Friday, December 7, 2012

Selling A Home: Staging Your Home

Visiting model homes can become addictive. Even when you aren't in the market to buy a house, visiting a model home can be a quiet, peaceful, and fantasy-driven escape from the real world. The homes are always clean, tastefully decorated, and inviting. You may even find yourself fantasizing about ways to hide until the unit's closet just so you can escape there overnight. This is the exact sentiment you want to invoke in potential buyers of your home. Staging a home properly can be a key component in a fast sale at a desirable selling price.

There are simple ways to stage a home for sale without spending a ton of money or hiring a personal designer. Here are five steps to get you started.

Five Steps to Stage a Home Properly
  1. Remove the clutter. If you are like most Americans, the TV show Hoarders is fascinating and horrifying at the same time. There is a stressful, anxious, and unsettling feeling when we spend time in cluttered spaces; there is certainly nothing peaceful about them. So removing your clutter will help to make sure the first impression home buyers have is not the urge to submit your name and address for upcoming Hoarder seasons.
  2. De-Personalize. The idea is that you want to make people feel like the home you are selling has the ability to become their home. It's hard to do that if your pictures and personal items are everywhere. Try to de-personalize your home as much as possible, creating a neutral space where home buyers have the opportunity to imagine themselves living there. Remove the family photos, trophies, and your collection of 10,000 teaspoons. Meanwhile, just think of all the pre-packing you are accomplishing...
  3. Color. It's wonderful that you let the kids choose their own bedroom colors, or that you were able to make peace with the "totally-wrong-shade-of-red" you painted the dining room walls. But now that you are trying to sell the house, it might be worth it to grab some cheap, neutral paint, and start covering them over. Muted and natural paint colors make a better impression, and (see above) create a less-personalized atmosphere.
  4. Create an invitation. Part of feeling at home in someone else's house is looking around and seeing attractive flower arrangements, fruit in a fruit bowl, and other homey touches that enhance a space. Cleanliness, fresh air, and good smells are other ways to make your home feel like a positive space to spend time. Baking cookies before the Open House, or making sure the home has been aired out before it is shown, can help welcome potential buyers in.
  5. Here comes the sun. Natural light is proven to have a positive effect on humans. Open window coverings, blinds and shades. This will also create a feeling of spaciousness and will force you to clean the space thoroughly - another key element to an inviting home.
These five steps can help you to stage your house and sell it to the first people who can easily imagine calling it Home.

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