Four tips to stage your house like a professional

Aug 2nd, 2018 | By FCT

If you’re selling your house, you want it to go quickly and for top dollar. One way to make your house more appealing to the most number of people is by staging it.

While your house reflects you and your family, when you’re selling, you need to showcase how it can work for anyone. When Donna Nash was starting out as a home stager over 13 years ago, a realtor she knew was having trouble selling a property. Her friend was the fifth realtor to be listing the same property, so Donna offered her some help and staged the house. A day and a half later, it was sold! Donna says that the key is to “think of your house as a product that you need to sell”.

Here are some tips from Donna and other professionals to help you stage your home:

1. Declutter

Go through every room in your house and take out anything that you don’t need–books, furniture, decorative items, etc. Whether you have a big space or not, you need to create the illusion of it; the less you have in your rooms, the bigger they look. In order to really showcase your home, remove any old or broken furniture, so potential buyers focus only on the layout and structure of the house.

Buyers also look for storage space in a house, so make sure all the closets and cupboards are neat and not overflowing or filled to capacity.

2. Deep clean

Make sure anything that can be seen from the entrance of the house is spotless. Buyers will form their first impression outside the house and the second from the entry way. Kitchens and washrooms are also places that people look at carefully, so it’s important to keep them looking and smelling clean.

Whether you have a cuddly cat or a small snake, keep your pets away from the house during showings and remove any evidence of them around the house. When buyers come to see the house, you don’t want them worrying about accidentally letting your pet out or being put off by the smell of a litter box. Also, don’t overdo it with the air fresheners and candles, as buyers may get suspicious and think you’re trying to cover up something.

3. Decorate

It’s all about those little accents that bring the house together—flowers or statement pieces on the tables, colour-coordinated towels in the washrooms, artwork on bare walls, throws on the couches, etc. You can even set the dining table with your best china, if you like.

Don’t be afraid to move your furniture around the house; taking an accent chair and side table from the living room and putting it in a master bedroom can add a touch of elegance to the bedroom and make the living room look bigger.

In the living room, 90% of the time the biggest piece of furniture should be placed in front of the biggest wall. And a fresh coat of paint always makes the house look better. You could go with a trendy or neutral wall colour, depending on the style of your house.

Don’t forget to remove your family pictures or religious items from the house. Potential buyers need to be able to see the space and imagine their own family living there.

4. Improve curb appeal

When potential buyers visit your house, the first thing they see is the outside; it’s your chance to make a good first impression. In the summer, make sure your lawn is mowed, weeds are removed, and any bushes are neat. If it’s necessary, seal your driveway too. You can also add planters by the entrance for pretty pops of colour.

In winter, shovel and salt the driveway whenever it snows so it’s safe and looks good for visitors.

According to Donna, staging a house helps it sell faster and for the best price. If it’s too much for you to do yourself, you or your realtor can always hire a professional to do it!

Do you have any tips to make your house look better when you sell?

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