As a real estate writer, I am often asked to write press releases for agents and homeowners. This is a tool normally reserved for breaking news; yet, some people use it as an advertisement or public announcement. One day, I got a bright idea. I stopped writing the press releases and instead sold the one-page template. Immediately, customers began to respond that I had sent them the wrong story: It was the sample story to demonstrate how the template should look with finished text in it. They just did not get it. I had to go back to writing the releases myself.
This is true for your home as well. Think of your home as a template. You know what it is supposed to look like, and how nicely it can present itself. Sadly, even the most imaginative, creative, and intelligent people have a hard time envisioning the potential for an empty or poorly filled space. The human mind just was not designed for everyday visionary quantum leaps. So, it is up to you, the homeowner, to help yourself by helping your home viewers.
Because a home is just that; it’s not only a ‘house.’ A house is a space enclosed by walls and a roof. A home is where you live. The following are some home staging tips for making your house look like somewhere someone would desire to reside, and pay handsomely to do so.
Your home is for sale. That goes beyond a price and a sign out front. Even if you are using a real estate agent, they are simply a sales person. You are a marketer. This means that you have to stage your house. This is the same principle behind a clean car selling faster. When you see a picture online of a vehicle with dust and leaves on it, will you even make an appointment to go see it? The same is true if you want to sell your home fast. Staging a home is not difficult. It just takes some common sense and a little flair.
How To Stage A Home
Barren is Bad
Living alone as a bachelor, I went back to my Bauhaus roots and made my place as stark as possible. When my son came to visit, he remarked to his mom over the phone that dad lived in a ‘barren’ apartment. So much for clean lines and streamlined design! The kid said the emperor has no clothes, and that’s final. People, by nature, are pack rats. Even if not full-on hoarders, they tend to associate ‘stuff’ with warmth and success. A filled space is a full life, plain and simple. It has both a conscious and subconscious significance. Therefore, find some nice, inexpensive furniture from a thrift shop or yard sale, and arrange it nicely throughout the home. Use pleasant paintings, throw pillows, candles, and coffee and end tables to give a modern yet modest look. It doesn’t have to look like a Hollywood set, maybe more like a gently worn Ikea display.
Persuade the Pupil
Better known as finessing the focus, or leading the eye; this is how to stage a home so that good features are highlighted, and less attractive attributes are muted. A fireplace, for example, should boldly stand out, uncluttered or infringed upon; whereas a nearby conduit from an electrical upgrade could have a pretty chair and flower vase in front of it. Curtains hide radiators. You get the picture.
Pitch the Personal
Your stuff is just that: Yours. Don’t let little things like controversial magazines, game consoles, wires, and controllers, and half-empty pop bottles lie strewn about for people to get distracted by. Orderly is the order of the day, as potential buyers stroll through your wide, open spaces.
Warmth and Comfort
Cozy is considered the kiss of death for a home listing. Quaint is not far behind. But these are code words used by agents to fluff up small and confined living quarters. You want to do the opposite. Make your home viewer feel like a visitor or guest. Get them to imagine that a spare towel will be waiting for them on the duvet when they return from the bathroom to the bedroom for a second look.
Dust Free is Home Free
To sell your home fast, make it seem newly steam cleaned. Seriously, the first time that a homebuyer sneezes, kiss the signing goodbye. Keep pets at bay, or better, leave them with a friend or neighbor during home tours. Everyone has different ideas of cleanliness; but no one likes to see the fuzzy dust clinging to the cooking residue on the range hood. That’s just plain lazy!
There’s really no “How To Stage A Home” secret or a specific way to do it. Get creative. Follow these tips for staging your home, and you will sell your house faster than anyone!