When getting ready to sell your home, one of the most pressing concerns is how to present your space to potential buyers. Of course, you’ll want to keep it squeaky clean and make any major repairs that need to be done, but where do you go from there?
Not everyone has the budget to hire a professional home stager when they’re selling their house, but there are some simple tricks of the trade you can employ as you prepare to put your home on the market.
Decorating and staging your home for a sale requires you to focus on three specific goals: styling your space to seem bigger; making your house look up-to-date; and properly showcasing the best features of the home.
Make space your final frontier
You want the people who walk through your house to fall in love with the structure, not its contents. That’s why creating extra space in your home is key. In order to allow the bones of your home to take center stage, you’ll need to remove some of the more distracting items.
The first things to pack up or place into storage are family mementos. Put away highly personal works of art or family photos for the time being. Seeing these items will remind potential buyers that the dwelling is currently lived in, when it’s better to have them imagining themselves in the home.
While creating space, you should also keep your storage areas in mind. Leave about 20-30 percent of closet and cabinet spaces empty, to give visitors the opportunity to gauge their size. Consider removing area rugs and runners, which gives your rooms a more airy feel in addition to showing off your flooring.
You’ll also want to illuminate all of the open space you’ve created in your home. Remove or replace heavy, dark drapes with gauzy valances that let the sunlight stream in. If your home is naturally shady, add more lamps to brighten things up.
Your new and improved home
Older homes usually mean extra work and maintenance, so you will want your house to appear as updated as possible. While this can mean actually renovating the spaces that haven’t aged well, it certainly doesn’t have to. There are ways to inspire a modern look on a very small budget. The two places in your home that show their age the quickest are the kitchen and bathrooms, so concentrate on these areas first.
The kitchen is often the most costly space to remodel, so you’ll want to take the time to make it look as state-of-the-art as possible. Stainless steel appliances are all the rage right now, but if your dishwasher and oven work just fine, consider covering them in faux stainless steel film. These stick-ons give your appliances the look of stainless steel at a fraction of the cost. If your kitchen cabinets aren’t contemporary, consider staining the wood or painting them. Then update the cabinet hardware to create a whole new look.
In terms of cutting-edge bathroom style, pedestal sinks are what’s in vogue. Think about junking your outdated vanities and replacing them with pedestal sinks. These sinks have the added bonus of creating more space in your bathrooms, too. If the tile is looking tired and dirty, you can paint it instead of going through the effort of laying new tile. A bright coat of paint will have your bathroom looking gorgeous, and prospective buyers will notice.
Showcase the best features
Your home is a unique place with all kinds of wonderful features, and those are the things you want visitors to fall in love with. However, in order to properly pay homage to those special features, you’ll need to sacrifice some of your personal style choices in favor of items with mass appeal. Remember, you’re not trying to sell the buyers your style.
To best showcase your home in all its glory, use neutral paint colors on the wall. If your abode is already a vision of grey, white, beige, and mocha, then let it be. But if you have a lot of color on your walls, consider painting over it to make the house more palatable to everyone who visits. If you have built-in features like bookcases, fill them with items in the same color family. This puts the emphasis on the built-ins rather than your items.
Another important way to flaunt your home’s features is to give each room a specific purpose to fulfill. The dining room should be decorated as a dining room, even if you usually use it as the children’s play area. Make sure to display fresh flowers or pretty table settings to complete the picture.
In the bathrooms, add some candles and potted plants to soften the space. Replace dingy towels with fluffy, clean ones. Keep the master bedroom as gender neutral as possible, and try to keep your bedding colors basic rather than eye-catching.
If you have some strange or unusual spaces in your home, try to preemptively provide a purpose for them, even if that’s not how you used the spaces previously. If your master bedroom has an awkward open space, add a cozy chair, a throw, and book to make it into a reading nook. That empty space beneath the stairs? Relocate a small desk, lamp, and chair to that area and it becomes a quaint little office space.
As you re-style and decorate your home to sell it, just remember to think like a buyer rather than the owner of the home.