Guest Blog By : Alice Robertson
How you stage a house for photos or showing can make a big difference when it comes to
selling the property. Potential buyers will pass up an objectively great home if the look is all
wrong. First impressions matter, and if you don’t spark that initial interest, you’ll never be able to convince people of what your house has to offer.
Poor staging can delay your sale and push negotiations out of your favor. To sell your property
at the price it’s worth and in a timely manner, avoid these common staging mistakes.
Before you can stage a house, you need to clear out as much clutter as possible. If you’re a bit
of a packrat, your extra stuff can wind up making a poor impression on buyers. This can feel like
a daunting task, but it’s work with a strong silver lining. Going through your clutter gives you a
chance to downsize so you’re not bringing a lot of extra junk with you when you move.
Moreover, you can get a jump-start on packing the items you will bring with you.
Stylized Interior Design
A well-staged house will have interior décor that’s as neutral and classic as possible. Staging
the house in any strong stylized way has the potential to turn off potential buyers. Remember,
everyone has different tastes when it comes to décor. A neutral space will encourage potential
buyers to project their own image of how they might decorate once they’ve moved in.
Pets and People
A staged house should be an empty house – people and pets are a big “no.” Avoid images with
a cat or toddler in the background. Not only will they be distracting, but they can also bring up
buyer prejudices you’d rather avoid. When it comes to tours, your best bet is to make yourself
(and your pets) scarce. Homeowners at a showing can make viewers feel uncomfortably
watched. A barking dog or unhappy cat can ruin the mood as well. The less lived-in the house
feels, the better a shot you’ll have at making a sale.
One of the most important parts of staging your house is depersonalizing it. While you lived in
your house, it made good sense to decorate with family photos and other personal touches.
When you’re selling, however, these kinds of details can turn buyers off. Remember, you want
them to be able to imagine themselves living there.
Swap pictures of the kids or pets for landscapes and pieces of wall art. You can pick up
inexpensive, neutral decorations at local resale shops that will keep your space feel homey
without it feeling like your home.
Whether it’s for photos or a tour, the wrong lighting can make your space look flat and dull. If
you’re having pictures taken for the listing, be sure to pick a photographer who can show you
how they’ve made the lighting work in other homes. Ask if they have their own equipment to
make up the difference if lighting conditions aren’t ideal.
For a tour, remember the more light, the better — especially if it’s natural light. Open your blinds
and curtains wide to make rooms look bigger and let in as much sunshine as possible. Spaces
that don’t have good natural lighting can be redeemed with nice fixtures set with mood-setting
bulbs. Avoid very white or blue lighting, as this can make your space look cold and sterile.
As simple as these steps are, they’re common enough mistakes that avoiding them can set you apart in the market. Take care to stage your home so that it effectively catches buyers’
attention, and you’re likely to sell in no time.
Photo Credit: Pixabay