Home Staging: The New Dating Game

Home staging is a somewhat novel phenomenon, and one that is growing in importance and success everyday in the real estate world. It consists of the act of preparing and marketing your home for sale – much like giving yourself a makeover before a big date. Only, this makeover is tailored to attract the right kind of date – one that you will settle down with.

Marketing your home effectively is just as important as having the right real estate agent to engage in the actual act of selling your home. Just as you want the perfect date to fall in love with you, you want the prospective buyers to fall in love with your home right when they walk in – and in order for them to do that, you need a professional home stager to fill up that vacant space, or to rework and organize what is already there, unless you can do it yourself.

When you market your home properly, you attract the right kind of buyer. Using this law of attraction, the work of attracting the right date and selling your home is almost completely done for you. Here are some quick tips on how to market your home effectively for sale, and to seal the deal.

Freshen Up

Home odour is just as bad as underarm odour. You wouldn’t skip the deodorant on a date, now would you? Think of each open house as a very special date. Nothing is worse than walking into a prospective home and smelling pet odour, dust or extremely exotic cooking smells. Buyers use their senses when they come into your home. Just as no one is going to want to kiss a smelly date; no buyer is going to want to buy a smelly house.

So be sure to open the windows, air out your place, clean the dust and pet hair and use plenty of Febreze. Clean it up. If you can’t muster the motivation to pick up that vacuum, hire a cleaner to come in and do it for you. Bring on the perfume and toothpaste. Other tricks would be to bake homemade cookies and to do fresh laundry just before the open house – no one can resist the smell of yummy cookies and fresh laundry.

DeClutter

A cluttered space equals a cluttered mind. We all have personal heirlooms, objects and memorabilia strewn about our homes – it is perfectly natural. But not when you are selling your house. You wouldn’t bring your emotional baggage with you on a date, would you? No, you would remove it first – and make room for romance. You have to be sure to fill the space appropriately – that is, have the furniture and accessories staged to reflect how the space would be used efficiently and effectively. Make the place look both functional and beautiful. Get those dirty plates in the sink, and the desk out of the bedroom!

This does not mean that you need to show how every inch of the home can be filled. Keep your date guessing a tad. Take care to remove items that you do not need, that should not be seen by prospective buyers, and that have the potential to mask the space and beauty of your home. You won’t find your perfect date with your old flame on the brain. Space is just as important to the buyer’s eyes as furniture and accessories are. Find that balance.

DePersonalize

Leave the past in the past – it doesn’t belong here, especially when on a date, and when selling your home. Depersonalize your home so that you are able to create an environment that allows prospective buyers to feel like they can make their own stamp on the place if they were to move in. They are going to have a very hard time doing this if they are too busy looking at your hot pink carpet and your puppy dog statues strewn about the place. Too much drama will ruin the first date. It’s great to have personal style – but not when it comes to staging your home to sell.

You are trying to move on to bigger and better things – so leave those old memories in the storage room. Detach yourself from this home; it will soon be a distant memory. Take care to put away your very unique and personal trinkets and accessories so that buyers can imagine their own decorative style on the place. Too many family photos hanging around won’t work either – let the prospective buyers imagine their own family photos on the walls.

Keep It Neutral

Class and sass are both necessary when on a first date. First, let’s cover the class. Leave the tight red leather mini-skirt and bright blue eyeshadow at home. Now it is time to replace your ultra personal style with a more neutral one. Instead of a bright pink carpet, try a soft beige colour, or invest some money and put in hardwood floors. Hardwood is the norm these days. Put up modern art instead of family portraits. Paint the walls a nice neutral green.

Wear that little black dress – but keep the collar high enough for just a peak, and the skirt long enough to give him a tease. The more neutral you keep the decorating scheme of the place, the higher the ability of the potential buyers will be to see a somewhat blank canvas, and to see what it could look like if they lived there. Let them use their imaginations, and let them run wild.

Repair, Replace, Reuse

Now, for the sass. It’s all about first impressions. Don’t turn off your date with a lack of preparation. Be on time, smile and have a compliment (or three) in your pocket. You will surely turn off prospective buyers if your home is in disarray. Be sure to make any repairs, large or small, before you show your home. These include dents in the walls, to stains on the carpet to plumbing problems or roofing issues.

Replace any old or broken features of your home, such as windows, mirrors or furniture. Remember that things can also be fixed, and it is possible to save money and reuse what you already have. So dry clean and hem that old suit and repaint your car. You might reupholster a couch instead of purchasing brand new, reorganize your furniture to maximize your living space instead of buying all new furniture and repaint an old dresser. Learn to think outside the box when it comes to your old stuff and see the potential it could have.

Marketing your home to sell for your target asking price does not have to be a hard task, and can even make you more money on your home than you originally expected. The same goes with the dating game. Learn to present yourself in such a way that makes it easy for you to attract the buyer or suitor that you are looking for.

The key is to be able to remove yourself emotionally from your home so that you are open to the professional and objective advice of your home stager and real estate agent, who will work together to help you to achieve the maximum results. When it comes to the real estate market and the marriage market, it is what it is – but you can present your home and yourself in such a way that can help you control what you attract, and in turn, what you can receive.