Bonus rooms are a great asset to a home – in fact, it’s right in the title: bonus. These rooms are typically a large space that can be used as anything the homeowner can imagine, most commonly a movie room, game room, playroom, guest room or storage space.
With all these benefits, you’d think these rooms would sell themselves, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case with a lot of buyers. In fact, some buyers have the misguided idea that a bonus room is a “waste” of space or are just downright confused as to what to use it for.
That’s where home staging comes in. Home staging takes all the guesswork out of it so buyers can focus on the positives of a space and get all their questions answered during the very first impression.
Here are 5 home staging tips for bonus rooms that will help you turn it into a selling feature and buyer magnet:
Bonus Room Home Staging Tips
Give it a Clear Purpose
While a bonus room can be a huge asset to a home, some buyers won’t see it that way if they are met with an empty space or a catch-all room full of storage and random uses. Instead, they are likely to get the impression that it’s a waste of space and wish that the square footage had been used in other areas of the home.
To avoid this reaction, give your bonus room a very clear purpose by staging it. If you are storing a lot of random things in there and using it as a guest room, living room, playroom, and game room all at the same time, then it’s going to confuse buyers and make it hard for them to imagine how it could be useful to them.
Think About Your Potential Home Buyer
The benefits of a bonus room will vary from buyer to buyer, but there are a few common uses for it that will appeal to certain groups. If you are selling a home in a neighborhood that primarily caters to families, then a family-oriented bonus room is the way to go. Set up a living room area for movie night and a place for the kids to play with a game table and a bookshelf with movies and games on it.
If your potential buyer is likely to be a bachelor or young couple, then they’ll prefer a bonus room for entertaining. The movie room idea will work well in this case, too, but instead of a game area, set up a bar with a casual dining area.
If the bonus room has its own separate entrance with a kitchen and a bathroom, then it could be appealing as an income unit. Set it up as a studio apartment (or a full apartment if it has an extra bedroom or two) with a living area, dining area, and bedroom.
Talk to your real estate agent to find out who they expect will be most interested in the house and stage it accordingly.
Fill Awkward Corners
If the bonus room has any awkward features, such as a low ceiling at one end or small alcoves, address those issues with some clever home staging before your buyers have a chance to mark them off as negatives. For example, create a cozy seating area under a slanted ceiling and make use of awkward alcoves with storage or décor.
Highlight the Positives
The main thing you want to accomplish with a bonus room (and any room in your home when it’s on the market) is to show buyers all the positives of it. If the room is very large, for example, show that off with a nice furniture arrangement that takes advantage of it. If there are a lot of windows, draw buyers’ eyes to them with some neutral window treatments. Accentuate the positives and work around the so-called “negatives.”
Add Special Touches
One of our best home staging tips is to pay attention to the details. Small accents can be just as effective as the larger elements. In a bonus room, these special touches could be things like an open chess game on a game table, a kids’ movie playing on the television, or some glasses and a bottle of wine on the bar. Set the scene so your buyers’ imaginations will be inspired to imagine all the fun opportunities to enjoy that bonus room.