What can you do in eight seconds? That’s all the time it takes for your next buyer to form a first impression opinion of your home. By following these simple home staging tips, you can prepare your home to sell, and increase your chances of a favorable first impression.
Eight seconds isn’t a lot of time, and dressing your home to sell is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a successful sale. If you have any motivation to sell in the next 3-6 months, these home staging tips will help you learn how to stage your home to compel a buyer to not only look, but make an offer.
These home staging tips are not for home sellers who are just out to test the market, and have no real motivation to move. But, if you are serious about moving, and you want your house to sell in a reasonable time frame, it’s not enough to be “competitive,” and to look average. In order to sell for the most amount of money in the shortest time frame, you need to create a good first impression right off the bat… inside and out… IN EIGHT SECONDS!
Outside Home Staging Tips
There’s no denying the importance of curb appeal. Most home buyers decide whether they want to see the inside or not within just a few seconds after driving by your home. What does your house look like from the street? You’ll never sell you home to a buyer who won’t come in to look.
The following home staging tips will help you create curb appeal and prepare the outside of your home to encourage a drive-by looker to take the next step and schedule a walk-through showing.
- Tidy Up – Sweep walkways, clear the steps, de-clutter the porch, and rake the leaves.
- Add Some Color – Seasonal flowers are a great place to start, but why not add to the color by hanging a seasonal wreath on the front door, or adding unobtrusive seasonal decorations like lighting or pumpkins to the entry area?
- Give It A Mow – Homes that have freshly mowed and edged lawns just show better. Go for the freshly manicured look, it’ll pay off.
- De-clutter – One of the biggest complaints I hear from buyers is too much clutter. Think about how and where you store stuff… gardening tools, garbage cans, and other unnecessary items can be a real turn off.
- Touch up – Fresh paint always helps improve the curb appeal, but if that’s not in the budget, consider touching up peeling or chipped paint on trim and doors. Clean the windows and pressure clean the sidewalks, patio, and deck.
- Light It Up – Turn on your garage and porch lights can really help improve your curb appeal. It can even makes your home appear warmer in the cooler months.
- Maintenance – Tighten loose railing, replace bunt-out outside lighting, and fix loose stepping stones or paving stones.
- Don’t Forget The Back – Once you get a buyer through the front door, don’t forget they’re going to want to see the back too. Apply the same exterior home staging tips out back as well.
Home Staging Tips For The Inside
Okay, so the buyer liked it from the outside and wants to take a peek inside. You’ll want your home to give off a great first impression by creating a grand entrance. Even smaller, modest homes can be staged to create a warm welcome to prospective buyers.
Removing clutter from the entry is step number one to preparing the inside of your home to show. I suggest removing coat/shoe racks from this area to create a clear path to the rest of the home.
Do you have a really “great” room in the house? Create a grand entrance to that room by adding a runner, or eye catching art or other accessories.
A key to making the inside look more spacious is to remove clutter, sentimental knickknacks, and large furniture. Make sure each room has an easy traffic flow to make the house feel as open and functional as possible. Bookmark this page so you can come back and use this checklist before your next showing.
The following home staging tips will help you showcase the inside of your home and enhance the best rooms and special features.
- Clean Up – I understand this takes some time, but if you want top dollar and a better chance of selling, it’s important to clean each room from top to bottom! Yes that means closets, desks, and cabinets too!
- De-clutter & De-personalize– Home staging done correctly, will allow a buyer to visualize where their furniture would go. The key is to get the buyer to imagine themselves living in your home. Help them do this by removing sentimental knickknacks and clutter from shelves, walls, and tables.
- Open Windows – Unless it’s too cold or noisy outside, consider letting in some fresh air by opening up a few windows, slider, or french doors, especially if you have pets.
- Make It Cozy – Note, cozy does not mean small, hot, and cluttered! Check the thermostat before showings to make sure it’s at a comfortable temperature. If it’s too hot or cold, buyers may not spend enough time in your home to really appreciate it. If it’s cold outside, why not light a fire in the fireplace?
- Make It Smell Good – Honestly, name one thing that smells better than fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Why not bake some before your next showing. Better yet, set some out on the table with a note to your potential buyer! The subtle sense of smell can actually enhance the buyers impression of your home.
- Light It Up – Buyers just don’t hang around very long in a dark house. An imortant tip to home staging is turning on ALL the lights, open the shades, and push back the curtains. Making your home feel bright and alive by turning on lights on appliances, under cabinets, microwaves, and closets
Got A Showing? Take Off…
I understand that some sellers think they need to be there for every showing, just in case the buyer has a question or two. From my past 20-something years experience, I can tell you that is usually a huge mistake. I’ve found that buyers tend to feel more free to explore the house, and they usually stay at the house longer when the owner is not present.
Bottom line… make yourself scarce. That’s why it’s just best to leave the home showings in the capable hands of your real estate professional.
Perception Is Reality
You’ve heard it said, perception is reality. The truth is, staged homes are perceived by buyers to be more comfortable, cozy, attractive, and well-cared for, which is precisely the reason I created this home staging checklist. Just a few quick fixes and some attention to small details can really go a long way towards creating a great first impression for your next buyer.
You only have eight seconds… I hope you can use these home staging tips to better prepare your home for the market, improve your curb appeal, and get your home sold the first time around.
Happy house selling!