If you’ve put your house on the market, but it’s not selling as quickly as you’d hoped, it may be worth improving the way it is presented with some tried and true staging - according to Deb Sarsany of the Deb Sarsany Team at The Real Estate Group.
With more than 20 years’ experience, Deb understands the frustration many sellers have when it comes to staging their home. Her best advice is to follow some hard and fast rules.
“First of all make sure your house has curb appeal. Whether that means a paint job, the pruning of bushes or hanging a seasonal wreath on the front door,” said Deb. First impressions are everything. “Buyers make up their mind within seconds so at least give them a chance walk through the front door.”
“When potential buyers come into the home you want them to imagine themselves living there. One of the best ways to achieve this is to take down your own family photos, clear the hallway or entrance of clutter, and make sure you’re not blocking any doorways with furniture.”
Deb said one of the best ways to stage your home is to walk through it as if you are seeing it through a stranger’s eyes. “Does your door mat need replacing? Are there dead plants that need to go in the trash? Is the house clean? Does it smell good? Are the carpets, rugs or wood floors looking tired? These are all good questions to ask yourself.”
As you enter each room in the home look to see if there is any furniture blocking your view. “Does the sofa need to be pushed up against the wall instead of being placed in the middle of the lounge with its back to you as you walk in? If you have a painting hanging over the fireplace why not consider replacing it with a mirror to help make the room seem larger.”
Deb said one of the most important rooms in the house when it comes to staging, is the kitchen. If you are having a hard time selling it may be worth investing in new appliances, such as the microwave, oven, and dishwasher. “Don’t cringe if your realtor recommends updating surfaces in the kitchen too,” said Deb. “Replacing a Formica surface with marble, granite, or quartz can make the world of difference and work towards attracting those buyers that aren’t interested in revamping the home once it’s been purchased. You’ll find now, as well, that the younger generation of buyers expect the ‘modern’ look and that means a quartz surface, tiled or wood floors, and stainless steel appliances, for example.”
As well as considering a paint job for the outside of the house, do you need to work on the interior too? Neutral tones are the best choice. “Anything too bold or bright could scare off potential buyers who find it hard to get past loud wallpaper in the master bedroom or purple in the bathroom,” said Deb.
If you have a spare room, which looks like it has been used as dumping ground for the past decade it’s a good idea to take the time and investment the money to stage this room too. Whether you create an extra bedroom or study it will be well worth it, according to Deb.
Finally, don’t forget the details. You may love to display your personal belongings throughout your home but while you are working to attract buyers hold back and pack up some of these items. “At the end of the day you want your home to appeal to the widest audience possible and that means, clean, tidy, clutter free and neutral.”