Staging your home in the best way possible is proven to increase the value of your home. Walking into a house that is set up with basic furniture and decorations gives potential buyers an idea of what life will be like there, and removing your personal items helps you disconnect with the house.
A study from 2018 found that “A grand total of 85% of all 4,200 staged homes surveyed sold for anywhere from 6% to 25% more than unstaged homes, with 68% of those selling for at least 9% more than “unstaged” neighbors.”
So, it’s worth it to declutter, clean up, upgrade, and design your home based on your ideal buyer. Here are a few tips to help you impress professional home appraisers.
You might like your knick-knacks and quirky decorations, but a potential buyer might be turned away by them. If it isn’t necessary, get rid of it or hide it somewhere. If you free up more space in your home, you could raise its value. This isn’t the time to be sentimental.
At this stage, you should be past any emotions about your old home and thinking about your future in your new one. Your knick-knacks will have a place there, away from a potential buyer’s judgemental eyes.
This doesn’t just include knick-knacks and decorations. Any trace of a personal touch should be removed. Your house needs to be as generic as possible to appeal to the most people as possible. Picture a nice hotel that you stayed at and shoot for that—only the essentials.
Clean Like Crazy
Think of the cleanest your house has ever been—now make it even cleaner. Hire professionals if you have to. It can create an impression that you’ve properly taken care of your home.
Watch out for weird smells as well. Cigarette scent is not attractive to potential buyers and neither are pet smells. If you can move your pets to another location, make sure you do so. It would be a shame for your cleaning efforts to be ruined by a wet dog or a cat that misses the litter box.
Paint Everything Neutral Colors
Using one neutral color throughout your home adds to the clean look you’re going for, and it allows imaginations to run wild about what colors can be changed once a buyer moves in.
Strong colors should be used sparingly to highlight important features. Everywhere else, the neutral color will help to open up your home’s perceived space.
Upgrade and Replace Any Eyesores
Add new coats of paint or stain to cabinets. Replace old door knobs and handles that are loose or falling apart. Freshen up the bathroom and rip up and replace old flooring. The more things you can make new, the better.
And make sure your home is properly lighted. The neutral colors on your walls should help to increase natural light, but that’s not enough. No one wants to live somewhere dark and gloomy.
Even if a buyer can’t afford a new home, they’ll want it to feel new. You need to provide them with the illusion that they’re buying something fresh. Your home could be 100 years old, but with proper upkeep, you can shave off a couple of decades.
The inside of your house is properly staged now, but have you walked out to the road in front of your house and turned around? What is the curb appeal of your home? This is a potential buyer’s first impression of your home.
Mow your lawn, do some weeding, trim hedges and trees, add mulch to your garden, and tidy up your porches or decks. If there is any clutter out front or your kids’ toys are out back, put it somewhere out of sight. Everything outside should look as fresh as the inside of your house, especially the front door.
Front doors add a lot of character to a home. If the front door looks bad, that’s going to affect a potential buyer’s view of your entire home. Give it a fresh coat of paint or stain, and choose a strong color that draws attention.
Buyer’s Don’t Want to See Your Home. They Want to See Theirs.
The number one thing to keep in mind is that potential buyers don’t want to see your home. They don’t have the same sense of style as you or the same preferences. As much as you love your home the way it is, other people won’t.
You need to set up your home the way they want to see it. Either that or you need to make it as basic as possible so that their imagination can take over.
This will actually increase the value of your home by making it more appealing and reducing work that the new owners will have to put into it. It can be hard to let go, but you’re moving for a reason. Start letting go sooner rather than later.
Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.