Tips on Staging your home

I can not emphasize enough on the fact that home staging helps sell homes faster and attracts more potential buyers. It is very difficult to sell a vacant home or an overly crowded home, both of these could immensely benefit from having a home staging consultation.

A vacant home needs to be show cased to the public, fully furnished, as the general public is not able to visualize for example, how a bed and a desk would fit in a small bedroom.

On the other hand, a crowded home needs to be decluttered to show the potential and the space that home has to offer to the interested buyers.

I am connected to several professional home stagers in the city and as part of my services, I provide free Professional Home Staging consultation to clients that list their home with me.

Here are some tips on home staging:

  1. Consider hiring a professional. Do a little math and make a few calls to see what it would cost to hire someone to handle the staging for you. Professional stagers have an arsenal of furnishings at the ready and can hammer out a neutral, professional design much quicker than you can. If you're determined to do the work yourself, see about getting a consultation from a professional stager.
  2. You don't need to stage the whole house. Whether you hire a pro or decide to go the DIY route, you don't need to stage every single room. Stage the main living areas — living room, dining room, kitchen — and at least one bedroom, preferably the master. You should also stage any room that has a confusing purpose to show how it can be used. So if there's an awkwardly sized bedroom, stage it to show that it will fit a bed and dresser comfortably, for instance.

    Homeowners can do many things to stage their home at little or no cost. The most important thing to keep in mind is that buyers must be able to envision themselves living in your home.

    "No one will buy your home until they can mentally move into it."
  3. Clean, get rid of clutter and depersonalize. Staging is about making your home look nice, but remember that buyers have other senses and that a bad smell can be a deal-breaker. Nothing smells better than clean.

    Check that all rooms are spotlessly clean, have washed windows, smell good and have been aired before showings.
  4. Be resourceful when hunting for furnishings. If you have friends and family with updated or neutral furniture, see if you can borrow a few pieces to stage your home. If you need to stage a room as a bedroom but you don't have a bed, get an inflatable air mattress that rises off the floor to regular bed height. Once you get the linens on, it will look just like a regular bed, and you can use it for guests in your new home.
  5. Show off hardwood floors. If you have hardwood floors in good shape that are covered by wall-to-wall carpeting, remove the carpet and clean the floor.
  6. Remove heavy window treatments. Buyers are looking for homes with lots of natural light and that lighter, less formal window panels give any room a lighter, airier feel.
  7. Freshen the walls. Paint is always the least expensive way to make a major change to a home.
  8. Remember the rule of three. The golden rule is three items per surface, whether it's a wall, tabletop or mantel.

    The rule of three applies to small rooms, as well, while larger rooms may get six pieces — four chairs, a table and a lamp in a dining room, for example.
  9. Do your research. If you're not sure what a staged home should look like, spend a half-day going to open houses to see what works and what doesn't. Take notes.

Selling in Winter time

Just because the weather outside is frightful, the home selling experience doesn't have to be. Traditionally, the spring season is known as the time when home buyers are out in full-swing looking to purchase, but winter months can also bring in motivated buyers who are attracted to your snow covered home. Here are five suggestions from the professionals at Coldwell Banker on how to take your home from cold, to cozy, to sold:

  1. Keep the Outside Manicured. Don't let the cold weather dampen your home's curb appeal. Always keep a clear path from the street or driveway to the front door, even sprinkle a layer of sand over the sidewalk and front steps to ensure home buyers can easily get to the home. To brighten up the outside of a home plant some flowers that are in season in the winter such as Chrysanthemums, Evergreens or Pansies. If it's raining or snowing, put a rubber mat by the front door and provide a coat rack and bin to easily store jackets and umbrellas while potential buyers enjoy viewing the home.
  2. Focus on Letting in the Light. Since the sun isn't flowing into your home during the winter as it may during the rest of the year, open up the shutters, raise the blinds and push back the drapes on all the windows in your home to let in as much natural light as possible. Make a point to turn on all the lights, and for rooms that don't have any windows, consider adding spotlights on the floor behind furniture.
  3. Create a Cozy Mood. Winter is the time of year when you want to cuddle up with loved ones at home, so make your house feel like a winter retreat. Toss throw blankets across the arms of your sofa or chair, place vases of winter flowers around the house and place a breakfast tray on the bed with coffee cups, saucers, napkins, etc. This will give your home an irresistible cozy feel.
  4. Emphasize Sight, Sound, Scent and Taste. For a warm look, give your home a good scrub to make it sparkle for potential buyers and add photographs that showcase the home during the summer with flowers blooming and lush green lawns. Turn on some inviting music, like jazz or classical, that is soothing and will make the potential home buyers feel relaxed during their viewing. Make your home smell warm and inviting with scents of baked goods, such as cookies or apple pie. A light scented candle is a good choice. Avoid strong scents from sprays or plug in air fresheners because many people are allergic. Serve comforting winter foods and beverages to give viewers a taste of home. Try a delicious soup or scrumptious gingerbread cookies and hot apple cider or cups of cocoa.
  5. Check all Home Heating Systems. Depending on the length of time that the furnace or heating system has been installed in the home, consider providing a history of service and having an inspector check to ensure it is working properly. Make sure basement pipes are insulated or wrapped, especially those on outside walls. Finally, to ensure the fireplace does not cool off other parts of the house make sure there is a vent on the outside wall and that there are glass doors in front of it. All of these extra inspections will provide reassurance to prospective buyers that the home can stand up to the harsh cold of winter.