How to Stage a House

When your house is on the market, you want to make it as appealing as possible to perspective buyers.

“According to a study by the Real Estate Staging Association, staged homes tend to sell up to 70 percent faster than non-staged homes,” said Renovation Realty President Christian Cannon. “You can either hire a home stager or do it yourself. Before showing, clean up your home, remove excess furniture and décor, remove clutter, and consider repositioning furniture to be more welcoming.”

Professional Organizer Ginny Underwood said home staging offers advantages to both the seller and the buyer.

“The advantages for the seller include selling for top dollar, being ahead of your competition and preparing for your inevitable moving day,” she said. “The advantages to the buyer is the knowledge that the home has been cleaned, maintained and is being offered in the best possible light and that the seller is serious about selling.”

Staging a house starts outside.

“Just as a real estate person can advise you about interior furniture and staging, don’t forget that your exterior can benefit from outdoor staging as well,” said Anna Daugherty, marketing manager at StrataShops. “Choose attractive, tasteful outdoor furniture pieces that will create a comfortable, welcoming, stylish atmosphere for home shoppers. Winter is an excellent time to look for outdoor furniture pieces, as you’re more likely to find deals.”

Cannon said his company is seeing a growing demand from buyers who want appealing outdoor living spaces.

“Adding decks, patios, garden sitting areas and outdoor dining spaces are great ways for homeowners to add value to their home prior to selling and capture buyers’ attention once the house is on the market,” he said.

Once you have got curb appeal, Danielle Scherman said you need to make an entrance.

“The first thing buyers see at an open house is the entrance. Make sure the entrance looks great. In Hawaii, we put beautiful plants around the door area and a pretty door mat to match. Make sure the door is not chipped/paint not peeling, the doorknob is not rusty, etc.”

When you get inside, make sure your house is neat, clean and in working order. In other words, make all necessary cosmetic repairs. Patch nail holes and repaint any walls. Then start beautifying the place.

“If these things are dated, broken or worn, it’s time to update,” said Mannie Ferguson, owner of The Staging Fashionista. “Buyers don’t want to move into a home they have to renovate or update unless they are buying a fixer upper. So begin thinking about what items you can improve and update. I always tell my clients to focus should on bathrooms and kitchens. Replacing outdated appliances and fixtures gives you a huge return on investment and it’s well worth the investment if you are trying to get the most value from your property.”

Scherman said you want buyers to be able to envision themselves in your house.

“It’s hard to do with someone else belongings and photos around,” she said. “Help the buyers feel like they could move right in.”

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