(Jan. 25, 2019) The saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words” and pictures are incredibly important in selling a home in today’s market, where practically all house shoppers start their search online.
Well, staging a home properly to both get great pictures and get great showings, can be worth thousands of dollars to a seller’s bottom line.
Most sellers don’t want to spend a lot of money to ready their property for sale though. Here are some no cost and low cost tips for staging your home prior to a listing.
• Freshen up bedding: When you live in a space day in and day out, you lose perspective on whether or not things are fresh and up-to-date. The relatively low cost of purchasing new bedding to include comforters, pillows and decorative shams can make a big difference.
• Declutter, declutter, declutter: Remove nearly all items from countertops, storage containers should be neatly contained in closet or attic space, and remove any over-the-door hangers or storage racks throughout the house. When these items are left out, it leaves a buyer with the impression that there’s not enough storage space.
• Fresh and clean: Many buyers cannot get past “funky” smells and it clouds their whole perception of a property. These can include pet smells, food smells and dingy smells. Prior to listing, you should do a complete spring cleaning to include windows, dusting throughout house to include baseboards and ceiling fans, deep cleaning bathrooms and kitchen, shampooing carpets if needed and washing all bedding.
• Move furniture around: With repositioning furniture and possibly removing a piece or two, you can completely change the look of a room. Buyers need to be able to move freely through a space, or the living space will seem too confined. New throw pillows on sofas are also a low cost way to provide a fresh look.
• Let the light in: Even if you normally like to keep curtains closed for privacy or energy efficiency, open them up and let the natural light in. Also choose wisely which lights to turn on when you have showings. Turning all of your lights on can indicate that you have a dark and gloomy house, but turning on selective lights that enhance the natural light can give a good impression of a light-filled, cheerful home.
• Purchase a few pieces to help freshen up your decorating, look for items that will make an impression. Wall décor, mirrors and area rugs are good, affordable choices that can help make big impressions.
— Lauren Bunting is a licensed Associate Broker with Bunting Realty, Inc. in Berlin.