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Staging a House for Sale: A PropertyNow How-To Guide

First impressions count, which is why home staging is a crucial step when selling a house. Potential buyers are looking for that ‘wow’ factor when looking for their next property, and (perhaps unfairly), they often let their hearts make the call within the first few glimpses of your home.

So, whether you’re thinking about selling, taking photos for your new listing, or up to bringing potential buyers through your property, staging a house for sale is an essential part of the process.

Here’s your ultimate guide to staging a house for sale, no matter what phase of the selling process you’re in. If it’s a bite-sized house staging crash course you’re seeking, we’ve got that covered too. 

Thinking ahead: How to stage your house when you’re not sure you’re selling yet.

Whether you’ve been living in the house yourself or you’ve been renting it out for a while, your property could always look better before putting it on the market.

Even if you’re just starting to think of listing your house for sale, it’s never too early to know your house staging options.

Here’s a few to get you started:

  • Give it the ultimate spring clean. And it doesn’t have to be spring to get started. The first step towards any kind of sale is to get the product looking its best. A house is no different, so get dusting and shining before you get serious about listing.

Don’t hold back from decluttering while you’re at it. We’re talking about both trinkets and furniture here. You’ll need to do this if you go ahead with a full home staging, so why not start now?

  • Consider your renovation options. While it’s a bit of effort, renovating your home before putting it on the market can make your price tag skyrocket.

Renovations include minor upgrades (such as kitchen and bathroom appliances) to complete façade makeovers.

  • Take yourself out of the picture. It’s hard to objectively view something, especially if it’s something you’re emotionally and financially invested in! However, your styling tastes and eclectic treasures might not speak to the masses.

Draw inspiration from property site listings or even make a Pinterest board to see the going style. If you want your home staging to appeal to the broadest range of buyers possible, you’re looking for modern and minimalist interiors.

Although it’s early days, going through this checklist will help you determine your property’s market value, special features to promote, and improvements you could make.

Plus, if you decide now’s not the time to sell, you’re left with a sparkling clean home from your efforts. 

Staging a house for property photos.

Whether you’re taking the pics on your smartphone or hiring a professional, the camera isn’t a magician. It’s so important to put the preparation into staging a house when it’s time to take the photos.

With 90% of buyers looking online for their next property purchase, the photos you take are likely to be the first thing they see. And—as we already know—you only get one first impression!

  • Be strategic about when you take photos. Natural lighting brings out the best of your home through the lens. The best times for natural lighting depend on which direction your windows face and may differ for each room. Pay attention in the days leading up to the shoot to make informed decisions when it’s picture time.
  • Capture your curb appeal. If you’re not a natural green-thumb or garden enthusiast, this often entails creating curb appeal. Pull out your whipper snipper and hedge trimmers to get your yard up to scratch. The home’s exterior is equally important to the interior, so put the effort in now to make for a quick sale later.
  • Aim for neutral colours when staging each room. Although it’s fun to let your personality shine through your interior choices, it’s essential to create a blank canvas so potential buyers can picture themselves in the home. If you’re not confident in creating a cohesive colour palette, it’s always safe to stick with white props and furniture.

Of course, this is just the tip of the photography iceberg. There’s always more to learn or if you’re really serious about getting the best shot, consider hiring a professional photographer.

Your picture quality and home staging can make or break a sale. To get buyers to invest their time and book an inspection through your home, you’ll need to make their dream a reality through your photos. 

In-person inspections: make sure it exceeds their expectations.

They’ve seen the photos, and now they want to see the house of their dreams in person. While a picture’s worth a thousand words, sometimes it can also hide the truth. Now’s not the time to panic!

With a few adjustments and preparation, you can have your home looking as bright and inviting as the photos you worked so hard on.

Bring your house back to the standard it was at when you took the property photos. Then take it even further.

  • Engage the senses. It may be the oldest trick in the book to do a spot of baking before open house inspections—but that’s because it works! Having something sweet and fresh out of the oven won’t only let off a homely smell, but you’ll have a treat to offer buyers. Just be sure not to burn anything!
  • Show off your home’s best features. This may have been difficult to translate with the property’s photos and listing descriptions, so let special features shine in the inspections! Arrange furniture around the grand mantlepiece, shine a lamp on the mahogany bar, or open the blinds for a full view of the pool.
  • Make the space seem bigger. You can do this by simply adding a few free-standing mirrors in the bedrooms or removing any further clutter before the buyers arrive. The illusion of additional space will add perceived value to the home. 

Staging a house for sale for each season.

Just how your wardrobe will change depending on the season, you’ll need to change the way you stage your house as well. Dress your house for the weather with these season-based tips:

  • Summer.
    Open the windows and let the breeze blow through lighter drapes. Make use of the abundance of natural lighting and book your inspection times accordingly.
  • Autumn.
    Autumn is moving into a more homely season, so give your house this kind of feel. Take advantage of warm tones (like reds and oranges) when choosing props for your home staging.
  • Winter.
    Pump the heater or put on the fireplace (if you have one). Pull out all your extra throws and cushions to make the atmosphere extra cosy.
  • Spring.
    Curb-side appeal is at its peak in spring, so don’t waste this opportunity. Get your garden in check and be sure the lawn is getting a trim as often as you can. Fresh flowers in vases for the interior won’t go unnoticed. 

Home staging secrets not all sellers know.

While these tips will have your listing turning heads, we’ll admit we’ve saved the best for last.

To get the home staging edge when selling your property, remember the 3 S’s:

  • Sterilise. Everyone loves the feeling of walking into a pristine hotel room with crisp linens and fresh bars of soap. Give buyers that same atmosphere when they set foot in your home with a thorough deep clean. Go for hospital-grade with your final check and sterilise everything.
  • Set the scene. Creating inconspicuous narratives around the home will stimulate your buyer’s imaginations and help them see themselves living in the property. Start each theme (or scene) around a single prop and build from there.
  • Stash shamelessly. Yes, you’ve already minimalised and had your spring clean—now, we’re taking it one step further. Your house will already look lived in by setting the scene, so tuck away any last-minute evidence of your existence in the home. If you can’t find it in a homeware store, stash it! 

Staged it? We’ll help you sell it.

At PropertyNow, we believe in empowering property owners to sell it themselves. Saving up to tens of thousands in agent commissions, we’ll give you the support and resources you need throughout the entire listing process. Plus, you’ll get access to our team of experts via phone call, SMS, or live chat.