Home Staging: The do's and dont's of preparing your home for showing

Real Estate Agent with Real Living | At Home

Staging a home correctly is one of the most critical aspects of the home selling process. It can either make or break a deal, and has the potential to attract buyers or send them running towards another listing in the neighborhood. It may even bring buyers to question whether they want to live in that neighborhood in the first place. When it comes to an open house, presentation is everything and without taking precautionary steps to make it a success, it can truly be a disaster.

To begin with, avoiding clutter in your home is the first step to providing a warm, desirable atmosphere. No one wants to enter what could be there future home and find clothing or other odds and ends laying around. Make sure that all personal belongings are tucked away and out of sight, as this can be an eye sore for anyone who decides to take a look at your home. This does not necessarily mean taking down picture frames and other decorative items that may provide a homely presence and inspire a connection between both parties. Although it is important to minimize the presence of such items, in some cases, they can allow for a warm, friendly environment. A sterile home, void of any personal touch, is never a good representation of a family home, although it may be conducive to younger couples or individuals looking in the market for a townhome or condo. 

Staging, or enhancing the aesthetic value of your home, is secondary to removing clutter and can only allow for an effective presentation if all clutter has been alleviated. Consulting a Real Estate agent on this matter should be the first step in determining the proper staging technique for a given property. This will vary widely depending on demographic and location although simplicity is always key. An over-staged home will seem cluttered and overwhelming which will surely not be conducive to a sale unless the property is listed far below market value. In some cases, a home staging company may be beneficial to a sale and your Real Estate Agent may suggest looking into this option. In most cases, this option should be avoided as it is costly and not necessarily going to improve the appearance of the home. Higher-end properties and those with large interiors are more likely to benefit from hiring a home staging company.

Effective lighting is vital to the overall appearance of each and every room within a home. Make sure that all lights are in working order and for rooms without overhead lighting, a lamp can suffice. Dark rooms, regardless of their location within the home, are never going to provide the ambience a future owner will be in search of. Lamps and many interior lights can be purchased at low cost and will give you an edge on the competition. During an open house, it is vital that the Agent running the open, stage the lighting of each and every room to show it effectively.

Temperature control, or use of a.c. or heat depending on the given environment, is also an important aspect of showing a property. Make sure that all units are functioning correctly and that you're agent knows how to operate the system. Buyer's will not only be uncomfortable in an overly cold or warm property, but will also question the working condition of the home's  cooling and or heating system. 

All homes vary widely when it comes to their electrical systems, but it is never a good idea to leave wires out in the open. If there is no immediate solution for this, make sure they are wrapped up and sanctioned off from the main area's of the room. Exposed wiring will lead to questions about the home's condition and may worry potential buyer's with children as they are going to be looking for potential hazards in each property they view. 

Finally, utlitiize natural light in any room has large windows or may otherwise be relatively dark. Natural light is something most potential buyers will be evaluating in their home search, and something most individuals seek in a home. Curtains and blinds should always be open and consistency in their presentation is very important. 

Above I have outlined several issues that I have seen in the presentation of properties throughout my career in the Real Estate Field. These guidelines are simple and effective when employed, yet many seller's and agents do not seem to understand their importance. Most are utterly free and time-efficient and for those that are not, they are neither costly nor time-consuming.


Comments (2)

Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

Robert these are some good points you made in your post

Nov 09, 2011 04:18 AM
Robert H. Bouknight
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC

Thanks Joe. I appreciate the response and hope that this post will benefit other Agent's in their future business endeavors.

Nov 09, 2011 04:24 AM