How to Stage a House You’re Living In
Staging is an integral part of selling a house. No one is going to consider a home that’s listed without a collection of informative pictures of the inside, outside, and grounds and as the seller, these photos are an opportunity to show your house at it’s best. You want it to look beautiful, spotless, comfortable, welcoming, and attractive. The standard way to do this is to move out, have the place professionally cleaned, then post pictures of it pristinely empty maybe with a few nice curtains. Another way is to move mostly out but leave some of your best furniture in place to show how nicely the home looks when arranged for living in. However, the most difficult staging task is to make a home look elegant and sparkling clean while the owner is still in residence.
Selling Your Residence Happens a Lot
If you’re currently trying to sell the house you live in, this is completely normal. Many people intend to buy their new house with the proceeds from the sale and want to spend as little time in transition housing as possible. Of course, this means staging, photographing, and even hosting tours of your home while you still live there. Sales have been done like this successfully for many years, it’s just a little more complicated than selling an empty house.
Staging with Your Own Furniture
The way your home is arranged may be cozy and convenient for you, but it’s not the way buyers want to see the place when they look at pictures of it. Because you won’t be staging an empty home, think about and investigate how homes are presented in magazines and HGTV features. The furniture all matches in color and style, the surfaces are sparkling clean, and the decor is neutral, as if anyone with good taste could live there. The good news is that you can stage with your own furniture even if you tend toward clutter and eclectic tastes (most of us do). All you need is a lot of cleaning and a little creativity.
Clear Personal Items
For the rooms you’ll be staging, clear away your personal items like family photos, piles of mail, clutter, and even your regular cooking ingredients that tend to live on the counter. You want 90% clear surfaces with a little bit of space given to decorative accent pieces.
Dust and Vacuum
Now it’s time to make the room shine. Clean from top to bottom so dust knocked off of shelves and higher furniture will get picked up down the line. Start with dusting using Pledge or Windex as a damp surface to pick up sticky dust and change or rinse your cloth frequently. Polish woods with a little wood-safe oil and any glass or metal surfaces with a Windex. Sweep, mop and use a cloth to polish hard floors and vacuum in a way that makes elegant or at least straight lines in the carpet.
Make the Furniture Match
If you have a mix-and-match style, you can make all the seats and couches the same color by wrapping the upholstery in attractive blankets or sheets. Remove anything that is too shabby or out of place and remember that tablecloths can be used for almost any surface.
In that 10% of surface space that won’t be left pristinely clear, decide on a few items per room that will serve as accent pieces. These might be knick-knacks you don’t normally have out like glass orbs, vases of flowers, or incense sticks. Now add one or two items that suggest a tidy resident like a hot pad in the kitchen, a book in the living room, and maybe some slippers in a carefully decorated guest bedroom.
Easy to Restore
The final key to staging a house you live in is getting good at switching between ‘staged’ and ‘living space’ modes. A bed skirt and a big elegant comforter, for instance, can make it quick to re-stage your own bedroom while replacing the couch covers can restore the living room. This way, when someone wants to schedule a tour, you can spruce up the house with a little warning so it’s nice and polished for the event.
At Kaufman Realty & Auctions, we enjoy providing Pro-Tips and insights for real estate owners in Ohio, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania. Properly cared for real estate can be an excellent investment as well as provide enjoyment that goes far beyond dollars and cents. If you have questions about what is best for you real estate please contact us.
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