Staging is what you do after you’ve de-cluttered, cleaned, repaired, painted and before you list your home for sale. Staging is all about small details. It adds emotional appeal, the spark that says “buy me.”
Before you list your house, look at it objectively. What features do you want to highlight? Decide on the desirable feature or focal point for each major room, then decide how you can draw the eye that direction when someone enters.
If there’s an attractive fireplace, add an interesting vignette of artwork, candles, or unique pieces on the mantel to draw attention to it.
Paint can also make an element “pop.” Whether it’s a mantel, the woodwork, or the back of built-in bookshelves, a different paint color draws attention.
Are there elements to which you don’t want to draw attention, like an awkwardly sized window or a poor view? Consider covering the window with blinds or drapes. Small rooms can be expanded with mirrors. Put one above a fireplace or over a table. A mirror on the wall facing the door of a small bathroom can give the room depth.
Look at each room with a fresh eye. Move furniture around until you have a pleasing arrangement. A wall lined with couches and chairs is typically not an appealing grouping. Perhaps place the couch in the center of the room facing the fireplace, or put the bed on an angle in the corner of the bedroom. Remove some furniture if the room seems crowded. Smaller furniture pieces will make a room seem larger.
Arrange vignettes of conversation areas. Use an area rug to pull pieces together.
Slipcover the sofa and chairs to freshen them if necessary. Buy pillows, particularly made of soft fabrics and in complimentary colors, to make the room pop. Place lamps in dark corners.
Instead of placing all the books upright in rows on the bookshelves, stack some on their sides, grouped by color and top them with a piece of pottery or a picture. Use baskets to hide things you don’t want seen. Group decorative items in odd numbers.
In the kitchen, oil wood cabinets to restore their luster. Consider buying new knobs and drawer pulls. Clear counters, except for a few decorative accents, like an attractive bowl of fresh fruit, a vase of fresh flowers, or a few attractive cookbooks.
Take an objective look at the bathroom faucets and replace if necessary. Vanities and counters can be a relatively inexpensive replacement if a bath needs to be updated.
Buy new towels for the baths and put them out only during showings. An attractive basket or stack of towels on the tub or counter looks nice. Add a basket of decorative soaps or spa-type lotions.
When showing your house, open blinds and curtains and turn on the lights. Make the rooms as light and bright as possible. Have fresh flowers in several rooms, especially the entry.
Be aware of scents. Put cinnamon sticks in a bowl of water in a warm oven. On the other hand, make sure odors that might be objectionable aren’t apparent. Don’t use heavily scented air fresheners. They don’t appeal to everyone.
By taking a thoughtful, objective look at your house before listing, you can move your home from “for sale” to “sold” in a crowded market.