Tips to Staging Your Home

(Picture of recently staged listing located at 1332 S. 16th Street in South Philadelphia.) 

One of the most important parts of getting your home ready to be seen by potential buyers is home staging. Known to be a true skill, even an art, home staging can be an expensive endeavor, typically costing about $2 per square foot.  However, any home owner has the ability to do it and the results can still be considered effective.  You simply need to understand a few basics.

Don’t Make it Personal

People often make the mistake of trying to maintain a “homey” feel by keeping personal items in view, like photos and memorabilia.  And while they may think they’re providing a comfortable home for visitors to imagine themselves in, what they’re displaying can actually create conflicting, and sometimes uncomfortable, unconscious feelings that can turn people unnecessarily away.  After all, you want the potential buyer to imagine themselves living in the space, not living in your space.  Even in a common space like a bathroom, you want to remove all personal hygiene products and items. Again, you want it to feel personal, yet clean and untouched.

Remove 1/3 of Your Furniture

This tip may be difficult to do, but if you can, reduce what is in your home by 1/3: take out the extra tables, the side chair, the double dresser in the bedroom, reduce the clutter in your china closet, etc.  The extra space will help your home seem much cleaner and roomier.

Clear out the Closets

Yes, buyers will be opening those closets and imagining their possessions taking the place of yours.  Try having just this season’s clothing in your closet and storing the rest.  Make sure the arrangement is neat and not packed together.

Add Curb Appeal

Although this might have you spending a few more dollars that you had originally intended, you should also remember that the money you spend will be returned in the end.  And please note that you can also cut the cost by asking vendors for remnants from previous projects and doing the demo yourself.

Some ideas include:

  • Staining dated kitchen cabinets instead of replacing them for less than $200.
  • Filling in and fixing holes found in walls made over time.
  • Adding granite countertops and new appliances to your kitchen.
  • Updating your patio or deck by sanding the wood, adding flowers, showing off attractive built-ins, and furnishing it.

Control Your Climate

If you need to rent space for all your extras, store your household belongings in a storage unit that features some kind of climate control. The extreme temperatures in either direction along with other undesirables can take a toll on what you have. After all, you want to make sure you are well taken care of and can be ready to go once you move into your new home.

Get Some Feedback

Once you’ve cleaned, organized, and rearranged, have someone you rely on give you some feedback about the overall impression of how the space feels.  Objective eyes can be very helpful, especially when it comes to design.

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