How to stage a house prior to selling

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Staging a house is a fantastic way to guarantee either a better sale price or a faster rental process and while there are a host of terrific professional staging companies out there, not everybody can account for the extra cost, which is why this guide has been curated in order to offer a wealth of tips as to how to stage a house.  

Home staging tips are a great way to improve the saleability of a property and what's more, they can even be implemented on a budget. Before embarking on a staging project, it's vital to remember why it is so essential:

- Staging can increase sale prices. If a home can make potential buyers imagine themselves living in it, they will be far more likely to put in an offer or engage in a bidding war with other interested parties. Getting the right balance of homey and covetable aesthetics really can add value to a property.

- Staging can make a rental more likely. For anyone looking to rent a house, rather than sell it, staging is an invaluable tool. Potential tenants will be looking for a property that they can easily make their own, with little or no effort and staging really demonstrates the inherent liveability of a house.

- Staging allows homeowners to tackle all of those niggly jobs. When a staging project is undertaken, little maintenance tasks that have been neglected will be easy to spot and tackle. Even if a home doesn't sell or get rented out straight away, it's never a bad idea to take care of an investment properly.

We've collated a few staging tips in this guide that will have any home looking perfect and eminently ready to live in.

1. Improve the street view.

East Jefferson, KUBE architecture KUBE architecture Modern Houses

When it comes to staging a home for sale, curb appeal REALLY matters. The same goes for anyone staging a home for rent as well, as first impressions cannot be remade and will have a huge impact on the success or failure of any house-related endeavor. A few easy but effective ways to improve the way that a house presents itself, from the curb, include:

- Washing pathways and the facade. A clean and easy to reach house will always be an appealing prospect, which is why a couple of hours spent wrestling with a pressure washer will be a worthwhile investment. After all, nobody wants to move into a house that looks like it could use a fresh coat of paint or new paving slabs. Washing the windows is a must as well!

- Make sure the house name or number is clearly visible. It sounds strange, but an illegible house sign will really put people off. It might be worth buying something large and finished in neutral colors and materials, as this will really stick in people's minds.

- Add some greenery. From potted plants outside of the front door to well manicured grass, a little injection of flora and fauna will have a massive impact on how well presented a home is. A home that looks to have a mature garden that can simply be maintained will always be preferred over a house that needs a full landscaping overhaul.

- Repaint exterior woodwork. Any wooden trim will need to be bright and clean, including porches, so it's worth giving everything a fresh coat of paint. It won't take too long but will add immeasurable value.

2. Clean and declutter.

Kitchens, Clean Design Clean Design Modern Kitchen

Before any furniture arranging can start, a really deep clean should be carried out. Nothing should be overlooked, so from floors to ceilings, every surface needs to be given a good scrub. When the cleaning has been completed, an audit and declutter can be entertained as well, so as to display all the gleaming surfaces to their full potential.

Potential buyers and renters alike want to see how much space there is to play with, not how many accessories and trinkets existing residents own, which is why removing as much as possible and choosing to take a more minimal approach is such a good idea. 

3. Set the dining table.

Dining Room Kellie Burke Interiors Eclectic style dining room

 While a clutter-free home is more likely to appeal to buyers and renters, there is one room that always needs to give the impression of being more lived-in; the dining room. Savvy home stagers know that a ready-to-use dining room will instantly make potential residents picture family meals and sociable dinner parties, which is why some place settings, fresh flowers and comfortable seating are all essential. A bowl of fruit certainly wouldn't go amiss either, not to mention some ambient lighting.

4. Employ a symmetrical furniture layout.

West Village Townhouse andretchelistcheffarchitects Living room art deco,contemporary,manhattan,new york,townhouse,wood,sophisticated,marble

Regardless of how a room has always been arranged, when it comes to home staging for a specific purpose, symmetrical designs are key! Pretty furniture items, preferably in neutral tones, should be laid out in such a way as to maximize the natural flow of a room and be reminiscent of quality editorial spreads. 

Area rugs can be used to terrific effect, in the center of a room, with seating flanking them and matching lamps added to the far corners. The result will be a wonderfully neat space that feels proportional, sociable and relaxing, all at once. Post-sale or rental, residents can arrange their furniture how they like, but a little contrived layout inspiration will really help at the start.

5. Create a gender neutral bedroom.

Georgetown Master Bedroom Lighting Hinson Design Group Modern Bedroom Lighting Design,Recessed,Modern Lighting

While a pastel pink bedroom can be a romantic and pretty space to spend time in, it might not appeal to everyone! Similarly, a very masculine aesthetic could also put people off buying or renting a home, which is why a gender and color neutral main bedroom is essential. Nobody can ever predict who will be viewing a home or what their design preferences will be, so taking the path of least resistance is crucial.

Fresh neutrals, such as white and gray, will work very well in a master bedroom and will either appeal to people as they stand or provide a perfect basis for adding in some more personal touches and accent hues.

6. Don't hide away the storage.

Chesapeake, KUBE architecture KUBE architecture Modern Bedroom

Staying in the bedroom, another key home staging tip is to not hide away all the storage potential. From en suite bathrooms through to built-in closets, buyers and renters will want to be able to see how much can be stashed away inside a master bedroom, so open the doors, turn on the lights and encourage people to take a look.

In a modest bedroom, we recommend removing any large or bulky storage furniture, as it could create the impression of a far smaller room, which will never be a good selling point!

7. Use spare rooms creatively, but sensibly.

Mid-Mod Eichler Addition Remodel by Klopf Architecture, Klopf Architecture Klopf Architecture Modern Study Room and Home Office

Spare rooms are such a valuable commodity that any potential buyer or renter will definitely be interested in but it's important not to fall into the trap of simply promoting them as potential extra bedrooms. Depending on where a house is situated, it might be far more beneficial to stage them as something more practical, such as a home office or even a home gym.

Professionals will definitely be taken in by the idea of being able to work from home and with a few simple touches, such as some bookcases and a desk, a spare room will present itself as having far more potential, as well as the rest of the house.

8. Encourage extensive exploration.

Red Hook Townhouse, Sarah Jefferys Design Sarah Jefferys Design Stairs

Home staging is only as successful as the effort put in and key to the success of any project is making sure that potential buyers and renters explore every nook and cranny of a home. Professional staging teams highly recommend creating focal points that entice people to take a closer look and a good tip is to make more of stairs.

Naturally drawing people to the upper floors of a home, stairs and more pertinently, landings, can be accessorized to entice people to give in to their curiosity. Potted plants or even wall art will all grab attention and gently encourage people to walk towards them, which in turn, will allow unseen facets of a home to be viewed.

9. Demonstrate the usability of awkward spaces.

Foyer Clean Design Modern Corridor, Hallway and Staircase

Wasted space can have such a negative impact on the saleability or rental potential of a home, but it can be negated by simply adding in a little extra functionality, through the magic of home staging. Take an entrance hall as a primary example. 

The space underneath a staircase so often goes to waste, but by adding a table, some chairs or even a little storage bench, it can be viewed as a wonderfully practical area that has a wealth of potential to be exploited. A step further would be to invest in a cloakroom installation or even a small toilet.

10. Don't forget the garden.

Upper East Side Apartment andretchelistcheffarchitects Modern Terrace aluminium honeycomb,minimal,streamlined,venetian plaster,terrace,upper east side,apartment,new york

Finally, all home staging endeavors will fall by the wayside if the garden of a home is neglected. By creating a usable and pretty little terrace or patio, anyone viewing a home will be able to picture themselves using the space in the warmer months, leading to fantasies of summer barbecues and al fresco dining. Some simple but stylish terrace furniture, a sturdy floor and some potted plants are all that will be needed, but they will add immeasurable value and create a charmingly cohesive and finished look. 

Home staging is used to create the impression of a property that is ready to move into and enjoy straight away and all of these tips will really help to create that feeling.

Are you seeing the value in home staging now?

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