How To Stage A Home For Selling
Staging rooms for a viewing is just as important as staging them for the photos.
You’ve made a good first impression, but the actual viewing can often make or break the deal – now it’s time to live up to expectations by setting up your home effectively for those viewings.
The living room is a focal point of the home, so therefore it’s important that it is presented in the best way possible.
Neutral colours always look best when selling a home, however this is doubly as important in the lounge due to the significance it can have in sealing the deal. Painting your living room in shades such as beige, tan, or white are perfect for this and are also easy to work your furniture around.
Rather than pushing all the furniture against the wall, use it to create a conversational space which can help add to the family feel of the room. If you can, try placing a coffee table in the centre of the room and rearrange your sofas and armchairs in pairs around that with the television at one end.
Similar to taking a good property photo, you need a mixture of bright, natural lighting and cosy, artificial lighting that is tastefully placed in order to make a living room (or any room) look welcoming for a viewing. Using lighting correctly can make your home look even more warm and appealing.
If you can, try looking for some new sofas. Neutral shades in leather or suede will work just fine. If you want a cheaper deal, you can always go for a second hand sofa rather than splurging on a brand new one. As long as it doesn’t appear damaged, a second-hand option is the perfect substitute.
The most obvious step here would be to make sure everything is clean and to declutter. Clean the worktops, inside cupboards, doorknobs – if it can be cleaned, clean it. Organising the inside of your cupboards so that they’re not overflowing with items is also handy as many viewers like to look inside cupboards to investigate the storage space. No one who views your home will want to imagine themselves cooking in a kitchen that appears unfit for the task.
Put away anything that doesn’t need to be there that might take away from the overall appeal of the room, such as pots of cooking equipment or a biscuit tin. The only items you’ll really need on worktop are a toaster, kettle and possibly a coffee machine if you have one. Not only does this look better, but it also gives the illusion of more space.
If your kitchen is in need of a minor upgrade, paint and update outdated cabinets yourself rather than fully replacing them – this will save you a lot of money as well as being beneficial to you in terms of selling your home. Don’t forget to replace or remove any damaged items, as these will instantly leave a bad impression; the damage might appear minor but to buyers it could indicate a larger scale problem.
Finally, place some flowers or a bowl of fruit on the breakfast bar or table for a splash of colour and leave two or three cookbooks out to show that the kitchen is still lived in.
When staging a bedroom, a soft and serene colour scheme is ideal. People want to feel relaxed when they enter their room after a long day, so go for tones that match this image – either neutral tones such as beige and soft browns which you would also see in the living room, or light blues and mint greens.
Make the room look as spacious as possible by putting any unneeded furniture into storage and not leaving anything on the surface of the remaining furniture – the main pieces you’ll need are the bed, wardrobe/chest of drawers and bedside table.
If the room is big enough, you might want to add a reading area as well consisting of a comfy chair and a lamp in the corner of the room or by the window. To bring a focal point to the room, adding a headboard to the bed is a good solution.
Take down posters, personal photos and other items with a sentimental feel. Unfortunately, touches that are a bit too personal such as family photos aren’t as appealing to a buyer. They want to be able to imagine themselves and their family in your home, and removing your personal touches can make this easier for them.
If you do want to have something on the walls, you could go for a neutral contemporary art piece that fits in with the rest of the room, or hang up a mirror where it can reflect the outdoors and bring more light into the room, creating the illusion of more space.
For children’s bedrooms, it’s possible to be a bit more creative and go with a theme – try going for something gender-neutral. Let in lots of natural light and remember to put the toys away!
Just like the kitchen, it’s vital that your bathroom is fresh and sparkling.
If you find any mould, you can remove it by using bleach and water in a spray bottle. This will instantly make your bathroom look cleaner and more fresh and is relatively easy to do. In addition, scour down grimy shower doors rather than replacing them and replace any worn out taps that have seen better days – show the buyer that this home has been loved and well maintained.
Minimalism works perfectly in the bathroom – it creates a feel of cleanliness and organisation. It’s best to hide toiletries and bathroom maintenance products as this can make the room look messy, however you might choose to leave a set of new (preferably white) plush towels on the towel rack and a folded set on the edge of the bath.
Remember to replace empty toilet roll with a new one and put a full bottle of hand soap next to the sink.
The dining room always benefits from showing off its function, so before any viewers arrive you might choose to set the table as if you were having a sophisticated dinner or place matching, small centrepieces down the length of the table.
If you have a chandelier and a wooden floor, place a rug directly underneath that then put the dining table there – this will immediately bring attention to that part of the room.
Utility rooms are often not the most attractive of rooms and it can be difficult to know when to start when it comes to staging them. You might wonder if there’s any point moving things around here, but no stone should be left unturned.
Of course, there’s the usual ‘hide any clutter’ rule, but there’s more you can do. Add some under cabinet lighting, replace worn out handles like you would in the kitchen, and don’t forget to freshen it up by cleaning and adding an new coat of paint if needed.
Use this room wisely. It can be either a burden or a blessing, but when used correctly there is definitely more chance of it being a blessing. Converting a spare room with no specific purpose into another bedroom is the ideal thing to do here. We’d recommend doing this before the valuation to up the value of your property prior to it going on the market. More bedrooms equals more value. It’s simple to do – simply buy a bed and a wardrobe and voila – a bedroom.
To stage a study, stage it as such; show that it is a study. A room with no clear function can be irritating for buyers so it’s best to show the room has a clear purpose. Furnish it with a desk, computer or laptop and office chair to clearly show what it’s there for.
You can use a similar strategy for other rooms where the purpose isn’t clear. For example, adding a few comfy chairs and a television can put this room forward as a TV room, or if it’s a playroom for the kids you can show this by decorating it as such.
Although you could turn this into a bedroom as well if you don’t have a spare room and want to up the value of your home even more.
Boost your curb appeal. Add some potted plants, weed the garden, sweep the driveway, throw in some outdoor lighting. Paint the front and garage doors if they need the work – basically, anything you can do to make it look tidy! It helps.
The most important tip here is to clean and declutter. Staging is very important and can be the make or break of selling a house, but too much clutter can easily take away from all your hard work. Also, remember to maintain the rooms and keep them up to scratch for every viewing. Adding a dash of colour doesn’t hurt either, whether it be through a bowl of fruit or a plant to add some life to the room.
If you stage your home properly and effectively, then a buyer will snatch it up in no time.