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House Staging: Best Practices
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House Staging: Best Practices That Leave Your House Looking Its Best
by Tim Whitmire
So you want to put your house on the market, but you’re not sure what you should do prior to people viewing it. One option is to stage your house so that it is as charming and inviting as it is functional and convenient. House staging is as much an art as it is a science. Thankfully, there are few tried-and-true tips that help you stage your house like a pro.
Start on the outside.
There’s something to be said for curb appeal. No matter how wonderful your house looks on the inside, if it’s exterior is in bad shape, then the chances of a viewer stopping by are few to done. To help give your home’s outside appearance a face lift, remember to keep it simple. Your grass should be cut, and the porch and driveway should be clear of clutter. For an extra touch, consider adding a few flowers to the landscaping or hanging some basket plants on the front porch.
Eliminate personal clutter.
In our daily lives, each room of our house is filled with personal items – from books, movies and children’s toys to exercise equipment, shopping bags and pet items! When staging your house, eliminate at least 50% of your belongings. What stays behind in your house should enhance rooms – making them appear livable, but not cluttered. Keep in mind that potential buyers might not relate well to highly personal items, such as religious or political materials, and the presence of these items might make it more difficult for a buyer to “envision” themselves in your home.
Invest in a cleaning service.
No buyer wants to walk into a home and immediately see cob webs or dust. While staging your home, it is wise to have it cleaned once a week, so that it can easily be ready for the next buyer to walk right in. It is strongly recommended that sellers have their windows professionally cleaned; small details such as clean windows can really transform a house.
Clear your counter space.
Kitchens and bathrooms are arguably two of the most common rooms where people find themselves wishing they had more storage space. For this reason, it’s important that home stagers clear all countertops prior to a potential buyer viewing the home so that these areas appear open and spacious. Kitchen appliances and tools and all personal bathroom items should be removed from countertops and stored out of sight. The only exception to this countertop rule is for one or two “designer” decorations. A silk plant or fresh candle is a great enhancer for a beautiful room; a toaster oven or hair dryer is not.
Keep it simple.
If your home contains bold decorative pillows, area rugs, throw blankets or excessive wall décor, remove them. Neutrality is key when it comes to decorating a staged home. You want your house to look relatable, so stay away from bold designs or colors that might disinterest viewers. Keep decorations to a minimum, and make sure they complement an area, not detract from it. The overall focus should be on a room’s space and functionality, not décor.
When in doubt, look at how a model home is staged. If a model home doesn’t contain an item, then make sure this same item is absent from your home any time viewers are present. Model homes appear clean, crisp and ready to be lived in – and you want your home to give off this same inviting atmosphere!
Tim Whitmire is the President/CEO of Whitmire Custom Homes, a home builder in Georgia. The Whitmire family has been building custom homes for more than 30 years and has a proven track record of helping people find a way to make their dream home a reality.
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