Home Staging – Part 2: Take it to the next level

In Home Staging – Part 1: The Basics we talked about basic things every home owner should do before listing their home for sale. But some homes need a little more finessing in order to get the value out of the home you want. So; let’s take home staging to the next level. 

Why use a professional Home Stager? 

A Home Stager is someone that is hired to style and furnish a seller’s home in such a way to enhance the home and attract potential buyers. The level of service can vary from a simple report to fully furnishing a vacant home. Each Stager will offer different service and rates.

Statistics have shown that homes that have been professionally staged sell 2-3 times faster and sells up to 6% high than homes that have not been staged. 

When it comes to the design and function of your home there are many things to look at – layout, furniture placement, colours, lighting, style. Knowing your target demographic will give you direction on what (if any) design changes that would benefit you in the sale of your home. A Home Stager with your realtor would be able to walk you through specific for your home as they will very drastically from area-to-area. If a Home Stager isn’t in your budget, there are some basic things you can do on your own.

5 Home Staging Tips 

1.Bring the décor into the 21st Century  

If you want to sell for or above market value, your home has to be up-to-date. Unless you target buyer is an investor or handyman, any home that requires work will scare off potential buyers or reduce the sale value.  For some, this may be as simple as a more modern paint colour. Others could require a few mini renovations to get the home to where it needs to be.  

Change out these items to bring your home up to the 21st Century: 

  • Use a modern colour pallet – We went into more details on this topic in Grey is the new Beige, check it out! 
  • Use modern furniture and accents – If modern isn’t your style or your home is vacant, there are places that rent out furniture and accessories. For the purpose of staging your home, renting furniture could be an option. Especially if the home is vacant. 
  • Upgrade to Energy Star – This is not just appliances but also lighting, windows and doors.
  • Change out light fixtures – Speaking of lighting, a simple way to change the look of a room is by updating the light fixture to a more modern piece. Light fixtures have come a long way over the years. They are a piece of art and can be a statement piece in the room. 
  • Make sure you have enough light – General rule: 100 watts for every 50 square feet. 
  • Consistent flooring – Whether you have (or plan to create) an open concept or not, keep the flooring consistent. Flooring is a great way to tie rooms together and make the flow of the house feel natural. If you have carpet, replace it! The market for buyers who love carpet in any room but the bedrooms is limited. Home buyers see carpet as an added expense as they will need to replace it before or after moving in.
  • Modern kitchen design – Stainless steel appliances are a big selling feature. Even if the buyer plans to re-do the kitchen, being able to save and reuse the appliances will be something they note. Check out () for cost saving ways to update any kitchen and bring it to the 21st Centry.
  • Modernize the bathrooms – Bathrooms can be a costly renovation and can deter buyers. Paint and using the right accent can be an inexpensive way to update a bathroom to put it on the market, depending on the state. Nothing will grab a buyer more than a fully renovated, modern bathroom. Either way, make sure your clean it! 

Budget Friendly Option: Focus on the big-ticket rooms – the living room, master bedroom (and ensuite) and kitchen. If you don’t have a large budget for updating your home focus on the living room, master bedroom and kitchen. These are the 3 rooms in any home that will give you the greatest return for your money.  

If the home is vacant, just staging these rooms will appeal to buyers better than leaving the home empty. It’s about telling the store of the home – how to use it, seeing their family in it

2. Repair, Patch and Paint 

This ties into Clean and Repair in Part 1. Before listing be sure to finish an unfinished projects and touch-up and damage. A fresh coat of paint, same colour or new, will feel clean and refresh the home. Continue the same paint colour throughout. This will make the rooms feel bigger and give a more seamless impression to the buyer. 

Use a pop of colour (paint or wall paper) in intimate rooms like powder room, dining room and bedroom. Try this in a niche or on the back of an open shelf bookcase. 

Budget Friendly Option: Do a fresh coat of paint in you entrance, living room and master bedroom. Your entrance is your first impression and should be WOW. Spend a little more in this area to grab your potential buyer’s attention right off the bat.  

Image by ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay

3.Rearrange the Furniture 

In Part 1 we told you to Declutter. This included reducing the number of furniture pieces in the house. By reducing the amount of furniture pieces, the home will feel much bigger. Great, now what? We need to rearrange the furniture. 

Pull all furniture away from the walls to create social seating that will show potential buyers how cozy and homely this home can be for them. You want to show potential buyers not only how to use the spaces but that there is a lot that can be done in the space. 

If you have an awkward corner or room, find a way to make it look practical. This could be by making it an office space or simply a quint sitting room to have your morning coffee. 

Budget Friendly Option: It may not be practical to do every room in the house. If it is a vacant home, for example, furnishing every room could be costly. Focus on the rooms that make the most impact on buyers – the living room, master bedroom and kitchen.  

4. First Impressions Count – Curb appeal  

The exterior of the home is THE VERY FIRST thing every potential buyer sees and will set the tone. Although the interior of the home is important, don’t forget to make a good first impression with the exterior. 

Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash
  • Paint the front door – give your home that wow punch. Paint your door a strong colour that makes your home stand out from all the others on the street.
  • Make sure your house number is visible – Nothing more frustrating than trying to find a house number!
  • Clean – Be sure to clean your windows (inside and out) before showings. Before listing, power wash and repair walkways and patios. If it’s looking weathered or in poor condition, the buyer is already making a list of ‘must fix’ before they get into the home. 
  • Clean up the yard – cut the grass regularly in the spring-fall and shovel in the winter. Make sure hedges trimmed and gardens are maintained.  
  • Add interest to the front porch – use season appropriate planters on your porch to welcome the buyers to you home, add a welcome mat at the door and (space permitting) a small patio set of chairs. This makes the house feel like a home. 

Drive around your neighborhood and get inspired. Don’t forget Pinterest is another great tool for inspiration. Click Here for some examples.

5.Final touches 

Before a viewing or open house, set out some fresh fruits and flowers. This gives people a feeling of being welcomed and invited into the home. Stick to (calming colours) like purple, green, white and yellow. 

Use accessories in groups of 3’s with varying heights.  

Be cautious of smells in the home. More and more people now have sensitivity and allergies to smells now-a-days. Don’t use cleaners with strong perfumes or light scented candles before showings. Although these smells may be comforting to you, they may not be for others. Click Here for some examples.

Budget Friendly Option: Use flowers from your garden. Your garden, not your neighbours at least not without permission. Not only is this an inexpensive way to elevate your interior it also ties the interior and exterior living spaces together.

Become a Storyteller

Selling your home can be an emotional experience. It’s important to remember that it may have emotional attachments for you but it doesn’t to the potential buyer….YET!

Whether you are selling fashion, a piece of fruit or your home, people want to have a connection with the item they are buying (big or small). When preparing your home for the market, think of yourself as an invisible storyteller.

You want to tell a story to the potential buyer though furniture layout and colour. Make them see themselves having breakfast at breakfast bar, coffee of the porch, soaking in the en-suite spa after a long week. Draw on their emotions and make them see themselves in this home. Not this house, this HOME. 

For more information on Home Staging, add your questions below or email us at [email protected]

3 thoughts on “Home Staging – Part 2: Take it to the next level

  1. I like that you mentioned that you should set out some flowers or fresh fruit. Hopefully, that would help the potential buyer see that you care about what they think about the house. I would assume that would make most people think the house looks nicer as well.

    1. Absolutely! It also adds a fresh, clean smell to the home without the overpowering smell that would come from air fresheners or candles.

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