BY: JAY BRIJPAUL
According to Daniel Goldstein from Market Watch, “Plastic surgery might improve one’s looks. But so, might a little makeup. When it comes to making your house more attractive to prospective buyers, home staging is definitely in the makeup category.” Home staging changes the appearance of a home with accessories. Beautiful furniture and art can give the perception that the home is much more appealing.
Most sellers place their attention on the inside of the home. However, the first place to concentrate is on the outside. Curb appeal should give the best first and last impressions. A well-manicured lawn with plenty of flowers will create those impressions. Clean the windows, doors and entrance way; reseal the driveway and paint where necessary, especially the front door. LED lawn and exterior lights will help to create an attractive curb appeal. If it is winter, then, clear driveway and sidewalk.
Professional stagers first look at what they will need to remove from the home. A room will look larger with less furniture. A cluttered home will prevent buyers from seeing the beautiful features. You can start by getting rid of clutter and unwanted items. Closet and drawers should be half-emptied. Remove fake plants and flowers and any distractions from the home. Personal photos should be removed as well so that potential buyers can see themselves living there. Now that the home is decluttered, it’s time to take care of other details. Staging does not have to be expensive if you do it yourself.
A fresh coat of paint will always bring out the beauty. Always choose modern tones. Rooms will look larger if the adjacent room is painted with the same colour. Spend some time and money in the kitchen and bathrooms. An old kitchen can be transformed with new knobs, countertops, and a lovely tap. New calking in the washroom and around the counters will make a difference as well. Modern light fixtures will certainly enhance the beauty of a home. These fixtures do not have to be expensive. Choose warm, soft lights, think candlelight dinners.
Remove heavy window coverings and allow the daylight to shine through. Window coverings should be the same colour as the paint, giving the perception of spaciousness. Open the shades and flood the room with natural light. Remove floor mats and garbage bins from the washrooms and always keep the toilet lids down during showing.
Nothing smells better than a fresh clean home. When it comes to pets, cedar chips will absorb most of the unpleasant odours. Carpets should be steam cleaned prior to listing. Baking soda sprinkled onto sofas and rugs will remove the unpleasant smells. Vinegar left inside a room for a few days will remove smoke odours as well. Candles, plug-ins, and sprays work well in moderation.
Now it’s time to put the final touches. Arrange the furniture to create space. Mirrors can make a room look bigger. If the furniture is too large, then consider removing a piece or two and store it in the garage or use it to stage the basement. Rent a few good pieces of furniture for the main floor. When preparing your home, think about themes that suggest entertainment or warmth. For example, a bottle of champagne, two glasses and a few lovely soaps and towels at the edge of the bathtub. A fresh bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter will appeal to the senses and plants will add warmth and beauty.
Staging a home to sell doesn’t have to be expensive. Most of the work involved in decluttering, deodorizing, depersonalizing and decorating. A home that shows well will attract the right buyers and will result in a higher selling price.