Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Part 2 -- Staging Your Home and A Little Tour

Staging your home for sale is basically "setting the stage" for potential buyers.
Your goal is to sell your house by positively influencing a buyer's emotions!

You can do this by stimulating the 5 senses through furniture placement and flow, proper scale and balance, color, encouraging a sense of spaciousness, letting light in, and encouraging emotion.

Starting at the curb, take an objective look at your house. Imagine never having seen your house before. Are there any improvements that you could make to make your house seem like the warmest, most cheerful, most welcoming house on the block?

If you're having trouble with this, take a walk or drive around your neighborhood or town and think about what draws you to a particular house. Or think about what you want to see when you go house-hunting.

Do you want to see a nicely mowed lawn? A fresh full layer of mulch? Colors of flowers in pots or neatly planted? A beautifully painted front door? A place to sit and enjoy lemonade on the porch? The exterior lights on to welcome you and the interior lights all on inside (with the shades open) to look as bright and pretty as can be? No clutter shoved on the side of the house, and no toys strewn about the driveway?

Well, that's what potential buyers for your house are also looking for!
Create a wonderful "First Impression" that makes buyers want to come inside to see the rest of your beautiful home!! :)

Make sure your entryway is welcoming by including a vase of fresh flowers. Choose one type of bloom in a single color so that they look pretty, but aren't distracting attention from your house.

Turn on ALL of the lights inside your house when you have a showing, even when the sun is shining brightly outside. The reason for doing this is to chase away those little shadows in the house that make your rooms seem smaller. You want your house to look bright and spacious!

Check your furniture placement to see if any furniture may need to be re-arranged or moved about for better flow and to encourage a sense of space in your home. Ask a friend for help if you need a second opinion.
{If you look at my living room in the pic above, I have moved an accent table out of the room completely, and moved the loveseat that was on an angle to be parallel with the bookshelves. This delineates the space and makes the room seem bigger!}

Also take a look at the colors used in your house. Especially the wall colors. Are they appealing to most buyers? Or is the hot pink or periwinkle blue only favored by a few??
I'd encourage you to make your walls a warm, neutral color (which doesn't mean builder-beige), and save the more taste-specific color for accents.

In the kitchen you will want to clear off the counters so that buyers will see all of the prep space they will have! Place the toaster in a cabinet for storage, and just pull out when you want to use it. Set a little vignette in a corner, like the one below.

Here I just used a cookbook, some faux apples in a stainless-steel colander, and a little rooster.
I already had everything, and it looks cheerful, works with the colors in my kitchen space, and encourages the emotion of cooking in the kitchen.

I'd also encourage you to: place a vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen table, clear EVERYTHING off of your refrigerator, stick dishes right into the dishwasher to keep the sink clear, and keep some "break-n-bake" cookies on hand to throw into the oven when you get a call someone wants to show the house! Just bake 3 and take them in the car with you for a snack :)! Stick the cookie sheet back in the oven or dishwasher (I use a small toaster oven size cookie pan), and the aroma of freshly baked cookies will be incredibly enticing!
If you have pets, and if possible, don't leave them in the house when it's being shown to a potential buyer. Some buyers are allergic, and some just don't like animals, plus they may think that carpet would have to then be replaced, etc. This could be a turn-off for your house. When showing your house, also take Fido's bed and doggy dishes with you. Basically erase all evidence of a pet.

Make all the beds every morning, taking extra special care with the Master Bedroom.

Make this room look luxurious and spacious.
Add a couple of pretty pillows and maybe a throw across the bottom.

You could place a tray with a bottle of wine or sparkling juice, 2 wine glasses, and a box of chocolates on the bed or dresser for added romance and luxury!!

Be sure to have your closets (throughout the house) look tidy and roomy by donating/boxing up things you don't need.

If kids' bedrooms are looking crowded because of all of their toys, box 3/4 of it up. It will be less that you have to clean on a daily basis now, and will look SO much better! The kids will also be excited to see what they have to play with at the new house! :)

The bathrooms should have all of your daily grooming gear placed neatly away.
Buyers don't want to see your toothbrushes or hairdryers.

Get a small squeegee and wipe down the bath/shower after use.

Place clean, fluffy towels on the towel bars in a coordinating color.
I suggest using your best towels for display, or if yours are getting threadbare, purchase some very inexpensive ones (like the BHG brand from WalMart I used in the pic below).
This will give a clean, spa-like feel to the bathroom!

It's said that kitchens and the Master bedroom and bathrooms are what can make or break a buyers buying decision. So focus on these areas!!

Next time, on Part 3, I'll show some more little tips and tricks for staging,
along with a few more photos of my house! :)

I hope that you're enjoying this little series!

ps....for some more great home staging advice, read the Nester's and Remodeling Guy's staging tips!


Heather @ Sugar N Spice Mostly Nice said...

We don't plan on putting our house up for sale until next year, but I've taken your advice and stored in the back of my head for future reference. Great tips!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Lots of great advice! You are doing a great job (from one who just went through all of this!) Best to you in selling! :-)


Darlene said...

Great ideas for trying to sell your home. Heck, we aren't even trying to sell and I have got to get working on some of the ideas. We also want to enjoy our home FULLY while we live there. Love seeing your home.

Shanda said...

You could totally get a job staging people's houses with them (for them.) Such great advice!

Many blessings on your house!!

Darlene said...

I like what you say about focusing on the kitchen, Master, and baths. That really is true.
Good advice. Hope I won't need it for a long time!!!

Jenny S said...

hmmmm, where is your house and what is the asking price??? hehehe!!

Emily said...

Oh, it looks so good! Thank you for the great tips!

Stacey said...

Something tells me you will be selling your home in a heartbeat!

coco said...

Your house looks great...I am sure it will sell quickly! So many great tips, I am always amazed that people don't do more of this when trying to sell.

Stacey said...

Thanks for all the great tips! I'm sure you'll be able to sell your place in a jiffy.
So far, we've had lookers but no bids yet. Hopefully we'll get a bite soon.
Have a lovely weekend!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

It looks wonderful. I hope your home sells quickly.

Sit A Spell said...

These are all tips I've seen and read about...thanks for the reminders! You just never know when you might nave to move in this economy! I really need to focus on closets and donating more items. You home looks amazing!

Teri said...

Thank you so much for all of your tips, suggestions and encouraging words! YOU have such wonderful advice! I am MOST appreciative. Here's to successful sales for the both of us! Teri*

Our Complete Family said...

Look at you~ you're all set to sell, sell, sell girl!!!
We will likely have to move with the military in the next year so I guess I should start purging now so it's not all last minute like I normally am! ;)
Happy week ahead! Les

Tricia Anne said...

Hi Stacey,
Your home looks lovely! :o)
When my brother in law was a realtor (he sat in the model home) he would bake cookies. :o)
Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

Kelli said...

I would love to buy YOUR house! Beautiful!

Laura of Harvest Lane said...

Hi Stacy,
I love this post. I've not been around for awhile. I'm glad I stopped in. We have moved a lot and have done our share of staging on a very tight budget. I'm going to post a link to your first staging post on my blog. Your ideas are shared in a friendly straight forward style. Your photos are gorgeous. Your house just has to sell soon. God please grant it in Jesus Name I ask it!