Home staging has become an essential part of selling a home in this day and age, as avoiding it often means the house will linger on the market with price reductions. For sellers who want to get top dollar and sell their homes quickly, they must engage in some level of staging.

This is especially true as buyers now look for homes online and make very quick decisions about whether to go see a home in person. In fact, the National Association of Realtors conducted this research study in which 83% of real estate agents said that home staging helped their clients visualize the home. 

In other words, that first impression online is so important. You want a home that stands out from the competition, creates an emotional connection, and invites the buyer in. 

It’s also important that the rooms can be clearly identified online so there is no confusion whether a room is a bedroom or dining room.  When homes aren’t staged (and especially if they are vacant), it can be difficult to tell what you’re looking at in a picture. If buyers are confused, they’ll likely click over to the next available home instead of investigating further.

Today I’m sharing 7 home staging tips with you. Some of these you can do yourself, some might require professional assistance, but all of them are going to impact how your home is perceived and the interest it gets from potential buyers.

So think long-term, focus on your moving goals, and know that this is an investment in your happiest future.

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1. Market the Home to a Specific Demographic

When staging, it is most important to highlight the features of the home that are most desired by the demographic you are marketing to. For example, in family homes, you could highlight kids’ bedrooms that are not near an exit of the home. For working professionals, a tech-friendly home office. For a senior couple, a first floor master suite.

Once we know who the buyers in your area are, we can stage a home that speaks most clearly to their wants and needs.

2. Declutter and De-Personalize

It will be difficult for buyers to imagine themselves living in a home that is overflowing with furniture and things. Declutter living areas, bathrooms, and even closets and cabinets. (Yes, they’ll look.) 

It’s also a good idea to depersonalize and remove any traces that someone currently occupies the home that’s for sale. This could mean taking down family photos, removing any framed awards or degrees, and taking down that Bears season calendar. I know we should all be Chicago supporters, but what if a Packers fan walks through the door?

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3. Favor Fresh, Bright and Clean Spaces

Along the same lines of decluttering is creating fresh, bright and clean spaces. We can help you arrange furniture in a way that maximizes the visual space in each room, and it is worth paying for a professional cleaner to get a deep, sparkly clean. 

New paint is another great way to instantly freshen up your space, though I do suggest getting professional advice on a color before making a selection. Choosing paint colors can be tricky if you haven’t done it before.

4. Use Plants and Greenery

I’ve never seen a well-staged home that didn’t use plants and greenery. They instantly freshen up a space, make it feel more inviting, and add a touch of life that you can tangibly feel. I like to use a mix of small and medium plants for variety.

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5. Consider Trends in Color, Materials and Finishes

When it comes to home staging, it doesn’t matter what colors or materials you or I personally like in our homes. What matters are the styles that Chicagoans are purchasing in new homes. Each year, we see shifts in the styles that get sold and what buyers expect to see when they start shopping around, so it’s important to do your homework.

As a home stager, this is also why I make it a point to attend staging conferences every year. It’s important to stay informed about what’s going on in the real estate and home industry.

6. Expertly Style Accessories 

Staging a home means creating a space that buyers can visualize as their own. To do so, we need accessories. Accessories help us fill the space, can create an elegant or casual vibe, and elevate the whole design. 

To style accessories well, I like to group items together in odd numbers such as 3 or 5 and vary the items’ visual heights and weights. I also make sure that the accessories are adding to the overall design and reflecting the correct price point. (Not too high, not too low!)

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7. Create Curb Appeal 

Lastly, curb appeal. Staging inside is important, but outside matters too. Fresh curb appeal with maintained bushes and landscaping will go a long way toward a good impression. You can also add small touches of charming seasonal decor, create clear and lighted pathways, and highlight any outdoor areas where future homeowners would love to entertain.

Get a Professional Home Staging Consultation and Strategy

A home staging consultation will ensure that you get the right advice for updating or staging your particular property for target buyers. 

Together, we’ll walk through your home – inside and out – and I’ll provide suggestions for how to get the full property market ready.  This may include:

  • moving around/changing out furniture
  • adding or subtracting decor
  • neutralizing the home
  • recommendations for painting or other updates
  • a written report with helpful suggestions for vendors if needed.

I suggest getting a home staging consultation at least a few months out from listing, so there is time to make the necessary improvements and changes to the home.  

Giving yourself more time means less stress, and you can break the project down into manageable chunks. You can also get a few quotes for things that need to be fixed, which may save money in the long run. 

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What Happens After the Home Staging Consultation?

After the home staging consultation, I always invite my clients to text pictures to me if they need further suggestions or help putting my suggestions into place.  

For example, they buy pillows or a throw and want to make sure that they are on the right track. Or, they move furniture around and want to make sure it’s in the correct position.

I tell clients that my services don’t end at the consultation itself. We’re partners, and they have access to me all the way through to the sale of the home.

If you’ll be selling a home in 2020, I’d be honored to help you prepare it for it’s best sale. Reach out to me here and let’s get to know each other.

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