home staging company.

Staging can highlight a property’s good features and hide its flaws; make rooms more usable; set the mood; and appeal to the largest pool of buyers. In addition, homes that are staged spend 33% to 50% less time on the market than those that are not.

Although staging an entire house can be expensive, the results can be well worth the investment. If you aren’t ready to spend the money on staging, try focusing on one or two high impact rooms. This will make the home look more appealing in photos and entice potential buyers to visit in person.

5. Invest in a High-Quality Photograph

Home staging is a great way to help potential buyers see the possibilities in your space. A well-staged home will appear bigger, cleaner and more inviting in photographs, which are often the first impression that home shopper makes of your listing.

For the best results, stagers recommend removing clutter and personal belongings from all rooms that are being photographed. Adding some decorative touches, like new throw pillows or fresh flowers, can also be helpful.

If you don’t have a lot of cash to spend on professional home staging, a DIY approach can still be effective. Consider getting a consultation with a professional, who can offer ideas on what to do to make the space more attractive. They can also help you find ways to highlight the property’s features and make it stand out online.

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