By S.E. Slack
Home sellers, take note: just because your home is priced well doesn’t mean it will sell quickly. One trick for selling fast is home staging, the art of emphasizing the strengths of your home and toning down the weaknesses.
Well-staged homes spend 73 percent less time on the market, according to the Real Estate Staging Association.
Michael Taylor, owner of Michael Taylor Interiors, told MidSouth Magazine, “most realtors say you have about 20 seconds to make a first impression, and in most cases that’s the only impression you get to make." It’s a critical point for home sellers to remember.
Clearing the clutter is the first step in staging a home for sale. Buyers want to see as much space as possible; homeowners typically have rooms filled with furniture and keepsakes collected over many years. Professional home stagers will often remove as much as half the furniture in the home in order to find the maximum space potential in every room.
Some staging experts recommend moving furniture away from walls. Called “furniture floating,” this concept repositions furniture into cozy conversational groups and allows traffic to flow easily throughout the room. In most cases this makes the room seem larger.
Lighting is another simple and inexpensive way to create warmth in your home and make it seem larger. While lower wattage might make sense to keep electricity bills down, when you market a home for sale it should be bright, cheerful and welcoming. Increase the wattage in lights and fixtures to a total of 100 watts for every 50 square feet. Three types of lighting should be used in every room, too: overhead, task and accent.
Painting adjacent rooms in the same color can make both rooms seem larger. Neutral colors are the most inviting, but some stagers say that painting the walls the same color as any drapery in the room can give you a seamless, inviting look.
Finally, creatively display your artwork. Don’t be afraid to vary the height of wall hangings and place them in unusual groupings. Imaginatively displayed art can pull a buyer’s attention into a specific room and show off the space nicely.