Home staging takes time and effort to produce great results. However if you’re low on budget and time, you can get by on just staging the most important rooms. We’ve listed them down starting from the most important and included what buyers would be looking for in each room. These tricks require little time and effort, but they can still make your rooms look fabulous enough for a buyer to bite the bait.
By far the most important room is the living room, since it will be the one to greet buyers from the moment they open your front door. It is also where family and friends gather, and thus, is the socializing room of the house.
Show your buyers your home can accommodate plenty of houseguests by freeing as much space as possible. A good place to start is freeing up more legroom. This can be accomplished by reducing your furniture down to just the bare essentials—conversely the sofa, an armchair or two, and a center table. Set the mood by using a neutral colour palette on your throw pillows, carpets and curtains. Good hues include beige, ivory, cream, and other neutrals. The neutrality helps to depersonalize the room and makes your furniture’s stand out.
Pro tip: If you are worried that your living room still feels small, consider installing a large mirror and enhancing your lighting.
“A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” couldn’t be truer, except that you won’t be cooking for your buyers. A kitchen can single-handedly break or make a sale because of a buyer’s notion that the kitchen is the heart of a home. It’s where the family mostly bond together in squeezing out meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Keep your counters and cabinets bare but not empty. You’ll be surprised how keeping surfaces vacant can lend to a more spacious kitchen. To give your kitchen some feel of functionality, bring out at least two or three small appliances like your microwave and your coffee maker. Complement these appliances by pairing them with, for example, some coffee bean jars or a rack or mugs. Make sure your cupboards and cabinets are organized, and your sink squeaky clean.
Pro tip: Get rid of foul odours by rubbing a squeezed lemon on the tenacious offending surface. 99.9% of the time, this will get rid of the problem, leaving you with the citrusy smell of lemon.
The bedroom is next up on our list because it is where family members come to relax, play and spend quality time. Always stage with fresh sheets, vacuumed carpets, and if it’s night time, dim the lights. Make sure your drawers and cabinets are functional by repairing noisy and stuck hinges and sockets. Again use neutral colours and keep things simple with your furniture. Contrary to normal settings, yawns during bedroom showings are a positive sign! Your goal is to make them want to sleep or lay on your bed.
Pro tip: Make you bedroom more cozy by adding rugs or carpets. They give a room a more intimate impression. But always remember to use simple patterns and designs that complement your room arrangement. Personal decor can deter buyers from empathizing with your house. Learn more about depersonalization here (link).
The room where all the eating happens is a special room indeed. Often left out of the home stager’s attention, the dining room deserves some love too. Make eating seem more fun and exciting for your buyers by choosing bright and warm colours. Red, yellow or orange stimulates the eyes and stomach, giving your guests a sizable appetite, even when they’re not there to eat. Again keep your room simple with a chairs-and-table furniture ensemble. A flower centerpiece is a classic that never dampens the dining room table. When decorating, opt for plain glass pieces and steer away from gold highlights.
Pro tip: Further stimulate your guests by baking cookies! They not only give a homey smell to your house, but they are extra points if your buyers have been building up an appetite during your tour.
Last but not the least, is the bathroom. The bathroom is a sanctuary, with its white and silver fixtures, and relaxing promise of flowing water. If your kitchen can single handedly capture your buyer’s house, your bathroom can single handedly chase them away. Clean your bathroom and keep all your personal care products out of sight. Imagine what would happen if your buyer catches sight of your soggy towel and your deodorant. Embarrassing right? Scrub and wash your toilet, sink and other fixtures clean, and keep a sharp eye out for mildew.
Pro tip: If your tile grouts are teeming with mold, use a baking soda and water to make a paste. Apply it to the grouts and let it stand for one to two hours. After soaking the grout with the baking soda, scrub the mold out. If this doesn’t do the trick, mix in vinegar and lemon juice to your paste. Then clean away any traces of vinegar. A word of caution though, don’t use vinegar if you have marble tiles, it can eat them away.
Staging a house is hard work and takes a lot of time. Cheat time and beat your deadline with these shortcuts and set their house in a show worthy state. But remember, nothing beats a well-staged home that was achieved through blood, sweat and tears—and no, we don’t mean murder. If you’ve acquired more time and budget, stage your house like a pro here.