8 tricks to stage your home for selling (plus, how to take the best shots for listings!)
When you are trying to sell your house you want to get the most value for the trade, and that’s the purpose of the home staging.
If you want to save the fee of a professional decorator and stage your home yourself, you should take a look at these tricks to get the most of your sale.
1. Declutter. Yes, inside drawers, closets and cabinets too.
This recommendation might seem obvious, but most sellers “forget” to clean and declutter inside cabinets and wardrobes and just hide the dirt out of sight. Remember when you bought your place? Prospective buyers will open every drawer and door to check if they are ok, so get rid of all the garbage that you won’t pack and move anyway, like damaged tableware, rags, small machine parts, corks, caps and old food containers. If you don’t know where to start, look at our guide to declutter your home.
2. Paint should look mint
Don’t trust that your buyers are going to see the “potential” of the house if the walls are worn out and awful. Every inch of damaged paint is going to scream for a huge discount. A paint job is cheap and can get you the best return on investment when selling the house. Inspect all the walls from every room and ask for a bulk-discount from your contractor. Choose light, neutral colors and the spaces will look cleaner and bigger.
3. Replace tiles and damaged light switches and outlets
Other improvement that will cost you a small chips is changing the cover of light switches and outlets. Think that a yellowish, cracked plastic won’t match a fresh paint job. If some of them are ok, just thoroughly wash and buff them so they look new. In the kitchen and bathroom, make sure that all the tiles are ok, with no spaces or lose pieces. If you don't have the spares to make the repair, consider a full wall replacement or just remove all of them and paint.
4. Get rid of some pieces of furniture and decor
Remember that you may have an impeccable taste, but your potential buyers may not share it. Get rid of most of the decor -especially things that are too personal, like portraits, kids’ artwork or family pictures-. Keep all the spaces as neutral and neat as possible, but cozy and nice. If your rooms seem cramped, try moving pieces of furniture to other space. A living room armchair can inhabit the bedroom, for instance. Play with the volumes to make all the house well balanced.
5. Improve the lighting of the spaces
Nobody is going to pay well a house that looks like a cave, so make sure your rooms have the right ambience. You might be used to dim lights and find your way even in the darkness, but that’s not very appealing to the average human. Follow our recommendations on lighting your home and fix the problems you might have, to show the rooms to their full potential..
6. Don’t try to hide stuff
That small space under the stairs is The Bermuda Triangle of the house? Well, time to clean it and make it open. That goes, also, for attic space, basement and garage. Like what happens with drawers, you won’t move those loads of garbage to your new house and the new residents won’t make use of your old rubbish, so don’t try to hide it just to pass the open house. If there is stuff that can be donated, research NGOs or Salvation Army offices in your area and make some good at the same time.
7. Get rid of moisture, especially the smell!
It doesn’t matter if you just fix a water leak and everything is dry if everybody still smells moisture and mold. Most of the odour will be done with the paint job, but take special attention if it persists. Open windows and let all the UV light you can to purify the air, replace filters of the HVAC and clean vents to get rid of every residual particle. There will be no amount of explanation enough if your buyers feel that you are hiding some structural damage.
8. Arrange the yard and patio
Most sellers don’t take in consideration the strong impression that a nice garden leaves in a prospective buyer. Spend a few bucks and buy some flowers and grass patches to make the landscape like a dream. Fix all the bricks, tiles, blocks or concrete from patio and paths, and trim the trees and bushes. The “I can live here” sentiment is usually felt at the first sight of the home from the outside. Make it count to sell the house from that moment on.
With your home ready to the open house day, you might want to take some nice pictures for listing it. If your realtor don’t offer that service, there are some tips you need to know:
- Make sure you take a lot of photos. Something might look good at first sight but when you check the galley in the computer look awful. Don’t trust your naked eye and repeat all the takes with slight differences so you have plenty to choose afterwards.
- Most rooms look nicer if the pic is taken from the doorway, looking to the inside. Again, take loads of pics from there and then go inside and take others from every angle, so no detail is left out.
- Exterior pictures look better if shot from an angle instead of directly from the front, to show the depth of the building. Take them from every angle of the front and the backyard to choose later the one that best showcases all the selling points.
- You don’t need to show all the appliances and phones plugged and cords look awful in pictures. Unplug and roll the wires out of sight before taking the pics. Just a white lie ;)
- Nothing is better than natural sunlight, so take the pictures on a sunny day before noon, when light impact nicely on windows. Be sure to open curtains to allow as much natural light in as possible. Cloudy days will make the pictures very dull and gloomy, even if there is enough light, so avoid those days.
With all these tips and tricks you will surely make the best out of selling your house. If there is any other trick you know from your experience, share it with us in the comments below to help other people.