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Staging a Vacated Home

Staging a home for resale is a tough task. Staging a home while moving into another is a task of Herculean proportions. Whereas new home builders almost always rely on the talents and skills of a professional interior designer or stager, a homeowner trying to sell a property too often mistakenly believes he or she can figure out how to stage a home without professional advice.

flickr image by Real Estaging

Furniture Selection

It is possible to successfully stage your home for resale yourself while you’re creating a new residence. At the very least, you need to understand a few principles. One of the most daunting decisions in home staging involves furniture selection. How much of your own furniture and which pieces in particular should you use to stage the home for sale? Which pieces should you rent?

Choose furniture that is neutral in style and color. Modern style and muted colors are best. Your sentimental attachment to a sofa that has an unusual color or construction may backfire. You don’t want prospective buyers remembering your avant-garde taste instead of the house with the beautiful bones. If there are central pieces of furniture that reflect your unconventional or retro sense of style, it’s best to remove them from the home and rent the equivalent items instead. That goes for sofas, tables, chairs and bedroom suites. Accessories — lamps, mirrors, throw pillows, for example — can be a bit more whimsical without detracting from the overall impression of the home.

Leave beds in the bedrooms. If you converted the spare room into an office, remove the shelves and desk and convert it back to a bedroom — you may need to buy new mattress from macys.com or another online or brick-and-mortar retailer, but potential buyers want to know they have a place for their mother-in-law to sleep when they visit. To enhance the appearance of the old beds, realtor Karen Walton suggests buying new luxury comforter sets for about $100 each.

Remember, no amount of gorgeous, updated furniture or pitch-perfect accents will diminish a negative impression if closet doors, cabinet doors, windows, walls and baseboards aren’t in near-perfect condition. These are easy issues for you to overlook, but buyers won’t. A little planning, effort and elbow grease on your part can ease the path to a sale. Recently while selling Upton MA Real Estate this exact situation arose when the owner moved out of the property prior to putting their home on the market. It became necessary to make sure the home was presented in it’s best possible light.

There were two parts to the equation of making this particular property look it’s best. The first thing that needed to be done was take care of all the little nicks, scratches and dings around the home that become much more noticeable when the homes furniture was removed. While home staging is important, general home sale preparation is a key to selling as well. You can have great decor but if the rest of the place looks shabby what have you really accomplished? Having a painter come in for a freshen up on the wood work and newly exposed walls is well worth the money, time and effort! There were other homes in Upton competing in the same price range that looked exceptional. Without taking the proper steps to making the home look great we would have been helping sell the competition.

Stage Like a Pro:

Here is some additional staging advice from other professionals around the country:

  • Izabela Stone in Florida recommends placing a large plant in a visible corner of a room. A spotlight behind it lights up the leaves and creates an eye-catching shadow on another wall.
  • Shawn Moss of Columbus, Ohio suggests getting rid of carpet dents from furniture by placing an ice cube in each imprint. As the ice melts, the compacted carpet expands and erases the dents.
  • Haley Hwang of Glenview, Ill. places decorative hand towels with sheer ribbon tied around them on towel racks in all bathrooms. She also sets dried flowers and candles in warm colors in various places in each bathroom.

Home staging certainly can be challenging, but with research, common sense and a little bit of creativity, you can make your property look model-beautiful. In a competitive real estate environment with lots of competition making sure your home looks it’s best is certainly going to go a long way to helping your success!

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