STAGING A HOME IS LIKE STAGING LIFE. My husband and I are in the process of transitioning to his hometown and for any of you that follow the blog realize that is where our hearts are….Grandchildren and of course two of our children. It is even a great idea for my daughter who lives in California as her Dad’s home and ours will be closer for her to go in between. In preparation, I always stage our home prior to showing it and I feel that this process with my tips I have learned may be helpful to others. Of course, I will tie this experience to a life lesson at the end so watch for it.
Arline’s tips for staging a home:
- Get rid of clutter. Too much of a good thing is too much. A possible buyer is not interested in your belongings, groceries, trash, etc. Eliminate the extras by packing, throwing away the trash, has beens, junk, etc.
- Do not display personal photos if possible. The future homeowner wants and needs to envision themselves in their “new home” and not be reminded this is “your domain”.
- Extra furniture, even though it may be an essential piece in your home may prevent the buyer from seeing how spacious your rooms are and how easy they can fit their furniture in. This is a time that less is more.
- Clean, clean, clean! There is nothing more distracting or unattractive for the prospective buyer than to see anything but sparkle. Dust, scrub, touch up places, and replace those items that are old and need removal.
- Smell your home before people arrive at showings. I bake cookies and offer them to visitors. I keep baking sheets I have prepared so it is fresh home baked aroma throughout the showing. It reminds them of the fun they will have in the kitchen. Do not use heavy disinfecting spray right before the showing. It will give the impression of trying to mask odors.
- Pay attention to drawers, cabinets, shelving so that all is neat and organized. I recently viewed a home and was really impressed the towels in the linen closet were neatly rolled. I opened the matching linen closet and it was a totally different look and was disarranged. People notice those little things so don’t overlook them.
- Taking photos of the home staged is vital. Do not wait until the last minute and take photos from different views. A person decides from the web site whether this is a good fit for them. I am going to show some photos from different realty websites without disclosing where these homes are listed for a Do and Don’t Do Comparison. I will use the ones I have staged in our home and possibly you will see what I am referring to in what to do and what not to do.
- Make sure windows and blinds are sparkling clean. A good view to beautiful scenery and/or a great front or back lawn makes the buyer feel at home. Nothing is as distracting as film on windows or dust on window blinds/sills.
- Kitchen sink under-cabinet staging. Display organic, non-chemical cleaners and no roach or rat preventive items. Keep items to a minimum and have clean sponges, brushes, pads, etc. As a home owner, it is easier to show the home without having to have discussions about pest control. Tip: Maintain your home at all times to be pest free so this is not even a concern.
- Pet Staging. Many of us love pets, dogs or cats and even some other varieties of animals. Carpets should be cleaned often if pets are present and vacuumed frequently. Bathe your pets regularly and use the natural fragrances to keep them smelling good. Litter boxes have to be religiously emptied and cleaned and open windows frequently to allow fresh air in your home. Any pet that is not house broken should be crated until you can trust them to be out. Carpets and area rugs should be cleaned and deodorized to prevent the paw tracking from pets going in and out.
- Window blinds/curtains should be opened for better lighting if possible. Some of my friends prefer a darker ambiance but most people love to see lighter rooms. If a window cannot be visible, make sure lights are on. Dark corners do not reflect bright, cheery atmosphere so keep it in mind even if you are Dracula’s descendants and love the dark.
- Staging is important but your attitude is what counts as well. If you have an agent representing and showing your home, please do an attitude check on how they feel about your home.
Here are some photos I wanted to share for the DO’s and DONT’S for staging a home:
DO: Minimal items on counters; clean and wiped cabinets, sinks, and appliances allow buyer to see backsplash and space in kitchen.
DON’T: The busyness of this kitchen takes away from the counter tops and size.
DO: Simple accessorizing helps to accent a feature like the fireplace. Greenery can be used but dust free if used. I used this photo for a reason. I left the cabinet open to show the TV but this is an option and it looks nicer closed for showings. I am posting another Do for a Living Room and this one is from a realtor website. Good job.
DO: See how minimal accessories allow you to see the walls, fireplace and just how much furniture is possible. Nothing personal.
DO’s: These bedrooms are staged with clean appeal, accessories, made up beds, and clean carpet.
DON’Ts: Toys, boxes, “junk” have to go or be displayed in an attractive way on shelves.
In finalizing this thought of staging, I thought about less is more when preparing a house for someone else to like what they see enough to spend time and maybe make it a home place. I thought about the same when we go to choose a mate for life. Look away from the material things and look at what I call the “bones” of a home. If we choose to spend our life with someone, it should be because it has an attractiveness, a cleanliness of body and spirit, room to grow both emotionally and wisely. In other words, maybe we look to see if our future mate has the ability to shine and sparkle without overdressing and speaking. Allow the person to win you over like a good, solid home does by being themselves and standing out from the crowd.
(C) Copyright 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location when known for reference credit. Photos are not property of Sipping Cups of Inspiration unless stated.