Home Staging: 7 Tips for the Hopeful

By: Karrie Rose

Home staging is creating a fantasy world for prospective buyers. You want people to come into your house and be able to imagine how the house would look if it were theirs. To do this, you have to remove your personality from the house so that it's easier for a purchaser to see themselves living in your house. Sometimes it's hard, but when you talk in dollars, you can make thousands more and sell your home sooner. With these 7 tips, you can make your home look even more attractive to buyers.

1. Declutter

All those books that have been holding up the dining room table? Put them back on the shelves and toss the table out or repair it. Items that are extraneous should be stored out-of-the way while people are touring the home.

2. Repair

You may be able to overlook the fact that one cupboard's door constantly falls off when you open it, but buyers will think that it's an indication of the overall repair of the house. If you can't be bothered to fix a cupboard door, what else haven't you bothered to fix, they'll wonder.

3. Clean, clean, clean

The house cannot be too clean. Period. Get a cleaning company or friends to help you. Remember that people looking to buy a house may poke into places that casual visitors wouldn't, so clean out-of-the-way spots, too.

4. Greenery

Fresh flowers and well maintained potted plants both brighten an area and are soothing to the eye. They also give an impression of space, since plants remind people of the great outdoors.

5. Think Fresh

Unless you're next to a pulp mill or a dairy farm, opening up the windows will allow fresh air to enter the house and revitalize the atmosphere. Even in winter, turn off the heat and open up the doors and windows for 15 minutes. Turn the heat back on in enough time for the house to reach a pleasant level.

6. The Heartless Friend

Get a friend who isn't going to shroud what they say in polite euphemisms to go through your house. Take notes of what they notice, what they like and what they dislike. Get several heartless friends if you can - what they notice is what buyers will.

7. The Homestager

There are people out there who specialize in home staging. For a fee of around 500-1000, they will come in and give you advice on how best to present your home. A homestager also has a number of props in their arsenal to place in your home to make it more attractive to buyers.

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