To stage or not to stage? And if you do stage, do you admit to it? Submitting to this relatively new whim of real estate agents (do you think your parent’s ever staged their home?) somehow implies that the home you’ve been living in quite comfortably isn’t actually good enough for everyone else. The truth of the matter is that we can all learn a little something from professional home stagers. The good news is that many of these things are easy to do and budget-friendly to boot!
Declutter and Get Organized
The number one rule of home staging is to get rid of all clutter. The best way to do that is to have a designated place for everything whether it's file boxes in the office or storage jars in the kitchen. This task can seem daunting (which is why there are probably companies you can hire to do this for you) but if you think of tackling one room per weekend you could have a well organized and clutter-free house by end of summer.
Freshen Up with Paint
Home stagers will tell you that in order to have the best chance of selling your home you should choose neutral paint colours that appeal to a wide spectrum of buyers. I don’t know whether or not I absolutely agree with that but there is no denying that a freshly painted house seems cleaner, brighter and more welcoming. If it's been a few years (or decades!), you might want to consider a touch up. You’ll be amazed at what a difference a little paint can make.
Oftentimes, all it takes to revitalize your home is a simple reshuffling of the existing furniture. Don’t be surprised if your home stager tells you to move some of your items into storage and distribute what's left around the house. In order to create more space and flow you might want to remove some of the chairs from your dining room and add them to your living space. Conversely, you might take an occasional chair from your living room and place it in the hallway. See what rearranging your own furniture can do for your space.
Add Decorative Touches
The role of a good stylist is to add those small decorative touches that turn a ho-hum space into something intriguing and dynamic. Take a look through your closets and see what accessories you have that could make your place look a little more pulled-together. Look for items that are either all in the same colour palette or the same shape. Repetition is key!
Potential home buyers like to imagine their life in your space. By creating distinct zones of eating, relaxing, studying, playing and working, you allow them to envision a harmonious day-to-day routine in their new digs. Take the time to walk around your house to see if there are any spaces that are not being used to their full potential. Try to think as a stranger -- what would bother you if you weren't already totally used to it?
Are you selling? Have you made any worth-talking-about changes in your home that have helped?