Get up to speed on the best ways to appeal to potential buyers through accessories, furniture, colors and more
If you are finding it difficult to let go of personal items, hiring a staging pro can help, say Robin DeCapua and Rachel Moore of Madison Modern Home in Los Angeles: “They can look at your home with fresh eyes and see both the strengths and flaws that may be invisible to you as a homeowner.”
“I also help them understand that empty rooms look smaller than staged rooms,” she says. “I try to let the home sellers understand that home staging is an investment and not a cost. The first step a home seller can take to ensure a successful outcome is to get detached from their home; now it is all about the buyers.”
“White towels and a white waffle-weave shower curtain can do wonders to a dated bath,” says Gardner. “If you have oak kitchen cabinets, paint them white and add quartz or stone counters to help update. Remove dated wallpaper and paint. Take down dusty, dated window treatments. Inexpensive updates can include changing out light fixtures, throw pillows and bed linens. I like a white quilt or duvet for photos.”
Gardner adds that buyers in their mid-20s to mid-30s make up a large part of the market, so “that is the group to capture and market toward,” she says. “They usually like the look of the big-box stores, like Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn, so I like to show the homeowners these catalogs to get the feel of this transitional style.” If you are staging your home yourself, ask your real estate agent for help identifying your target market.
Gardner adds that it is helpful to be aware of what is photogenic. “No red pillows, linens or accents, as this color looks awful in real estate photos. I suggest neutral colors — get rid of the hunter green and red rooms. Uncover your home’s assets by removing worn wall-to-wall carpet and exposing hardwood flooring.” And, she adds, “no pets in your pictures, unless you are selling Fido with the property.”
Gardner says, “I always tell homeowners that we want the buyers to feel that they could drop their bags and move right in.”