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  • Writer's pictureAbbey Wiker

Home Is Personal, Staging Is Not

A guide to knowing how you can stage your own home when listing it and having an open house!

Moving to a new space can be an emotional process. It can be sad leaving a space that has so many memories and it can be bittersweet. However, the journey to find the next new home begins - a clean slate, a new beginning.

If you are at all like me, you can walk into a space and just have this feeling in your gut. It feels like it can be home. You have a sense that you can see your criteria, it can be hard to not want to make an offer on the home.

This feeling stems from our ability to imagine ourselves there. We can picture ourselves cooking in the kitchen, racing out the front door on our late days, and relaxing on the sofa at the end of the night. The easiest way to imagine yourself in that house is by it feeling welcoming yet it is still a place that you to make your own.

This can be a challenge when selling and buying homes. The main reason being that most of the time someone is living in the home when it is listed and therefore it can’t be seen as blank slate for a new owner to imagine themselves inside. As buyer’s we want to make the space our own and also make it better than how we bought it.

On the flip side, the challenge as a seller is to remove specific personal items to allow a perspective buyer to remove the current family from the space and see themselves living in it. From a buyer’s point of view, they don’t want to walk into a home and it feel like they are intruding into someone else’s life.

Some misconceptions with staging are that you have to redo everything in your home in order to “properly” stage it, which is false. Staging is presenting a space in the best way. Where, in comparison, design is making a plan for a space that works and functions properly to meet the needs. Staging doesn’t mean removing a great deal of items in your home or modifying every piece of decor when listing it, but making small adjustments to your home can help it sell at a faster rate.

In addition, staging a home doesn’t mean it is not beautifully done as it is or people won’t appreciate how you have designed it. Design is very subjective, therefore we all have differing opinions on layouts, furniture, and paint colors. The needs of the owners occupying the space also determines the design. These needs from person to person will vary. A home design will be very specific to the owner where as a staged home will be focused on making the space less specific and less personal.

Now you may be thinking why does this matter? Will staging a home really help sell my home faster? Check out these statistics below to learn more about why staging can help!

If you are selling your home and prepping for pictures to be taken for the listing or if you are doing a showing, consider these simple staging suggestions to help your home stand out.

Here are some recommendations for staging your home:

Pictures & Picture Frames - Although showing off family and friends in pictures is great for a home, this isn’t great for staging. This can make it difficult for a future buyer to see themselves in the space.

Calendars & Lists - If you have a family calendar or to-do list in your home that is visible, place away in a drawer, a future buyer doesn’t need to see your schedule.

Clothes - Make sure all clothes are folded and are nicely put away. If your clothes are out in open spaces or your closet is over packed, it can give the impression that there isn’t enough storage space in the home.

Office & Desk Spaces - Put all documents and papers away if you have a home office and straighten up your desk area.

Toy Room - It can be easy for a kids playroom to be full of toys and games, use this as a time to organize toys and put away in bins. This will be the most difficult room to keep clean for an open house if you have children that actively use it, clean this room last!

Remove Clutter - Whether it is the remote controls, the face products on the bathroom counter, or the extra items on your nightstand, for easy results put away clutter in your home. Clutter can be distracting and an reflect the house negatively.

Kitchen Clutter - If you have a blender, coffee maker, or toaster out on your counter top, put them away in cabinets. Your kitchen counters should be clean of all kitchen appliances and utensils.

Front Door & Mud Room - If you have shoes and coats piling up at the door, put them in a closet or in bins. This space is sometimes the first or last space a perspective buyer will see, make sure to give a good first and/or last impression.

Paint Rooms - Sometimes a childhood room can be painted a bright color that was specific for that child but it most likely isn’t what a buyer will want, painting a room a neutral white or beige tone is a great way to give the perspective buyer a blank slate for the space. Paint can make a room feel big or small and is the first thing a person will notice when entering. It is work with doing!

Looking to make extra updates to stage your home?

If you are looking to go above and beyond for some staging suggestions, here are some recommendations to take your home to the next level. Most of these are items that would need to be purchased as they are about making a space feel more updated and appeal to a larger audience. With that said, the positive for updating these items are it gives you an excuse to be able to move to your new home with a fresh look.

Check out these updates below!

When shopping for these items here are some colors to keep in mind. Shop mostly on the top row in the neutral tones and add some small pops of colors. Bright colors can be overwhelming for staging purposes, try to stick with earth and muted tones.

Check out my color picks below!

However, if you don’t want to spend the money or you like your personalized touches, you can rent items through a company and have them stage your home for open houses and on the photography day. Wiker Designs offers this as service and can help you make your space stand out for perspective buyers.

Last but certainly not least, check out my showing list below for recommendations on how to prepare your home. These are your final touches and can help make the space feel clean and welcoming. Never underestimate what a clean home can do for a listening. Doing a deep clean on the space can go a long way and keeps the focus on the positives of the house.

Any seller can make some simple adjustments to their own spaces, but sometimes it can be nice to have someone take care of it for you. Reach out to Wiker Designs today to learn more about how we can help you stage your home so it is ready to be sold!

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