They say the imagination is a powerful thing – and that’s definitely true in real estate. While the facts play a large part in a home sale, a buyer’s imagination can kill it quickly if they get a negative perception of the home.
It’s important not to leave anything up to a buyer’s imagination. They can easily perceive rooms as smaller than they are, get confused by awkward spaces, feel like a place is “cold” or “lacks character” simply because it’s empty, and get hung up on paint colors and décor that is personalized to the previous owner’s tastes.
It’s nice to think that the bones of a home will speak for itself, but that’s simply not the case with most home buyers.
That’s why it is so important to take control of a buyer’s imagination and steer it in a positive direction so they can see the home in its best light. By taking away the guesswork, buyers will be able to focus on what they love about the home rather than getting hung up on problems that are easily solved or may not even exist.
Here are some home staging tips to help you use a buyer’s imagination to help you sell your home:
How to Use a Buyer’s Imagination to Help Sell Your Home
Show How the Furniture Can Be Arranged
One of the most common issues for prospective home buyers is getting confused by how they can arrange their furniture in a new space. This happens a lot in empty homes. Not only do empty spaces appear smaller, but they also give no point of reference for buyers on how furniture will fit into the space. It’s likely they’ll assume the room has a bad flow to it or just get plain confused as to how they can possibly arrange it.
You can erase all of these possible concerns by staging the room with the right furniture and furniture arrangement. If any room in your home feels cramped or has a bad flow, rearranging the furniture can make a huge difference. You may need to swap the furniture out for something more to scale with the room, too, so it doesn’t feel smaller than it is. Bulky furniture can quickly eat up the space.
A little home staging and redesign will have buyers focusing on how nice the space feels rather than getting caught up in questions and concerns about size and furniture placement.
Help Them Imagine Their Own Décor
Personalized décor can be very distracting to home buyers. While it’s nice to assume buyers can see past those things, the truth is that many of them can’t. If they don’t like the décor, it can affect how they feel about the property as a whole and give them a negative perception of it.
Avoid this issue by neutralizing your home’s décor. One of the most important home staging tips is to switch to a neutral palette and use only subtle accents of color while it’s on the market. This will make your home appear fresh and clean to buyers.
It also gives them an opportunity to imagine their own décor. When a home’s décor is neutral, it creates a blank canvas upon which buyers can start imagining their own paint colors, furniture, and décor.
Give Every Space a Clear Purpose
Empty rooms or rooms with more than one purpose (i.e. a home office and playroom) can create a lot of confusion. An empty room seem like “wasted space” if a buyer isn’t sure what to use it for, while one with too many purposes can appear cluttered and disorganized.
Make sure every room in your home has a clearly defined purpose. A spare bedroom, for example, should be staged to look like a guest bedroom or a home office.
Similarly, the main living areas should only serve one purpose. Your living room, for example, should be only that and not double as a playroom.
Make Clever Use of Awkward Spaces
Any awkward flex spaces, like a loft or bonus room, should also have one clear purpose, such as a kid’s playroom, a home office, or even a media room. Leaving a flex space empty or letting it serve as a catch-all space will make it seem wasted or simply leave buyer’s scratching their heads on how they are possibly going to fill it. Instead, show them how useful the space can be.
Think about who the majority of your potential buyers are likely to be. If your home will appeal to families, then it’s okay to stage a flex space as a playroom. However, if a bachelor is more likely to purchase the home, then you’ll want to stage it as a home office or media room so that it appeals to that demographic.
Show the Possibilities
The final touches in home staging are the small details that add to the atmosphere and take a buyer’s imagination one step further. These touches can be simple things like a white robe hanging in the master bathroom, a tray with two stemmed wine glasses and a bottle of wine on the bed, and a dining room fully set for entertaining. This will inspire buyers to imagine how nice and relaxing life could be in the new home. If you are able to encourage these thoughts, you’re that much closer to getting that offer you’ve been hoping for.