Staging: Expert tips to make the most of your home
Help buyers see themselves in your home: Staging advice from Carpenter’s experts
Central Indiana’s limited real estate inventory might mean we’re in a seller’s market, but high prices have upped buyers’ expectations. Homes need to be in excellent condition, and sellers have to do what they can to make the most of their homes. Basic updates and standard maintenance are important. But once your home is in its best possible shape, how can you maximize your chances of finding the right buyer for the right price?
Just like staging a model property, staging your house gives potential buyers ideas and encourages them to spend more time in the home, thus upping the chance they’ll say yes to the purchase. Below, three of our Broker Associates give their advice on the best way to stage your home.
“Out of the gate, we go through each room and urge the seller to look at their home through the eyes of a buyer,” says Noblesville’s Paula Hardin. “Obviously, we live differently in a home day to day than we do if we’re going to sell it, so it does cause them to look at it differently.”
Staging a home helps buyers envision the property as their space. With a model house, this typically means decking it out with nice furniture and top of the line products. But when it’s your house, it’s more about making the most of what’s already there.
Showing a clean, clutter-free home not only makes the property look bigger, it sends buyers the signal that it has been well cared for. “Clean your furnace filters and tidy up in the cupboards and closets,” says Jennifer Turner. “They will look there. All buyers do.”
For sellers who are in the midst of moving into their new place, your Carpenter agent will recommend keeping the already packed boxes out of sight. They can add a sense of disorder and make it look like you’re in a hurry to leave, prompting buyers to offer less money.
All this tidiness applies to the outdoor spaces as well. Freshen up the curb appeal with bright flowers, make sure the lawn is mowed, and keep porches, decks, patios and eaves swept and cobweb-free.
Another easy way to make your home stand out is to simplify. “If I feel there are too many pieces of furniture in a room, or maybe they’ve got their wall of fame of all their kids and grandkids, I try to tell them, less is more,” says Kim Nash (Brownsburg). Reducing the amount of furniture in a room can make the space seem bigger, and keeping personal photos to a minimum lets potential buyers imagine their own in their place.
Turner also tells her clients to pull up rugs and clear off tables. “Get everything off the kitchen countertops. No towels. You don’t want to remind people of how many dishes they’re going to have to do in that sink. The only appliance on the counter should be a coffee pot or maybe a jar of utensils,” she says.
Once excess furniture, photos, and appliances are moved out or tucked away, it’s time to think about making the most of what is there. Sometimes, your real estate professional will be able to lend a special piece, and in rare cases, they might recommend making some purchases, though always with the future home in mind. But most often, they’ll help you figure out how to organize what you already have.
Square tables can be combined to make a longer cocktail table and multiple chairs can take the place of couches to create a social space. Nash urges sellers to always think about and maintain walkable space.
The purpose of staging, after all, is to help potential buyers get a sense of how they might want to use the rooms. “We can use the furniture and place it in a different way to make the room look larger or more inviting,” says Nash.
When you’re ready to sell your home, it’s best to work with experts, such as the Realtors® at Carpenter Realtors®, to not only get the most value out of selling your home but also to make the entire process as easy as possible. From preparing and staging your home to the signing the contract for a final sale, they’ll be there to help along the way.