You’ve decided to move, and therefore need to sell your house. Whether you’re moving up the street or out of state the to-do list for selling your house includes many of the same items. Pricing the property, packing up your stuff, and working with a real estate agent are all the more behind-the-scenes to-dos. Home staging is one way to really set your home apart from the competition, and really wow potential buyers. If you’re wondering how to get your house ready to sell, keep reading.

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Why Stage a Home?

Home staging is simply the act of preparing your house or sale, often by temporarily decorating and furnishing key rooms, and sometimes small renovations. Tucking personal items out of sight, and keeping the space neat and tidy are also key aspects of getting your house ready to sell.

While you and your family probably appreciate the well-loved sofa, your kids’ school pictures lining the walls, and the unique piece of art you picked up on vacation, these can take away from the actual property. Potential buyers could focus too much on your stuff, and your design tastes, to really picture themselves in the space. On the other hand, an empty house can be uninspiring, and hard to picture as “lived-in,” especially if there are odd-shaped rooms that might be hard to imagine a use for.

While you can stage a house on your own, if there’s room in your budget paying a professional will take at least one thing off of your to-do list. Home staging costs depend on how many rooms you plan to stage, how big the rooms are, if you need to paint a wall or two if you can make it work with your own furniture or if you need to rent, and how long you may need to rent any decor or furniture for. Homeowners can pay anywhere from $600 – $2000 or more on staging a house, with the national average around $1400.

Staging Rooms One at a Time

Staging a house can be costly. Focusing on staging rooms is more budget and timeline friendly. Shift your focus to the main areas of the house, with the living room being the most important to stage.

Staging a kitchen will be more than just cleaning off the counters. Having a new kitchen dramatically increases value. Even if a full kitchen renovation isn’t in your budget, just having, new appliances or giving the cabinets a facelift is a big plus.
Bedrooms should be neat and tidy, and neutral. Especially children’s bedrooms that tend to have a theme, or character wallpaper and decals, should be toned down. A coat of paint can go a long way. Declutter closets and bookshelves, removing personal items.

Bathrooms can be more of a project than you might initially think. Leaky faucets, old shower heads, and outdated fixtures should all be replaced. Personal items should be removed, counters cleaned, and towels fresh and neutral colors. Even something simple as replacing the shower curtain can make a big impact on potential buyers.

Key home staging techniques to keep in mind throughout the entire house include decluttering, removing personal items, keeping decor and accessories neutral, repainting any dark, or bold colors, and keeping the home clean and tidy during the selling process.

Staging rooms that are oddly shaped, or just additional can be helpful for potential buyers to see the possibilities. Is there a room that functions as a great home office space? A children’s playroom? A media room? Have those rooms staged with a specific purpose.

Obviously, home staging can be a logistical problem if you are still living in the home, and yet none of your stuff can be around. Consider renting a storage unit during the selling process, or focus your staging efforts on specific times such as when there is an open house.

Benefits of Home Staging

A well-staged home can increase demand in your property. Professionally staged homes sell for an average of $40,000 over the list price, based on a 2021 market survey. With the possibility to increase your home’s value that much, spending some extra money on a professionally staged home just makes sense.

In addition to the increased value, staged homes tend to sell much quicker. In 2021, on average, an unstaged home sat on the market for over one hundred days, whereas a staged home was sold in just over twenty. Even when the market is slow, it’s even slow for a home without staging.

How to Get Your House Ready to Sell by Yourself

There are many things you can do to get your house ready to sell without hiring a professional. Simple staging of rooms can be accomplished with a handful of simple projects:

Lighting: brighten up the space, repaint dark walls, refresh dark cabinets, make use of natural light, and replace any burnt-out light bulbs
Declutter: remove personal items including photos and toys, make sure trash is emptied, beds are made, and laundry is hidden
Themed rooms: convert any room painted or designed with a specific theme, such as a children’s room with a superhero theme, to be more neutral, and appealing to all potential buyers
Neutral design: replace any bold accent pieces, and aim for walls, furniture, and accessories to be neutral colors

When getting your house ready to sell, don’t forget about the outdoor space. Your front entry is the first impression any buyer will have, and the backyard can be a huge selling point. Flowers and landscaping can help spruce up any yard space. A simple table and chairs can make a backyard feel welcoming and social.

When you are ready to sell your home, Prello Realty is your partner in Chicago real estate. If you need a full-service agent or plan a more do-it-yourself approach with a flat fee listing, contact us to start selling your property.