Staging a home that’s for sale in hopes of providing a more cohesive and enticing look used to be something reserved for high-end home sales. Realtors would recommend an expert in staging, and that person would use the owner’s belongings and/or bring in other furnishings and accessories to complete an attractive picture that would help these elegant homes sell in a timely manner.
These days, however, upscale sellers aren’t the only ones who employ the services of a staging professional or – at least – employ the techniques used by someone who works as a stager. With the internet at our fingers, it’s possible to garner some essential staging tips by merely doing a little searching on the web and, as such, it provides sellers with the opportunity to give staging a try on their own.
Below, we’re offering some of those staging secrets for keeping your house exciting and attractive to buyers of all types as they consider making it their next home.
- Rugs rule! – Rugs come in all shapes and sizes and are just plain interesting. You can find them in solids, prints, and in all sorts of textures. They serve a variety of purposes when using them to stage a home. First of all, they are ideal for downplaying flaws on other floor surfaces, such as less-than-pristine carpets or tiled or ceramic floors that are chipped, cracked, or scraped. They also help showcase your hardwood floors, though you’ll want to be careful not to cover too much of the hardwood. Choose something that compliments your décor and design colors but be sure not to use too many patterns in one spot; i.e., mixing rugs and furniture of different patterns.
- Marvelous mirrors! – Everyone has at least a few mirrors in their home, but they’re often confined to the bathroom or bedrooms. However, the addition of a mirror can go far in making any room more attractive. For example, the reflective surface of a mirror serves to brighten up a room, so if you have a space that lacks natural light, add a wall mirror. It doesn’t have to be huge but should be large enough to make a difference. Mirrors can also be used to make rooms look larger and can reflect a great view when strategically placed. Alternatively, use them as artwork. There are plenty of intriguing mirrors available that indeed are works of art! Like rugs, mirrors come in a variety of sizes, styles, and shapes, so look for one to complement the home’s architecture and be sure it doesn’t overwhelm the wall on which it’s being placed or, conversely, don’t choose one that’s too small.
- Going (fake) green! – You may think that your many potted plants add a fresh look to your home, but most stagers agree that they often look messy and make a room look cluttered, especially if you’re an avid green thumb that keeps lots of house plants. So, instead, please remove them and consider purchasing a few top-quality fake plants or trees to place in spaces that look otherwise bare, including in corners, on coffee tables or end tables, or even in the bathrooms. However, even though YOU know these plants aren’t real, it’s essential to purchase greens that appear to be the kind that needs watering. It may involve spending a few dollars more, but it’s worth the cost, and you can always take them with you to your next home. Consider artificial succulents or grasses, which often look more like the real thing than other types of fake plants.
- Art that attracts! – If you’re taking the trouble to stage your home, examine your artwork to see if it does add pizzazz to your walls or other surfaces. It might be time to take down that wall of family photos or the painting of great-great-grandfather riding his prized stallion. Instead, choose art – including large pieces – that complements the style of the home and perhaps appeals to the type of buyer you suspect will be looking at your house. Not sure what that is? Then, say the experts, choose abstract pieces that show subjects with universal appeal, such as landscapes, still life, or flowers. So while your art pieces don’t have to be matchy-matchy with your furniture, walls, or carpet, you should stick within the same color scheme for best results. Remember, oversized pieces are best placed over a couch or bed or in a grand entryway so don’t try to put large artwork on anything you wouldn’t consider a large wall.
- Baiting the buyer! – If you are trying to appeal to a specific type of buyer, stage your home with them in mind. For example, if your neighborhood is full of children and you suspect that those considering your home will have children too, stage one room as a playroom to plant a seed in the mind of the buyer that this is the perfect neighborhood for couples with kids. Or if you live in an area where many professors from the local university reside, be sure to stage an office or library to suggest that this might be the perfect house for the academic.
If you’re thinking about listing your home for sale, have an honest talk with your real estate agent about what’s inside. Consider his/her suggestions for staging, and if you think taking the plunge and hiring a stager is right for you, do it! It’ll be worth the expense. The National Association of Realtors suggests that for every $100 spent on staging, the return is approximately $400, and notes that 95 percent of staged homes sell in 11 days or less. That’s about 85 percent faster than non-staged homes!