most important thing I can do to increase the marketability of my home?” As a home staging professional, of course, I love answering this question. The reality is that staging can dramatically increase the sales price of a home—but only when it’s done right. Every home is different, of course, but below are five of my top priorities when it comes to staging a home for maximum value.
Five Home Staging Priorities
- Curbside appeal. There are so many homes on the market. Most people are choosing which ones they are going to look at by the price point and a single picture of the front of the house. The ONE picture is what they see first. Go across the street and look at your house as if you were taking a picture. It is absolutely perfect? It better be! The bushes and trees need to be cut back enough so you can see the house. The walkway to house must be clearly defined either by an edger of a well maintained landscape or by a hedge or flowers. The numbers on house should be visible and, if rusted, replaced with new numbers. If the roof is visible then make sure it is pressure washed and that goes for the walkway and driveway as well. If there are any loose bricks, boards, patches of grass, replace them so it looks picture perfect.
- Front Porch. When a prospective buyer visits your home, they will stand on the front porch while they wait for someone to open the door. They are looking at the front door, the hardware, the doorbell, the fixture, everything! Make sure this area is pressure washed and free of cobwebs, dirt, and debris. If the front door needs to be repainted or re-varnished, do it. Maybe even replace the door handle if it is rusted or corroded.
- Foyer and whichever rooms will be seen first. When clients ask me what rooms to stage, I always tell them the wow rooms… and this is the first wow room! The foyer sets the tone for the whole house. If it is daunting, they might turn away as soon as they walk in. Invite them in with some kind of entry piece and either a floral or something that evokes a homey presence. This could be an area where a mirror is placed, maybe a lamp if needed and possibly an entrance rug.
- Clean, clean, clean! Clean like you have never cleaned before. People get their cars detailed before they sell them. Completely detailed. Q-tips, dents out, wheels shined, vacuumed, waxed, etc. Why not put the same effort into what is usually your biggest investment? This can mean a swing of hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars difference in offers. If your prospective buyers feel the home is well maintained and clean, they can usually deal with it if it is not exactly the floor plan they were looking for. But if it is dirty and not well maintained, you are only going to get low ball offers– because they are going to assume that there are all kinds of other things wrong with the house as well.
- De-clutter… and de-personalize. I recently worked on a house that had so many pictures, that you would barely notice the amazing view outside. It actually took away from the house. The owner thought it would make the house look more cozy but in fact, it made it difficult for the potential buyers to visualize themselves living there. It is ok to have a few family photos around the house, but not walls of them!