Last week we discussed the misconceptions in home staging, with home staging expert Jane Livingston of Stage and Sell.
This week we continue our three part series with the most important tips for staging a house.
What are your top three most important tips for staging a house?
JL: First and foremost, lose the emotional attachment. Think of your property as a product that you want to sell. Understandably, homeowners are very attached to their homes and selling can be emotional. But you need to remove emotion from the equation as much as possible and look at your home objectively. Even take photos of all the important rooms, upload them to your computer and take a critical look. Look at how your rooms stack up to other online photos in your price range.
Second, clean everything. Clean the grout, the inside and outside of appliances, the dusty corners, windows, light fixtures and even the exterior siding and concrete walk ways. Make it sparkle so potential buyers know the property is well maintained.
Lastly, remove two-thirds of the stuff on your surfaces and shelves. Then, artfully design those shelves with books and objects in different sizes and shapes. Leave counter surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom clean and clear. Place fresh flowers for a pop of color. Let’s face it, we tend to gather too much stuff and clutter hides the best features of a home. The objective is to highlight your home’s personality and not overshadow it with your own.
What is your best staging success story?
JL: That’s a toss up between several projects but here’s one of my favorite stories: Last year we staged a home for an older couple who desperately wanted to retire and move to a warmer climate. They needed to sell their house for asking price or more to do that.
After our initial consultation, this couple got busy and did everything we recommended. They worked hard packing and removing boxes of belongings and old furniture. They painted walls with fresh up-to-date colors. And they cleaned and cleaned and cleaned some more until everything sparkled. After we rearranged the remaining furniture and fluffed for the MLS photos, the house hit the market and immediately got multiple offers, the buyers got a fabulously well maintained home and the sellers are retired and sipping cocktails by the sea. That was an incredibly gratifying experience.
Stay tuned for our final post in our three part series on home staging where Jane discusses why staging is important in the home sales process.