So you’re thinking of selling your home, and you want it to be presented in its best possible light to potential buyers. You’ve probably heard this before, but the way you live when your house is for sale is NOT the way you normally live. I mean, who do you know that has zero appliances on their kitchen counter? Or absolutely nothing on their bathroom counters except for a stack of perfectly rolled up hand towels and a basket of twigs and berries? Unless you’re friends with a professional decorator, the answer is NO ONE. Staging your home to sell is for one purpose and one purpose only – to make it sell!
You don’t have to hire a professional home stager and buy all new furniture to get the look buyers love. I’m going to go beyond the obvious tips about staging your home to sell that you’ve all heard before – clean like a crazy person, pack up half of your clothes to make the closets look bigger, put away all the knick knacks and clutter, clean off the counters, and stick any extra pieces of furniture that make your rooms look small out in the garage or in storage.
#1 – Let the sunlight in
Sunny rooms with lots of light – that’s what buyers love to see. Pack up your heavy, ornate draperies. Blinds or plantation shutters are great if they’re clean, but open them before showings. Sheer curtains are fine since they don’t block light.
The downside? Now you have to clean your windows. Sorry.
#2 – Make your bathroom look like a hotel
With the linens, that is. Sparkling clean white towels make the bathroom look like a spa or luxury hotel. Buy a set on sale and put them out before showings, then put them away again afterwards. Don’t use them! They are for show only. I’ve seen people tie a lovely ribbon around the center of the towels as they’re hanging and this little decorative touch is really nice.
A new white shower curtain and bathmat are fabulous too. All this white screams clean, and what better word to describe a bathroom?
#3 – Turn the lights on – every single one of ’em!
Here’s a great tip on figuring out how much light your rooms need. Length of the room x width of the room x 1.5 = the wattage necessary to make a room bright enough. So a 12′ x15′ room needs 270 watts of light. I typically have one or two lights with a 60 watt bulb in any given room. If I’m lucky there’s a ceiling fan in the room that holds 3 bulbs. That’s still only 180 watts! So I’m guilty of not using enough lamps in my own house. Do as I say, not as I do.
If after opening all your blinds and cleaning your windows and turning on the lights your room is STILL dark? Run on over to Goodwill or Target and buy a few inexpensive lamps. If a buyer walks into your family room and it feels dark and gloomy, they’ll hate it. Please trust me on this – I show homes every day and I hear their feedback. Dark = dreary, depressing, sad. This is not the impression you want to give buyers. You are staging your home to sell, not to save a few bucks on your electric bill.
#4 – Give the kitchen and/or bathroom a facelift
Yes, buyers love granite counters above all else. Better than Corian or Silestone, better than tile, way better than laminate. But if your kitchen doesn’t have granite, you don’t need to remodel it now. Although I’m dying to try a faux granite treatment sometime! I’ve never seen it done in real life though so I have no idea if it really looks good or if it’s durable. But if you’re crafty and you know how to paint, wouldn’t this DIY faux granite makeover be cool?
Faucets, light fixtures, and cabinet knobs make a HUGE difference. Brushed nickel and oil rubbed bronze are the two go-to colors right now.