Feb
15

Prepare Your Home for Sale with these Home Staging Tips

February 15, 2015

Seminary Ave. 2When prospective homeowners are searching for their perfect house, they want to feel welcome and comfortable from the second they walk in the door until the time they leave. Buyers need to envision themselves living there, so first impressions of a home are crucial. Home staging can help sellers learn how to highlight the strengths of a home and downplay any weaknesses so that more buyers will see its potential. Here are a few home staging tips that will help your Chicago home appeal to a wider pool of buyers and sell more quickly:

Clean, clean, clean: If a home is dirty, it becomes difficult for buyers to look past the mess and focus on the potential space around it, so cleaning should be the top priority before showing a home. Make sure the windows are clear, the kitchen and bathroom counters are clean and the floor is free of dirt and dust. If you don’t have time to clean everything yourself, it is well worth the money to have the house cleaned professionally.

Ditch the clutter: Clutter such as furniture and storage can distract buyers from the potential of a home. Remember to clean out closets and organize shelves to show off storage space, which is a major selling point for homes. Additionally, overcrowding a room with too much furniture can make the space feel small and cramped, and signals a red flag to buyers that there is a lack of storage space. Personal items such as family photos also tend to distract buyers from picturing themselves in the home. To help your home appeal to as many buyers as possible, you want it to have the clean, neutral look of a model home.

Create flow: In theory, it seems that rooms will look larger if the furniture is pushed against the wall, but pulling furniture just a few inches away from the wall actually creates more space. You can also make the space more user-friendly by grouping pieces together, like repositioning chairs into cozy conversational groups. Additionally, you can save floor space and create flow by adding floating shelves to the walls. This will make the space more user-friendly and also open up the room to make it look larger.

Light the way: Lighting is one of the main components to making a home feel warm and welcoming, but improper lighting can have the opposite effect. Aim for these three types of lighting in each room: general or overhead lighting, task lighting (under-cabinet lights, reading lamp) and accent lighting (table lamps or wall fixtures). In addition to electric lighting, open the windows and let the sunlight in to make rooms feel bright and airy; this effect can be enhanced by hanging mirrors across from windows to reflect light and create space.

Color your world: Here are just a few ways that color can be used to transform your home:

  • Create space: Create a seamless flow by using the same color to paint the walls of two adjacent rooms, making them look and feel like one big space. For smaller projects, paint the backs of bookshelves the same color as your walls to create depth or use the same color on your walls and drapery to create the illusion of space.
  • Mass appeal: While bold wall colors in bigger rooms have the tendency to reduce offers, neutral colors such as tans, honeys and soft blue-greens can create a warm atmosphere in large spaces and help to tone down any outdated finishes you may have in your living room. The same rule applies to furniture, as dark, bold pieces serve to darken rooms and make them seem smaller, and lightly colored furniture brightens the atmosphere and increases the chance of sale.
  • Stylish contrasts: In smaller spaces such as bedrooms or dining rooms, deep tones can create an intimate and cozy atmosphere. If painting a room seems a bit too dramatic, just use an accent wall for a bold contrast or paint the insides of a bookshelf to create a pop of color that will offset the contents within.

Mix and match: When it comes to accessorizing, odd numbers, particularly groups of three, are preferable to increase a room’s visual appeal. Arrange your pieces in a triangle rather than a straight line, varying items by height and width and grouping objects by shape, color, texture or some other unifying characteristic. Similarly, avoid hanging your paintings in a straight line around the room. Get creative with various patterns, groupings and sizes to break up the space and make artwork stand out.

Set the mood: To create a cozy and welcoming bedroom on a budget, just use a bed frame and an inexpensive air mattress, and dress it up with luxurious linens and soft, neutral colors. This will make the room seem more inviting, and is more likely to appeal to both sexes. Similarly, the right accessories can make your bathroom look like a spa. Use items like rolled-up towels, decorative baskets and candles to create a polished look on a budget, or opt for professionally painted tiles to make the room look brand new.

Put on a fresh face: New cabinets can be expensive, so instead just opt for new drawer fronts and doors, and paint the kitchen to match. Instead of replacing an entire dishwasher, you could try getting a replacement front panel from the manufacturer, or use laminate paper to cover the existing panel.

Take care of unfinished business: Unfinished projects such as missing floorboards or cracks in the door panel tend to turn away potential buyers. Taking care of these projects yourself will typically cost you less than buyers might deduct from the asking price.

If you’re ready to sell your home in Chicago, take a little bit of time to ensure your home is staged and ready to be shown. By making your home appeal to the masses, you widen the pool of potential buyers who can visualize themselves living in your home.

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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