We make our first impressions of new acquaintances in a matter of seconds. We go through the same process when viewing houses. The first few seconds of a home viewing are critical for determining whether or not you can grab a potential buyers’ interest.
How do you this without giving them a long spiel about how great your house is? Home staging is the answer. This is when you arrange your home in a manner that inspires home viewers to envision what life would be life if they lived in your home.
Home staging is a multi-stage process that requires a keen creative eye and attention to detail. Follow these steps to keep yourself on track.
Put yourself in a viewer’s shoes and walk yourself through the house tour from the beginning.
Picture yourself driving down the street towards the home. Rubbish is strewn all over the pavement. The front gate of the property is rusty and creaky and catches on overgrown grass behind it. When you knock on the front door, you can see paint peeling off of it.
What impression does this give the viewer before they’ve even entered your physical home?
Staging your home begins outdoors. Apply fresh coats of paint to the doors and window frames, cut back unruly grass and trees, de-weed, and get rid of any litter. The place will look rejuvenated and welcoming, setting up all future viewings with a good start.
The task of staging your home will be very difficult if you hold on to every possession you have ever accumulated. If you insist on keeping every piece of furniture and every ornament you own, the space may feel boxed in and stuffy, a real turn off for viewers.
The minimising process should look to remove all clutter from the home. You should be striving to create space, keeping only the pieces that add value to a room.
Home viewers will be investigating the available storage, so don’t be tempted to chuck all your excess possessions in the cupboard. Crowded storage spaces will give viewers the impression that there is little room to store their things.
Instead of placing all your possessions in home storage or in your garage, you can pack them up and put them in self storage, keeping them secure and out of the way. This will also reduce how much you have to pack away later!
How you position your furniture determines how a room feels. When staging your home, you want the viewer to feel like there is plenty of space, opening their mind to the possibilities for how they might use the space themselves.
Having your couches pushed right up against the walls will make a space feel restrictive – it’s amazing what a difference pulling them a couple of inches away from the wall can make.
You want to stage your home to inspire viewers and rooms with no obvious purpose, merely serving as a glorified storage cupboard, won’t help you achieve this. Show viewers how to use the space in the home, from how entire rooms to awkward nooks can be utilised.
To avoid having your home feel clinical and cold, inject a little personality and colour into it through soft furnishings.
Avoid decorating with your own personal bias – you might have unique tastes that don’t have universal appeal, and many buyers will find it hard to imagine themselves in a home with outrageous decor.
Simply plumping up cushions on the beds and couches, hanging long curtains and opening them wide, and placing neutral-coloured, cosy carpets will brighten up a space, making it feel homely. Minor additions like a bowl of fruit in the kitchen will communicate that it’s a lived-in space, preventing it from feeling like a show home.
After painstakingly curating and arranging the possessions you want to display in your home, it’s time to make sure your home is immaculately clean.
It’ll be an intense process but everything should be sparkling. Clean one room at a time to break the task into more manageable chunks.
Make a list of everything to be done to keep you right. Everything from cleaning windows, scrubbing tiles, shampooing carpets, vacuuming floors, dusting furniture, window frames and skirting boards needs to be tackled.
These home staging steps have appealed to viewers’ sense of sight, but don’t neglect the importance of the other senses.
Aroma can make or break the appeal of your home. Subtly scented candles or the natural scent of freshly baked biscuits will have viewers lingering for longer. Playing ambient music will help viewers to unwind, soaking up the viewing experience.
Once several of the viewer’s senses have been stimulated by the environment, they are likely to feel more involved in the viewing task. This will boost their memory of the property later and create a lasting, warm impression of your home.
By putting the viewer at the forefront of your mind, you can stage your home to entice them effectively – through decluttering, deep cleaning, thoughtful furniture positioning and decor choices, viewers will feel far more connected to your property, leading to the all-important sale in no time.