Having to sell your house and move isn’t the most fun thing to do. However, you can make it a lot easier to sell your house if you get it ready before putting it on the market. This is true whether or not you choose to try and sell your house yourself (FSBO) or higher a real estate agent. One of the best things you can do to help get your house under contract faster is to properly stage it. Staging is simply having the bare necessities in your home to help buyers visualize the property as their own as well as define spaces. This will most likely the first of a few posts about properly staging your house. If you need to sell your house, keep reading 🙂
Staging Your Living Room To Sell Your Home Quickly
The first and most important thing you have to do either with or without an agent is clean your house from top to bottom. Make sure everything is put away in it’s place and remove as much clutter as possible. It is a good idea to rent a storage bin or unit when getting ready to sell. This will help you 2 ways. One, you have less things in your home for showings and two – you are getting ahead of the game for moving!
Don’t forget about the yard. Make sure you perform all of the basics like cutting the grass, trimming hedges and depending on what time of year it is, plant some flowers. This is what is known as “curb appeal”. You want potential buyers to get a nice warm feeling about the property when they first arrive. You only get one chance to make a good first impression.
Now onto the meat of staging. Let’s start with the living room and/or family room.
The Home Buyer Institute put up some good info –
Staging the Family Room / Living Room
- Clear the room of family portraits and other items that say “you don’t live here” to buyers.
- Arrange the room in a conversational way, if it’s not that way already. Try different furniture arrangements until you get the best fit.
- Choose a nice and warm paint color for the living room. Use neutral tones in this space. That doesn’t mean you are limited to beige. There are plenty of warm colors that will neutralize the space, while also adding visual interest. These include the softer shades of green, blue and brown.
- “Neutral” does not have to be boring. You can liven up a neutral color scheme with colorful accent items, such as pillows and rugs. Color-coordinate these items for a professional and “put together” appearance.
- Let the room breathe. If it’s crowded or hard to walk through due to having too much furniture, remove some items and place them in storage.
Consider renting furniture for staging purposes. If your family room ensemble consists of that old couch from college days and a cheap table with wobbly legs, replace them with some nice rental pieces.
- If the furniture is a bit worn but otherwise intact, use a slip cover as a low-cost way to enhance the appearance of your couch and chairs. Slip covers can also help you neutralize overly bright or “loud” fabric colors.
- If you have a mantle, make sure it’s not overloaded with knick knacks. A couple of well-placed items (like a vase or flower arrangement) are all you need.
- If you have a fireplace in this room, make it the focal point and the star of the show. Arrange seating to face the fireplace. Remove the TV if it’s too large — a huge television will draw attention away from the fireplace.
Remember, people want a living room or family room area that seems open and inviting. Make the room airy and bright, and arrange furniture for the best possible flow. Replace or cover worn furniture as needed. When people naturally want to sit down and spend time in the room, you’ve achieved your home-staging goals for the room!
Continue reading “Home Staging Tips – How to Stage a House for Sale“
All of that is great advice. We would emphasize that you need to remove as many personal items as you can, especially family pictures. The object is to help the buyer visualize the property as their own.
In addition to their tips you want to make sure that all of the children’s toys are put away. This can be rather hard if you have small children because it almost seems like they are wired to make a mess! If you are selling with an agent then you can ask them to give a few hours notification before showing the home so that you have enough time to do a quick cleaning.
And speaking of cleaning, you are going to have to keep the house as clean as possible at all times so that you won’t have so much to do when someone shows up to look at the house. Make sure there are no dirty dishes in the sink and all of your laundry is done.
Staging your house is something that is frequently overlooked by seller. However it is extremely important. If you have a good real estate agent, they will be able to help you with some good ideas to help you properly stage your house for a quick sale. Otherwise you may have to hire a professional stager, or do some serious online research, apply some techniques and then ask some friends and family what they think. Stay tuned for more on staging.
Recommended reading on how to sell your home quickly;
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