One way to ensure that you get top dollar when selling your house is by home staging.  Before we get ready to build our new house we have to get our current home ready for sale.  Selling your house in an uncertain real estate market can be nerve racking, especially when our new house build depends on us getting our current home sold in a timely manner and at a reasonable price.

Home staging is all about making your house look bigger, brighter, and more inviting so that it will stand out to potential home buyers.  When I worked in the hotel industry we did this all the time when we toured the hotel with prospective clients.

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By selecting a few key rooms in the hotel and ensuring that the cleanliness, lighting, decor, and other details in the rooms were perfect, we were able to highlight the most positive aspects of the hotel while hiding any potential negative features to the clients.

Preparing Your House For Sale

Home staging is about more than just preparing your house for sale.  Before you even think about home staging you need to clean, declutter, paint, and make any necessary minor repairs to your home.

Walk through your house like a prospective buyer would, and have a really good look around for anything that stands out.  Better yet, get a friend or relative to do this since they won’t be as likely to overlook unusual things in your house that you may have become too familiar with.

Buyers want to know that your house has been taken care of before they make an offer.

According to Barb Schwarz, founder of home staging, there are a few tips to tackle each room in the house:

  • Living areas should be spacious and light.
  • Kitchens should be light and bright with all counters bare.
  • Pantries should contain a minimum amount of neatly arranged canned goods and bottled water.  No bags of pet food.
  • Create an open, airy and romantic master bedroom.
  • Clean and polish foyer floors.
  • Remove stacks of mail & overstuffed coat trees.
  • De-clutter family room or den.
  • Set the dining room table with chargers, china and centerpiece. No flatware because people steal it.
  • Involve children.  Make their closets roomy and unclutter shelves.
  • Buy pretty hangers for your closets and show lots of space.

Hiring a Professional For Home Staging

These days many real estate agents recommend home staging when selling your house.  Once you’ve prepared your house for sale you may want to check out a professional home stager.

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A home stager will bring in a variety of items to spruce up your house and help define your space to potential buyers.  They should stage the house to play up the features that make it unique.  Professional stagers have skills of a top-level designer and they can create scenery that appeals to all five senses.

Here are some of their secrets:

  • Arrange sparse pieces of furniture in an appealing grouping known as a vignette
  • Showcase a generous usage of soft fabrics such as silk, lambswool, satin
  • Display unusual knickknacks in units of 1, 3 or 5
  • Drape window coverings with simple lines
  • Add unique elements to shelving, bookcases and fireplace mantels, which draw attention to predetermined areas

Whether you use a professional for home staging or you want to do it yourself, be prepared to spend between $500 – $5,000 depending on your square footage and number of rooms being staged.

When it comes to selling your house, appearances matter and home staging can make all the difference between getting a full priced offer on your house or settling for an offer below market value.

Have you ever used home staging techniques to sell your house?  What are your best house selling tips?

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