Stage It, Sell It

If you plan to put your house on the market and you want it sold, staging could be your secret weapon. Potential buyers want to see your home in the most general way possible so they can imagine themselves living in it, if you can achieve this, you can get your house sold. You want someone to walk in and feel like they can make it their own and potential buyers will do this within the first 20 seconds of walking in.  If the staging is on point, the buyer will be in the right mindset to picture themselves living in it, if it’s not, the forces are working against you.  Staging is not as hard as it sounds, it requires some spectacular editing skills and a good eye and if you’re currently living in the home you're selling, it’s easy to make this happen with items you already have on hand.

Having worked in many show suites throughout my time as Director of Sales with Vancouver based Rennie Marketing Systems, I’ve learned the ins and outs of staging a room to make it the most appealing to as many people as possible. Here are my suggestions to put your best house forward because you only get one chance to make a great first impression. Take a few hours to do these things and you’ll be headed down the right path. One more tip: do this before your photographer comes to take photos, because photos are the gateway to your listing and potential buyers.

Start with the curb appeal
Stand in front of your home and take the time to remove weeds, shovel the walk, rake the leaves, add a flower pot or appropriate décor to clean and warm up the space. Remove any toys, bikes and other items that don’t enhance the front of your home.

Clean your windows
 Nothing is more distracting than a dirty window and you definitely don’t want to miss out on an offer because you didn’t whip out the Windex. It takes a bit of elbow grease but it’ll be worth the effort.

Do a major countertop edit
Everybody lives differently and your potential buyers might have a hard time seeing past the showcase of small appliances spread out all over your kitchen counters. You really want them to be able to envision the space for themselves so put these in storage except the coffee maker of course and make sure any personal décor items have been removed such as bills, keys, wallets, receipts, etc...

Pair down the décor
Take away at least 50% of the decorative items you have in built-ins or shelving. It will give your room a chance to breathe and will be much less distracting to the critical eye.

Put away the personal items
Clear off your bathroom counters and bedroom dressers, tuck everything away in a top drawer. While it’s convenient to have these accessible at all times for day to day living, potential buyers do not need to see what kind of deodorant you use.

Remove unnecessary furniture
 Perhaps you like having 5 side tables in your living room but most people will wonder why there are so many and start to analyze the space to assess it for their needs. This can be avoided by making sure you don’t have too many large items in one room and make sure it’s to scale.

Remove unnecessary clutter 
Make sure to highlight the positive aspects of every space and not emphasize its shortcomings. If you own 20 coats and you like to keep them all by the front door, a potential buyer will think there isn’t enough closet space. Pare it down to 5 and this problem goes away.

Let there be light
Move some lamps around and make sure to light them up when showing the home or taking photos. Most people enjoy bright open spaces and the right lighting will make a big difference.

Keep it neutral
 While bright colours are cheerful and happy, they can easily steal your focus. Keeping things neutral will allow the potential buyer to see the bigger picture.

Colorful accents
Like I said before. do keep it neutral but use a few key pieces with some colour and brightness to enhance the space without taking it over.  Follow the 80/20 rule if you're not sure how much is too much.  If you stick to  80% neutral and 20% colour, you’ll be ok.

If all of this sounds a bit overwhelming, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We can walk you through your spaces and offer you some personalized staging advice before your house hits the market. Feel free to reach and learn more about how we at DM Real Estate can help you with this key piece of the puzzle.