You might like to think that your property, both the land and the structure on it, can be sold on their own merit, but the truth is that you have to put some time and effort into dressing the place up if you want to impress buyers and get the value from your home that you feel is appropriate. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to take on major renovation projects before you put your house on the market. Unless there are hazards or building code violations, you’re not required to fix known issues (although you may have to lower the price to account for projects buyers will have to take on). But you definitely want to put a little time, effort, and even money into staging your home to highlight the best features and help prospective buyers see the potential in your space. Here are just a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid if you’re new to the art of home staging.
- Failure to declutter. If you do nothing else, you need to remove yourself and your stuff from the home interior as much as possible. There are two reasons for doing this. First and foremost, people tend to collect and store a lot of stuff in their homes. Over time, this clutter can make your home interior look smaller than it actually is. So decluttering is a great way to highlight the space inside your structure. But you also want to remove your personality from the equation. When you leave your family photos, media, clothing, and other personal items in the home, you make it more difficult for prospective buyers to picture themselves in your space.
- Choosing the wrong colors. You may love the green carpets and blue wallpaper you installed when you moved in, but not every buyer is going to share your style sensibilities. So take the time to lay new carpeting and slap on a fresh coat of paint all around in neutral colors. This will offer the perfect backdrop for furniture and accessories, which can feature trendy pops of color.
- Leaving projects unfinished. Plenty of homeowners start upgrades on their own only to realize that it’s more work than anticipated. But leaving your home in a state of disrepair, with projects half-finished, is a good way to ensure that buyers move on to other properties instead of considering yours for purchase. So finish up any projects you’ve started, even if you have to pay a pro to get them completed.
- Keeping pets (and people) at home. You will likely have to continue living in your home until it is sold, but that doesn’t mean you should allow people to view your home with you in it, as this can make for a very uncomfortable situation. You also shouldn’t leave your pets on the property. Not only can they distract buyers and disturb the viewing process, but you don’t want them to have to deal with the stress of having strangers in the home, or risk them being released as people poke around.
- Getting too complicated with staging. When it comes to home staging, simple is always best. Coco Chanel is credited with advising women to take off one piece of jewelry before leaving the house. And you should adopt a similar rule when it comes to staging your home for sale. You don’t want to declutter only to fill your space with different stuff. If you’re just not sure you can manage the difficult task of staging your home to perfection, consider hiring a pro like Showhomes Home Staging to handle it for you. The result could be a speedier sale and a higher selling price.