Monday, June 30, 2008

Home Staging Tips

A few tips when you are staging your home, for sale or for company.

Walls
Keep paint neutral. Use flat paint, and chose light colors, and paint the baseboards an accent color or white. If you have wallpaper, get rid of it and paint.

Windows and Window Treatments
Not every window needs a treatment. Sometimes leaving the windows plain is more beautiful than covering it up with big heavy curtains or cheap looking blinds. As long as the window doesn’t look out to a hideous eye sore, than the, “less is more” rule applies here.
On the other hand if you require privacy and/or need to cover up the view, then I suggest using light colors, even sheer curtains. This accomplishes two things; the privacy issue as well as still letting in light and making the room seem airy and open. Blinds are a good thing when they are high quality and not discolored from years of neglect.

Family Photos
I know it a hard thing to think about, but the only people that really want to see pictures of you, your family and friends are you, your family and friends. By all means keep a few treasured pictures out but if you want people to look at your house and not the picture of you and your significant other on your honeymoon than put them in a safe place and don’t unpack them until after you close on the house. Family photos can be so distracting that when the person leaves they remember what your baby looks like in a bathtub but nothing about the house.

Focal Points
Rooms need a purpose, preferably their intended one (i.e. a dining room is not an art studio, even though at my house it is). To help focus a room and find it’s purpose, first find a focal point. The focal point in a living room is usually the TV, but this isn’t what I had in mind. A fireplace, a wall of beautiful windows, a large piece of furniture can even work, such as an amoire. Find the focal point and arrange your furniture and decor to accentuate the nicest part of the room. If something doesn’t fit anymore, get rid of it.

Closets
Make sure you can see the back of the closet. If you’re looking at the floor of the closet make sure you can see the back corner. And don’t forget to vacuum.

Countertops
Keep the countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms clean and clear off. Put the blender, toaster, coffeepot, and cookie jars away folks. Keep the dirty dishes under control, before you leave the house make sure the dishes are either in the dishwasher or put away neatly in the cabinets, you know they’re going to look in every cabinet and drawer. The potential buyer is looking for space, so make sure nothing is going to fall on their head when they open a door. Same goes for the bathroom, no toothbrush holders people. Keep it tidy. If it too plain for you, organic accessories, such as flowers or fruit (fruit in the kitchen of course) then that would be great, it’ll add some elegance and warmth to the space.

Kids Rooms
This is rough, they like their fun d├ęcor and you can’t take that away from them. My only advice here would be to look at the room, if there is anything that a potential buyer would see as “too much hassle to remove/change,” then try and remedy that on your own. For example, a lot of times I see those wallpaper borders in kids’ rooms, while they are really cute, they’re also a big turn-off to people who don’t have kids.

Quickies
No Mirrors above the fireplace, because really what is it reflecting?

Clean everything really well, ceilings, ceiling fans, baseboards, windows, blinds, the garage, doors, stairs, etc.

Invest in some Glade Plug-ins, or bake something right before you leave and you know there is going to be an open house.

Buy a new welcome mat.

Get rid of clutter.

If you know people will be looking at your house, leave the lights and AC on.

Have fresh, modern, current, in style decor. If your decor looks outdated and old fashioned, people will think your house is also out of date and old.