No matter what, people will always be buying homes. As each generation comes to age, they will be on the lookout for a new house that fits their current and future lifestyle. Despite the current pandemic, well-staged houses are selling quickly. Realtors have their hands full, and figuring out how to stage furniture can take up a lot of time.
That is why we are providing twelve tips for easy furniture staging for both realtors and homeowners.
1. Boost Curb Appeal With a Clean Exterior and Patio Furniture
Every real estate agent knows that curb appeal is what catches the eye and brings people in. Before anything else, you must consider what potential buyers are seeing first. This means power-washing the driveway and the house siding or bricks, removing unnecessary items from the yard, or even replacing the mailbox with a more appealing one.
Another way to make a home appealing is to place comfortable outdoor furniture on the patio. If the home does not have a large enough patio space, then use potted plants to draw the eye instead.
The key here is to make the home look as fresh and inviting as possible for anyone who may be driving by or coming to tour. The last thing you want is for someone to turn away before even getting inside where you have so meticulously staged the furniture and interior.
2. Invite Onlookers Inside With Seasonal Landscaping
Along with keeping the exterior of the house clean, landscaping plays a big role in curb appeal. Think, freshly cut grass in the summer, flowers in the spring, or an inviting wreath on the door in the fall.
Whether you are working with a front porch or simply a front door, you will want to place an inviting door mat where guests will not miss it. Make sure the house has a landscape that a homeowner would be proud to own and to have family and friends gather at.
3. Refinish Hardwood Floors and Clean Carpets
Finally, we have made it inside. Before considering staging furniture, you need to make sure you are working with a clean surface. Old hardwood floors might need to be refinished to really shine. If refinishing the hardwood is not an option, you might want to try strategically placing some stylish rugs. The right rug in a space can make an older house look modern and classy.
If the home has carpet, you really need to assess the condition it is in. If the carpet is in bad condition, a discussion might need to be had with the seller about replacing it. Carpet that is in good enough condition should be steam cleaned to get rid of any unwanted smells or unsightly stains.
4. Encourage a Fresh Start for Buyers By Painting the Walls
A fresh coat of paint goes a long way in sprucing up a place. Also, painting the walls in a house is one of the most affordable ways to update and modernize for staging.
Potential homeowners want to view the house as their clean slate. So, when picking a color, try to pick one that is versatile for any individual tastes. Light, neutral colors are generally a good pick, as they will not clash with the furniture you are working with. Try to avoid any color that leans too far toward a certain style or would be hard for future owners to cover up with their own preferred color.
5. Get Rid of Clutter
While clutter is sometimes a natural side-effect of living in a home, it is not appealing to home buyers. Everyone likes to imagine themselves living an organized and clean lifestyle. For that reason, remove all unnecessary or decorative items from countertops and tables when staging a house. Either store items somewhere off the property or use it as an opportunity to show off clever storage ideas.
Removing clutter will also make surface areas appear cleaner and more spacious. Leave room for buyers' to imagine themselves living their best lives there.
6. Choose the Furniture to Stage Carefully
When staging a house to sell, the furniture you choose is a key factor. It is important to use clean furniture, and each piece should be similar in style.
Just like you want to avoid countertop clutter, you also want to avoid furniture clutter. By minimizing the amount of furniture in each room, you are making the room look larger and allowing for house viewers to roam freely throughout the space.
It is a good idea to follow the rule of three when it comes to each room. For example, if you are staging a living room, you might use a couch, a chair, and a coffee table. Some throw pillows or a cozy lamp also help to add character to the room without being too overwhelming.
7. Demonstrate Purpose for Each Room
Though you want to use furniture minimally, you do not want to leave too much empty space. Buyers want a home that meets their needs. Especially today, many people are working from home. Even in a small home, it is a good idea to stage an office space.
Each room, closet, and nook should demonstrate some sort of purpose. That reading nook at the top of the stairs might just be what sells the house.
8. Remove Personal Items
Staging a house means enticing potential buyers to imagine themselves living there. The previous owner's family pictures or nicknacks could hinder buyers' imagination and make it feel less like their perfect home and more like they are in someone else's house.
Remove all irrelevant hobby accessories; however, if the neighborhood has, say, a tennis court nearby, it might be strategic to leave a couple of tennis rackets in a closet.
Also, remove all the previous owner's items that demonstrate their personal decor taste. It is important to recognize that not everyone has the same taste in artwork or home decor. So, it is a good idea to replace wall art with more neutral pieces if necessary.
9. Consider Who is Buying in the Neighborhood
Ultimately, you want to stage the furniture so that it appeals to the right people. That is why you will definitely want to consider who is most likely to buy the house you are staging.
Right now, for example, millennials are taking up a large percentage of house buyers. Consider if you are selling a house within an up-and-coming neighborhood where it is most likely to attract young families. With that information, you will want to decorate accordingly.
You will also want to consider what a young family is most likely looking for in a house. It might be beneficial to stage one room to look like a kid's room. These are all things you will have to cater to each house you are staging.
10. Strategically Stage the Furniture to Look Lived-In
This might seem contradictory to previous tips; however, small lived-in touches go a long way in helping along with buyers' imaginations. You do not want to go overboard with this. There is a balance to strike to make a house look tastefully lived in. Some examples of subtle touches are freshly cut flowers on the kitchen counter or an open book on the coffee table.
Of course, there is a fine line between lived-in and cluttered. As long as you are aware of the line, you should do good with this.
11. Erase All Evidence of Pets
Owners can become nose-blind to pet smells. So, it is important when you are staging a house that you erase all pet odors and hair. Make the dog or cat hang out somewhere else for the day and really work at this. If there is a litter box, it must go somewhere else. Replace any paw-worn rugs and steam clean all carpet and furniture. If the dog sheds, bring along a good vacuum and a few lint rollers.
While we love furry friends, not everyone's senses agree with their presence.
12. Make the Home Smell Good
After you have erased all unwanted odors, you will want to replace that smell with good ones. There is a reason you see real estate agents baking cookies during viewings. Do not overdo the scents, as that can be just as overwhelming as bad smells.
Lighting a candle on the shelf or plugging an air freshener in should be just the trick. If all else fails, a deep clean of the house should make it smell fresh and clean.
There is always the cookie trick too.
Staging Furniture Can Be Fun
That is right, staging furniture is an art, but do not let it intimidate you. Actually, you can have fun with it. Making a house feel like a home is all part of the selling process. Whether you are staging for virtual tours or in-person tours, thoughtful staging will be the finishing touch in getting the house sold as quickly as possible to a satisfied new owner.
If you are in search of more resources, check out some of our other blog posts. Are you selling a house? Find more selling strategies here.
As always, contact us for help finding a realtor or listing your house for sale.