“Staging” is the buzzword these days. When selling a home, it is suggested the home be staged for a better or quicker sale. The idea behind staging is to make the home look uncluttered and as professionally decorated as possible so it appears fresh and inviting to potential buyers. If the home is vacant, a professional stager will put furniture and accessories in to make the home more inviting. If the home is occupied, a stager can come clean up, straighten, add accessories and rearrange furniture to make the rooms open and appealing.
Having a home professionally staged can cost a lot of money, but there are ways you can do it yourself. Let’s explore the possibilities.
n Start by “window shopping” model homes. Visit homes professionally decorated that are up for sale to see how the pros do it. Check out the bathrooms and see how clean and inviting they are. Look at the kitchen to see what is being displayed, such as plants and homey cookbooks; and what generally isn’t displayed, such as small appliances and cutting boards.
Notice how most model homes are neutrally colored and decorated. Neutral tones such as beige and tan are naturally appealing to the general public. If bold colors appeal to some people, pastels might appeal more to others. The bold aficionados will be turned off by the pastel colors and visa versa — hence, the neutral theme.
n When de-cluttering, be sure to remove some personal items such as extra family photos. An overabundance of photos on flat surfaces, shelves and walls can be over the top with buyers. Grooming supplies in the bathrooms also must go. Instead, display unused scented or fancy soaps, towels tied with ribbon, perhaps two or three candles on the edge of the tub.
n Place a variety of greens/plants in a few rooms; natural ones are best. If there are flowers growing in your yard, cut and display some in the house.
n The outside of your home is obviously the first thing people see. Check to be sure the house paint is in good condition. Also, the front door is essential when it comes to presenting a welcome facade, so be sure it is well painted and in good condition. Perhaps place a pot of yellow flowers by the door. Lastly, clean and well-manicured landscaping is essential.
n Be sure the house, both inside and out, is clean, clean, clean! Hire a professional cleaning company, if necessary. The windows should be sparkling, the baseboards should be free of dust, and the shelves meticulously cleaned. If necessary, hire a cleaner to spiff up your house weekly to be sure that every open house is well received.
These ideas might cost you a bit, but a well-staged home has been proven to sell quicker and get a better selling price than a home that is left in an unprofessional clutter.
Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, is author of “Mystery of Color.” E-mail: DsgnQuest@)aol.com