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Home Staging Tips for the Seller

Seven great tips from About Home – staging your bedroom when you list your home for sale – #homesales.

Selling your home is always stressful – it’s the largest financial transaction many people ever engage in – and there is no way to get around the inconvenience, time and plain hard work involved in a move. You might feel like spending even more money to spruce your house up before selling it is money down the drain… but actually, a well-staged home is often the difference between a quick sale and a house that sits on the market for months.

You can hire a professional stager to whip your home into shape before the first open house, but if you have a reasonably good eye for decorating, are willing to put in some elbow grease and have the ability to see your home as strangers might see it, you can probably do the job yourself.

Here are seven general guidelines for staging, particularly for staging your bedroom, the most personal space in your home.

#1 Tip – Clean it Up!

A cluttered or unclean home is unappealing, there’s just no way around it. If you want to get top dollar for your house and hope to make a sale quickly, you’re going to need to toss or box up anything that qualifies as clutter, and give every room a good scrubbing, vacuuming and dusting.

In your bedroom, clean off the top of the dresser and nightstands – no magazines, personal items or collectibles. Leave just the lamp, clock and a houseplant or small vase of flowers.

#2 Don’t Take it Personally

Potential buyers are imagining THEIR life in your home – how they will use the space, where they will put their furniture, how the layout works for their needs. It’s hard for them to picture the house as theirs if they see your personal effects in the bedroom or other areas.

Pack away your bedside photos and clear away any toiletries or grooming items from your vanity. Don’t leave any clothing outside the closet or your dresser drawers, and stash any bed loungers, orthopedic pillows or similar comfort items.

#3 Less is More

Rooms overstuffed with furniture make a house look crowded and small.

Open up your space by packing away all unnecessary furniture. In the bedroom, if at all possible, pare down to the bed, headboard, nightstands and dresser. If your room is especially large, a pair of chairs in a sitting area is okay, but generally, it’s best to keep rooms to a single purpose when staging a home for sale.

#4 Color it Neutral

Bold walls, bright bedding and patterned flooring are wonderful looks… when you aren’t trying to sell your house. Instead, go safe and neutral. Creamy white, soft tan or warm peach walls make a bedroom look friendly and airy, while wood floors or neutral-colored carpet make it easy for a potential buyer to imagine her own furniture in the room.

#5 Light it Up

A dark house looks gloomy. When it’s time for showing the house, open all of the windows to let in natural light and turn on lamps and overhead lighting to further cast away shadows. In the bedroom, you’ll want at least four sources of light: natural, overhead and two or more lamps.

#6 Make the Bed

If a potential buyer walks into the bedroom and sees an unmade bed, not only does it look sloppy, but the buyer may feel embarrassed by the reminder that she is in a stranger’s home. Take the time to make your bed properly: bed skirt, shams, pillows, comforter or spread, throw pillows and a toss blanket at the foot of the bed. Now is the time to replace any worn, ugly or overly colorful or patterned bedding with something new and neutral.

#7 Check the Closet

Every potential buyer with genuine interest is going to open your cabinets and closets, and that includes your bedroom closet. If they slide open the closet door only to be showered with a mountain of clothes, sporting goods and old paperwork, they’re likely to end the tour right then and there. Clear out everything you won’t be wearing within the next few weeks, and organize the rest so that the closet looks spacious.

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