1. Color: Neutral colors are going to be best, although it does not have to be light beige. Buyers are not as afraid of color as they use to be, however you still need to chose a color that the majority of buyers are willing to live with. White walls are not going to make a homeowner a nickel. White walls are boring, clinical, and are uninviting - especially online.
2. Art: If you are unsure how high the art should be hung use this rule as a guild: 60 inches from the floor to the center of the art. In an occupied home if there is no decent art at all, take it out! It is better having empty walls than unappealing art.
3. Formal Rooms: To achieve a more formal atmosphere, you need balance. Think in even numbers. For example: in the master bedroom use identical lamps on each night table. One side should mirror the other.
4. Casual Rooms: For more of a casual look, think in odd numbers. Three pieces on a coffee table - greenery (tall), clock (medium), and candle (short).
5. Fabrics: Solid neutral colors are best in sofas, loveseats, and chairs. Strong fabric patterns (especially floral prints) will get you into trouble and take the buyer away from the overall feeling of the room. However, a pop of color or a print is perfectly acceptable in accent pillows.
6. Unique Furniture: No matter how interesting, take it out. You don't want conversational pieces to distract your buyer.
7. Spacing: Three to four feet around everything! For instance, if you do not have enough room between a dining table and the barstools - take the barstools out. It is much better to show space, than a crowded room.
8. Use Glass: A glass table makes the room look larger. I love using glass, it shows proper size, yet they seem to disappear.
9. Shelves: Do not fill every nook and cranny. It's okay to have empty shelves. To avoid a cluttered look, use neutral colors. You can go as far as color coordinating books and DVDs. Start with dark at the bottom and working your way to lighter colors at the top.
10. Rugs: Unless you need to define the space or to add needed color, take out all rugs. Buyers want to see the condition of the carpets or hardwood floors. Doubts regarding the condition of the floors can cost you an offer. In addition, many people have a phobia of bathmats for their lack of cleanliness. It's best to remove them as well.
11. Lines: Make sure you have a combination of straight and curved lines in all rooms. Straight lines are more masculine and curved lines are more feminine.
12. Simplify: The best way to begin is to take everything out of the room and start with a clean slate. Most rooms have too many anchor furniture pieces. Start slow and add little by little.
13. Textures: Add a touch of interest to the room by including a pillow or throw with some texture. This will add some life.
14. Brass fixtures: Replace brass faucets and spray paint brass shower door frames. Chrome, bronze, black, anything but brass.
15. Lighting: Replace your dated lighting (no brass here either!). It is the number-one thing you can do to update your home. The eye goes to light first. Many home improvement stores have great fixtures that are economical and easy to install. Furthermore, when potential buyers are on their way to see the house, turn on every light and pull back the window treatments. If you have a vacant home set your lights on timers or make sure someone is available to turn the lights on and off for you. Most buyers' agents will not run in the home to turn on all the lights before their client walks in the door.
16. Fresh Flowers: Whenever possible use fresh flowers, but don't go nuts. We have seen many homeowners over do it. Three to four tasteful and simple vases will do it. We did a home a couple years ago that had at least 150 "forever" flower arrangements (plastic flowers) in the living room alone. The agents nicknamed the home, "the funeral home house."
17. Drapery and curtains: We take them out 90% of the time. In most occupied homes I find dated and frilly fabrics. You need as much natural light as possible shining in. If you have a great view, show it off. If you don't or need to hide a neighbor's poor taste in yard ornaments, use panels and a thin rod. Don't forget to wash the windows.
18. Dated Countertops: There is a company that I have used hundreds of times and adore - Redrock Resurfacing. They come in and spray a coating over the old outdated laminate countertops. Very economical and we recommend them highly.
19. NO WALLPAPER: I know that wallpaper is making a comeback, but not in a home that is on the market. Nothing kills a buyer's opinion of the home faster!
20. Replace the Large Old Mirror: For an updated look in the bathroom, replace the large older mirror with a large framed mirror. It may just be the ticket to update your bathroom. Also check out mirrormate.com.
21. What is this room/area for?! Buyers do not understand what they can't see. Formal dining rooms should not be offices or dens. Do not use a bedroom for any other purpose other than a bedroom. Make small areas something special. For instance, a large landing on top of the staircase may have a chair, floor lamp and small bookshelf. Be creative. Think outside the box to find those quiet and relaxing areas in the house.
Helping you get your listings SOLD,
Designology Home Staging
Disclosure: Designology may recommend other companies for contract work, but will not take responsibility for their work.