Staging your home isn’t easy, but it is worth it for a quick sale at a good price. Here we look at the main ways to stage your home…
Let’s be clear, selling a home is so stressful even if it happens quickly, let alone when the months are dragging on and you’re not even getting any viewings on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be this way, staging your home can help you sell your home quickly and easily, and for a better price. Plus it comes with some other benefits as well.
Home owners faced with selling their home have an initial choice to make when they decide to sell – whether to ‘present’ the home for sale or not. Then after that decision is made, it is a case of deciding how much time, effort and cash to put into presenting the home to best effect. At the top end of the scale you have professional level ‘staging’ (whether actually done by a professional or not) and at the bottom end you have simply just a good clean and tidy up. Either way a lot of effort is still involved, but staging the home is definitely a rewarding option. It does involve doing some simple repairs and maybe even some decorating, and it will certainly involve a lot of organisation, but your house will look desirable enough to get snapped up right away, hopefully at the asking price, so it is completely worth all the effort it will take.
Want to stage your home for resale but don’t know where to start? Here’s how:
First Things First
You must be prepared to work hard and look at the property through different eyes. It is SO easy to be defensive when we are faced with changing our home, but the end result in doing this benefits you so it is worth taking the emotional hit and pushing through. You might have to take all your memories and mementoes out of the house so the buyer can imagine making new memories and filling it with their own treasures. You might have to make adjustments that you personally think look bland and boring, but if it sells your home quickly, it doesn’t matter – because you’ll be off personalising your brand new home faster than you expected.
- Get rid of mould at any cost – if you have money to do basic repairs, then this is the place to invest. Maybe you could re-grout, or even re-tile or repaint – whatever it takes to get rid of mould and freshen up the whole room. You may well be able to get rid of the mould with special cleaning sprays or just some good old basic bleach will do the trick.
- Freshen accessories – replace your old towels with smart new towels (remember you can take them with you to your new home), buy a new toilet seat, a new shower curtain and rug – stained or dated materials just don’t sell a room.
- Look at the details – if the flooring is coming up at the sides or there are cracked tiles, or there is rust around the fixtures, think about cheap effective replacements you could make to remove those issues. Buyers will notice small issues like that and see them as bigger problems than they really are because they will be adding up the cost of updating everything and be planning on offering a price below the asking price.
- Make sure absolutely everything is working – if your shower is on the blink, one of the taps is loose or dripping, or the window doesn’t open (or doesn’t close properly), don’t assume the buyer won’t check all of these things – they will, especially if they are on a tight budget. Look to get these issues fixed right away.
- Lighting – remember you want the room to look clean and spacious which it won’t do with a lack of natural light, or with one single unflattering downlight if potential buyers are viewing in the evening. Clean the windows thoroughly and let the light flood in for those daytime viewings. In the evenings ensure there are plenty of light sources – if you only have one main light and it is impractical or not cost-effective to install more then invest in some battery-operated stick on strip lights – or maybe even light a few scented candles to create a relaxing effect.
The Main Bedroom
Bedrooms need to look as spacious as possible, and they should also feel calm and relaxed so that potential buyers can imagine relaxing there after a long, hard day. Here are some ways to create a bedroom that is appealing to all types of viewer:
- Neutralise any feminine or masculine touches that might put off certain buyers. You want the room to appeal to as many people as possible so replace the frilly, flowery bed covers with something neutral – there are plenty of inexpensive options at the major supermarkets and DIY chains – and as with the new towels in the bathroom you can always take new bedding with you.
- Add a headboard to the bed – this will add finish to the room and draw attention to the focal point which will, clearly, be the bed. If you have some DIY and craft skills you can easily make a headboard from a piece of MDF cut to size (many DIY stores will do the cuts for free) and covered with fabric – all you need is a staple gun to attach the fabric.
- Get rid of anything that looks dated or dirty. Although the buyer will know that most of the items there now won’t be in the room when they move in, subconsciously they will apply that old, unclean feeling to your entire home and it will influence their decision on whether to make an offer and what level of offer they might make. Simply creating a clean, fresh neutral space could be the difference between an offer or not.
- Add lighting – the room needs to look as big as possible so let the natural light flood in by cleaning or replacing any dark or dirty curtains. Also add extra lamps for viewers coming in the evening – and switch them on before they arrive.
- Give your bed the boutique hotel look – this sounds obvious but many people just leave crinkly mismatched bedcovers on thinking it won’t make a difference – it does. Little over-sights like this help potential buyers form an unfavourable overall opinion of your home.
Read more about successfully staging a bedroom ➤
Here are more essential tips and tricks to help you stage a bedroom for those all important house viewings. Think decluttering and aim for the look of a great hotel bedroom.
When you sell your home, you need to stage all of it, but there’s one room that is particularly tricky to stage, and that is the bedroom.
With areas you eat in you can add a nice table, and dress the table with plates and lovely accessories.With areas you socialise in you can make a show of the seating area, and the fireplace or the suggested TV space. With the bathroom you can opt for cleanliness and light. With the bedroom however, how do you make a space you sleep in, interesting? How do you make it staged so that potential buyers are drawn to it?
It certainly is not the easiest room to stage, which is why we have these amazing steps to help you achieve a beautiful, attractive and perfectly staged bedroom:
Use A Smaller Bed
This may sound like an odd tip, but it actually works very well to make your bedroom bigger. Don’t downsize to a single of course, but choose a smaller and lower bed to your own to create a larger looking room. Place your old bed in cheap self storage and place your smaller bed in your home for staging. If you don’t have a smaller bed to use, snap up a cheap used one online and dress it using nice bedding and pillows.
Declutter Your Wardrobe
Your wardrobe doesn’t matter if it is freestanding, because the potential buyers will know it won’t be there when they move in. However, if it is a built in wardrobe it does matter because it accounts for extra space which in house selling terms means ‘value’. If you can empty it and place your items in cheap self storage, great. If you can’t empty it, declutter it and organise it to make it look as big as possible.
Take Away Personality From The Room
The bedroom is a very personal room, however, it can’t be if you want it to appeal to buyers. Personal pictures, strong colours and lots of ornaments and accessories should all be placed in self storage. Instead, transform the room into a neutral space, with light colours and clean, clear surfaces. Add texture to bed coverings with different materials like crushed velvet, thick knits and faux fur to add interest and opulence.
Base It On A Good Hotel Room
If you are unsure which furniture you should keep in your bedroom when placing your home on sale, try and base the look on a hotel room, which, has been designed to be attractive but practical. Usually a bed, a bedside table, lamp and possibly a chair for a smaller room, and then additional furniture for larger rooms will work well.
Get The Lighting Right
In the day, the windows should be letting the light in to the room. Make sure the window is clean and the windowsill is free from clutter. In the evening, make sure there is ample light for viewings. Add extra lights if you need to and avoid one single downlight or a dim bedside lamp. Both can make the room look dark and claustrophobic.
Your bedroom will not be the only factor in selling your home, but you need to stage your bedroom as it forms part of the entire package. Keep it simple, neutral, well-lit and spacious and it’s sure to impress potential buyers during viewings.
This needs to be looked at following the same principles as the bathroom – it simply must be clean. This is a practical space and an expensive one to refurbish, so you need to make sure you pay a lot of attention to this room. Make sure all the appliances that will be left in the home are working and are clean. You need to ensure ALL surfaces are clear of clutter, scrupulously clean and in good condition. Make sure the flooring isn’t peeling at the edges or tiles aren’t chipped, make sure the walls aren’t dirty, make sure the cabinets are clean (inside and out) and don’t have anything peeling or chipping. Remember to:
- Update the kitchen if you need to – it might seem expensive, but it could add so much value to your home if you budget it right – even new cabinets handles can make a difference and are something you could easily replace yourself.
- Add fresh accessories – add clean tea towels and plants to freshen the room up
- Declutter the cupboards – buyers will want to look inside them.
Your Living Room
This is likely to be the first room your buyer sees, so it needs to look great. You’re trying to make it look as big as possible, so again add natural light and then put extra lamps in for the evening. Remember to:
- Make sure the focal points are clean – this is usually the fireplace or the TV table.
- Play around with how your furniture sits to ensure it promotes the most spacious representation
- Ensure the carpets are clean and update them if needed
So the front of your home will be all about the kerb appeal. This means getting rid of any old toys lying around, tidying up bushes that might be out of control, and generally beautifying the space. Clean your drive, clean your door and garage and freshen up how it looks if you drive past. In the garden at the back you will want to make the space tidy and also make it look easy to maintain. You don’t want buyers looking at the space worrying about how hard it would be to manage. Of course, trim the bushes and the lawn.
Other General Tips for Staging Your Home
There are some important overall tips you need to know if you are staging your home:
You must set a budget for your home staging. This should include the cost of any repairs and any continual products you will need to buy like flowers. Make sure you budget for staging.
Once you have done all the hard work, you must maintain it. You must live in a staged home all of the time so it is always ready for viewings. Get used to tidying and freshening up all the time. It might sound tiring but it will be worth it – you don’t want to run around in a panic when the estate agent rings and asks to show someone round while you’re out.
An Opportunity For A Clearout
One major benefit of staging your home is it gives you chance to have a massive clearout before you move to your new house. Before you redecorate or clean, consider going through your entire house and bagging or boxing up all the items you no longer want. You can separate them into sell, give away or throw away piles and perhaps store some items in self storage while you organise them (as long as they are out of your house it doesn’t matter). This is a good chance for you to shed all the rubbish you have collected over the years.
An Opportunity To Be Creative Without Consequences
It is often really nice to redecorate a home without having to worry about whether you will love it in five years and whether your family will love it. You are decorating it to make it look attractive for new owners and that is quite a fun job, like wiping the slate clean and allowing yourself to be creative for creativity’s sake.
This is by far the most important thing you need to do. When your buyer walks in they will want to imagine themselves living in your home. With all your pictures everywhere, your ornaments, the way you like to have furniture set up, all the hobbies – they don’t stand a chance. They will only be able to see how you like your home to be. You must de-personalise your home.
You should get used to making your home smell and look desirable. Spray inviting scents like vanilla and bamboo around the house, arrange the dining table, put a pretty coffee cup and saucer under the coffee maker, place blankets over the edge of sofas, put flowers all over the house – make a show home, to show your home off!
Don’t get stressed, you can easily stage your home for a small budget, just plan out what you want to do and put in the time and effort to do it – the payoff will be worth it!
Read More About Preparing Your House For Sale ➤
Read easy tips and tricks to help you get your house ready for sale within the next few months, increasing your chance of getting lots of top offers.
Moving house can be really exciting. A fresh start, a brand new property, a new area to explore. But there is just that one big hurdle to overcome first: selling your home. Selling your home can be tricky, especially when you sell during the time of year that everyone else is selling. However, with these easy tips and tricks, you will be much more able to prepare your home for sale hopefully leading to a plethora of high offers to choose from:
First Impressions Count
First impressions still count, and especially when you are selling your home. People will drive by and have a look at the house to decide if they want to view it. Is the path in tact and tidy? Is the paintwork on the front of the house nice? Are the bushes/ trees trimmed? A lick of paint, garden tidy and some simple repairs will give you that kerb appeal you need for lots of viewing enquiries.
Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
The space you are offering in your home is central to its value. Potential buyers need to be able to see the space available, which means your clutter needs to be gone. If you want to get your home up for sale quickly, consider placing most of your items in cheap self storage so you can sort through them in your own time without having to delay your house sale.
Remove Your Personality From The House
It might go against everything you have done, to take away everything that makes the home personal to you but you have to remember potential buyers need to see the potential for their lives in your home, rather than your memories of the home. Personal photos, accessories, ornaments and keepsakes need to be taken out of the space completely.
Neutralise Every Area
Any bright and loud wallpaper or colour schemes you experimented with need to be neutralised, even in children’s bedrooms. Just like removing your personality from the house is important, neutralising colour schemes works in the same way. It helps your new owner envision their own potential decor styles within the space.
Suggest Purposes For Different Areas
You shouldn’t say one area has to be used in a certain way but you can suggest uses for different spaces, especially awkward spaces that may seem useless without a little visual guidance. That cubby hole beneath the stairs suddenly becomes a study corner, or the small corner of the living room suddenly has a cosy coffee table and chair for reading.
Deal With Any Easy-To-Fix Repairs
The chances are if your home needed any major renovations you have decided to take the hit on the price by not doing them, or you completed them well before sale. But what about minor renovations? For a small amount of money you can likely fix minor issues which will make your home look more appealing.
A home that smells bad, is dirty or unkempt will put somebody off even continuing a viewing let alone making an offer. Pay for a deep clean or take a weekend to do the work yourself. A fresh and clean home is definitely going to be more appealing to viewers.
Make All Areas Shine
It is important to ensure all areas of the home shine because you don’t know which areas are most important to your viewer. Of course the kitchen is a huge focus but, your viewer might be looking for a lovely garden where he can cultivate vegetables and relax. Your viewer might want to set up a gym in the garage. Your viewer could want to start a family and so your spare room is their potential nursery. Don’t forget any one area in your mission to present your entire home well.
Preparing your home for sale is often difficult to start with, but the more you detach yourself emotionally from the property the easier it gets. Take tips from friends and family, from your estate agent and any other experts who have a hand in your selling process. The more you know, the more able you will be to make your home look beautiful, speeding up your chance of selling quickly.