You have decided to sell your home! Hooray! Now it’s time to get it ready (as if it’s going on a new first date)!

Before you go booking a photographer, there are a few things you need to know about home staging before photos are taken for the real estate listing! Specifically, there are things you need to fix, upgrade, and style to ensure your home is sold quickly and at the best price. The biggest takeaway is that buyers will look at the state of your home and assume that is status-quo for how you’ve maintained it over the years. Broken hinges, peeling paint, stains, etc. all make the potential buyer question what else you’ve neglected in the home. So, here is what you need to know about home staging and improving your space before selling.

Fix: Kitchen Appliances and Cabinets

The kitchen. A place where we slowly sip on a coffee in the morning and prepare a masterful meal for friends on the weekends. A buyer wants to KNOW that the kitchen is a space that is ready to be used without issue! Fix any broken or aging appliances, touch up scratched cupboards and cabinets, and if something is beyond simple repairs, then now is the time to upgrade (because if you don’t put the money in now, you’ll lose even more on the sale)! Kitchen appliances are included in the purchase, so guarantee that your future buyer will be happy with what is there (any issues will come up in the inspection anyway)!

According to a study done by Royal Lepage, a kitchen renovation has the potential to boost a property’s value by over 12.5%

Upgrade: Home Lighting

If there is one ‘showhome’ feature that detracts from buyer-interest, it is a poorly lit home. People want to enter into a well-lit warm and inviting home, see the potential in every room, and feel comfortable and welcomed into each space. A dark home is a dreary home! 

  1. Upgrade outdated light fixtures – especially above the dining room table and kitchen island, and ideally in the master bedroom.
  2. Replace any burnt out lightbulbs –  make sure they are all the same brightness (eg: 2700k) and are the appropriate warmth for the space
  3. Ddd lamps to dark corners – both side table lamps and floor lamps can make a huge difference in a home’s first impression.

Note: If you have any ‘pixie lights’ strung around the home or in your plants (like those shown in the picture) we recommend taking them down – Unless they are tastefully placed in a child’s room or contained in jars on a shelf.

Style: Remove Personal Touches

One of the things that makes a house a home is the personal items we add to make it ours. Family photos, travel souvenirs, collectibles, etc. All these things make a space personal. But when it comes to staging your home for sale, it is best to eliminate the personalization. Buyers want to come into a space and visualize what it will look like when THEY live there. Seeing family photos and the personal items of someone else makes it difficult to visualize themselves (meaning they will not emotionally connect with the home as easily – essential in attracting an offer). Remove these personal touches so the space is open for opportunity!

BONUS TIP: Do you have unique décor in your home like an old canoe paddle or a vintage trunk? Although these may be personal items, they can add unique style and soul to a room! These are statement pieces that draw the eye and make the home memorable – keep them!

Fix: Home Exterior

Curb appeal curbs appeal! See what I did there? 

The exterior of your home is the FIRST thing that buyers see when they walk up to a home showing (and you only get one first impression). So, of course, your home staging fixes should extend to the exterior! Broken exterior lights, rotten boards on the porch, damaged eaves troughs, overgrown weeds in the garden… these eye sores will be some of the first things witnessed by potential buyers and they will carry that impression through the house. 

In fact, homes with better curb appeal tend to sell for 7% more than similar homes lacking those final finishes.

Upgrade: Wall Colours (AKA: ‘Gold’ in a Can)

As much as you may have loved the bright teal wall color in your bedroom, not everyone will feel the same. When home staging, a simple way to enhance a room and make it pleasing to a larger audience of potential buyers is to opt for more neutral wall colours. This affordable and easy upgrade can make rooms feel larger and gives buyers a blank canvas to envision their own styles – plus, it looks cleaner and newer instantly! 

My suggestion: greige is a bright and welcoming foundation – make it more interesting with décor color pops!

Style: Rearrange the Furniture

Instead of keeping your sofa tucked in the corner of the living room where it has been for years, get creative and re-arrange the furniture! Changing the layout of a room in a way that is visually appealing, shows the room off, and makes the room feel more open is a free and vital staging technique for any home sale. Use home staging strategies like symmetry, statement furniture pieces, and natural flow to instill openness and comfort. Remember, it may not be best for functionality (sometimes we like to huddle around the fire or TV), but it must be best for design.

Note that the quality of your furniture and the condition it is in will be noticeable for buyers. Cover up torn cushions with throw pillows, colour in scratches with matching markers, and do your best to get stains out of upholstery and area rugs if they can be seen.

Not sure how to rearrange your furniture? Feeling stuck with your style? I offer DIY Staging Consultation services in Calgary to help you stage and decorate your home to increase appeal! 

Take the time to fix, upgrade, and style these various areas of your home and be confident about presenting your home to buyers! Doing this will improve the perceived value of the home, and drastically increase the likelihood of a shorter listing time and highest offer!

Happy staging!