When staging your Windsor property, take a few moments before getting started and read the following. To be blunt, there are plenty of really dumb staging techniques that can turn off buyers and see them looking for their car keys.
When done correctly, staging is a huge plus when selling your home. It’s especially important when you have a house filled to the brim with knick-knacks, oversized furniture, smaller rooms and live in an older property. Here, buyers need to be reminded that they are purchasing a home, not your stuff, which, if overwhelming will lose buyers all together.
So let us take the opportunity to share with you some of the really bizarre and unnecessary staging techniques we have seen and heard about in our over 20-year real estate career. Sellers, take note!
1. Themed rooms:
Keep in mind that less is always more when selling real estate. Perfectly good rooms are often turned into “themed” rooms in an effort to make them cutesy and appealing. But usually, they just look ridiculous. For example, one bedroom was made into a beach room, complete with beach accessories such as sea shells, beach sheets, comforters and pillows, pictures of the ocean and even an open beach umbrella off to the side with a small blanket and sand pails. This did nothing for clients and certainly didn’t make them want to buy the home.
Solution: Keep it simple. Avoid themed rooms if possible. Paint neutral colours and keep accessories at a minimum.
2. Over personalizing:
If you know that you are going to sell your home at some point, keep in mind that overdoing personal design may come back to haunt you. For example, one seller apparently loved the country theme that was very popular many years ago. In her kitchen, her counter top tiles were hand painted with country flowers. Not only that, but she had large quilts hanging in every room. Of course that’s fine, but if you are selling your home, you are making it difficult for the buyer that doesn’t share your decorating style.
Solution: Take down your personal collections, such as quilts, trophies, sports team memorabilia, deer heads or other dead animals hanging above the fireplace.
3. Making A Dark Room Darker:
I’m always amazed when I see a very dark room made even darker with heavy drapes, dark furniture and even darker upholstery. Even if the room is clutter free (which is the number one job of any stager), a dark room shows smaller than it actually is. If you have a dark blue or red room for example, it will never show as well as a room painted in a nice, neutral colour.
Solution: Nothing is cheaper, or a bigger fix, than a gallon of paint. Spend a weekend painting any dark rooms and you will notice a huge difference.
4. Clutter Free, But Dirty:
This is one of the cheapest things you can do to get your home ready to sell. Clean, clean, clean. The house should be spotless. Again, over 20 years in real estate I have seen my fair share of dirty homes. Buyers often forget baseboards, handprints on kitchen cabinets, walls and front doors, dirty windows, dusty furniture and ceiling fans and stained carpeting.
Solution: If you can afford it, hire a cleaning service just before you put your home on the market. If you can’t, then thoroughly clean your home from top to bottom. You won’t believe the difference in buyers’ reactions when showing them a house that is ready for appointments and those homes where it looks like the seller couldn’t care less.
5. Ignoring Curb Appeal:
The first impression is the most important. So prepare your front yard by raking leaves, cleaning up flower gardens, pulling weeds, trimming shrubs and sweeping sidewalks and porches. If it’s in the middle of winter, make sure driveways and pathways are free of snow and ice.
Solution: Again, if you can afford it, then hire a landscaping company to maintain your yard, especially if you are unable to do it on a weekly basis during the summer months or you will be on vacation. This might be the best money you spend, as you don’t want to lose any showings just because buyers aren’t impressed with your curb appeal.
6. Making Repairs:
Buyers see every little issue. So don’t ignore the broken light fixture or the fence that needs repair. If buyers see a house full of problems, then they will figure something bigger is wrong with the property as well.
Solution: Spend a weekend making a list of all the repairs that need to be made. Hire a handyman if necessary or fix yourself. If buyers don’t see any repairs that need to be made, then that’s less they can bring to the negotiating table.