Selling a home involves far more than putting a sign in the front yard and waiting for the offers to roll in. It requires re-imagining your home in a way that will appeal to the largest swath of buyers. In other words, it’s as much theater as it is business deal.
“Selling a home is like being on stage,” says Barb Schwarz, owner of Stagedhomes.com. “You have to set the scene for every different act, for every room…You live in your home one way and you market it another.”
Schwarz recently spoke to Denver Post design columnist Marni Jameson about the importance of re-arranging your home for sale. She noted that sellers should clean, paint with neutral colors, declutter and depersonalize (for example, removing family photos) their space. Once that is done, she suggests these tips for staging the home even further:
1. Display the “good life”: Help buyers envision the wonderful life they might have in your home by placing items strategically throughout. “Set up a board game in the den. Set the table outside with fun linens and margarita glasses,” suggests Jameson.
2. Purge your bookshelves: Buyers often scan bookshelves and take away subliminal messages from the titles they see. “I have seen sellers leave books about sex or the Holocaust out, which can turn buyers off,” Schwarz notes. Remove any titles that could lend a negative atmosphere to the room.
3. Re-arrange the kitchen: Move decorative accessories about one-third of the way from the wall to the end of the counterspace to better display them. (For a nice accessory, Jameson suggests filling a white rectangular plate with three pieces of the same fruit – peaches, pears or apples, for example – spaced evenly on the plate.) Remove small appliances from view. Place an open cookbook on an easel, so that buyers can imagine working in this inviting, pristine space.
4. Don’t forget the refrigerator and pantry: Buyers open refrigerators and cabinets. Make sure yours are dirt-free. Arrange the contents to have a pleasing appearance with empty space so that buyers will feel that there is room to spare.
5. Focus on the master bed. The master bedroom is always a key selling point, and the bed is the focus of the room. Stage the bed by carefully tucking in the sheets, fluffing up the comforter and adding decorative pillows. You might also place a bottle of champagne on a tray with two glasses on a side table – and let the buyers’ imaginations do the rest!
Need more advice about selling a home?
Get more tips at RE/Max of Cherry Creek’s blog.