With the holidays finally over, many of you are getting things in order to put your home up for sale. Many real estate agents will suggest that you stage your home before putting it on the market. However, it’s not everyone who’s able to afford doing do. In the hopes that we can save you from breaking the bank, here are a few tips to properly stage your home for potential buyers but at a lower cost and with minimal effort:
Removing clutter helps potential buyers visualize themselves living in a new home. It’s a way of providing just enough decor that they feel comfortable, but not too much that they feel like they don’t belong. This is especially important for smaller spaces and condos.
If you find this difficult to gauge, here’s a tip: start one room at a time, one surface at a time and remove everything on that surface. Then gradually add one item at a time, starting with the ones that are the most neutral. When in doubt use the rule of threes: objects will always look better in groups of three or multiples of three, whether it’s how many frames to hang on a wall, how many flowers to put in a vase, or how many books to stack on a coffee table. Keep the additional items you don’t place in a box and store it somewhere for when you move.
Deep clean and remove odors
What do I mean by deep clean? Let’s just say that over the years, there are likely some areas in our house that naturally accumulate grime without us noticing. For example, some window sills can accumulate dust and dirt, the grout lines in our shower tiles will darken and the stairs’ handrail can also get a little dirty. While the difference won’t necessarily be noticeable to potential buyers, when a house is squeaky clean it looks brighter and shows that you care about your home and maintain it diligently.
When it comes to deep cleaning, we focus on surfaces, but our homes are also filled with linens, fabrics and upholstered furniture that hold odours and dust. Take the time to wash all your curtains and steam clean your carpets and sofas to make sure they are free of stains but also have a pleasant refreshing scent.
Give each room a purpose
Some older homes have awkward spaces or many small rooms that are difficult to fill with furniture. By making these rooms and spaces functional, you show potential buyers that it is usable space (even though you don’t actually use it).
Create a reading nook by adding comfy chairs and a bookcase, or add shelving under the stairs. The general rule is that there shouldn’t be too many empty spaces but it shouldn't be too cramped, either.
A little paint goes a long way
This follows the idea that you need to create a clean slate where potential buyers can visualize making the space their own. Decor is a very personal preference. Not only will bright or dark colors make it too difficult for some buyers to see themselves living in your house, the amount of work required to paint over it might make them try to low-ball your price.
Do yourself a favor and neutralize your brightest and darkest painted walls in tones of white, beige or grey. The same goes for trim. If you had a funky style with painted trim and moulding, consider putting them back to the generic white instead.
Move your furniture around
We place our furniture to be functional but sometimes, it doesn’t exactly look good. When staging a home, the goal is to make the space look good, so you may need to move some furniture around (maybe acquire a few new pieces if you have the budget).
Pull your furniture away from the walls to make the rooms looks bigger and arrange them symmetrically, if possible. Allow for breathing room around each piece so you can walk around it comfortably and add some accent tables and lighting throughout.
Bonus tip: dining rooms can look a little stale and lifeless, but if you dress up your dining table as though you’re ready to host an elegant dinner party you’ll bring it to life!
Optimize your lighting
This one is often overlooked. The first thing most potential buyers look for in a new home is lots of natural light. Of course, not all homes have wall-to-ceiling windows so you may need to fake it a little bit. Adding overhead and ambient lighting throughout your home will make a huge difference. The best part about it is that any investment you make in enhancing the lighting in your home will provide you an increase in value of 3 times what you originally invested. Not too shabby for a few extra light bulbs!
Isabelle Blondin is our resident Interior Designer at Rustic Furniture Outlet. Backed by an Interior Design degree from LaSalle College in Montréal, Québec and a passion for design, her tips and tricks will set you on the right track to creating a beautiful space. Follow our blog to for her weekly insights, and feel free to comment or ask questions! We'd love to hear from you!