10 Staging Tips to Make Your House Stand Out

Though usually far from being realistic, nearly every home buyer on the market today secretly dreams of owning a home that comes from the pages of Architectural Digest or Better Homes and Gardens. And while you don't necessarily need a complete home remodel to attract those buyers, the way your home is presented will make all the difference in the world. Staging your home, or making it look it's best, should be step number one for to putting your home on the market. Since photos, videos and home tours will be the deciding force in how quickly your home sells, this is one area that should not be scrimped on. Most owners know to give their homes a thorough cleaning, but in order to attract the best offers, homeowners need to take it up a notch.

If they don't like the outside, the inside won't matter

Buyer's will form their first impressions from the moment they pull in the driveway. If they don't like what they see outside, they'll drive away without ever giving the inside a second thought. Make sure your home makes an impression - mow, edge, and weed-eat the lawn, trim the shrubs and trees, clean out the flowerbeds and give them a fresh layer of mulch, and finally add some seasonal color. How does the paint look? Or the brick? Or the driveway? If you've got peeling or cracking paint - repaint it. If you've got stained brick or driveways, pressure wash them. Make the exterior sparkle.

Neutralize Your Design Ideas

Personal design tastes, colors, and arrangements are great when you're living in the home, but not so much for when you're trying to sell the home. Keep in mind that many different people with a vast array of tastes will be viewing your home - many of whom may not like your design tastes. In order to appeal to as many of them as possible, aim for a neutral design scheme. Put away large decorations and family photos, choose more traditional furniture, and focus on traditional colors rather than trendy ones.

But Don't Make it Feel Empty

When staging a home, it's important to not go overboard when remove design elements from the home. You want the home to feel large, bright, open and airy, but not empty. When buyers are touring your home, they'll envision themselves in it, and that is made much more difficult when there's no furniture in the home. You can help maintain a homey feeling by selecting key wall hangings and leaving them installed until the home is under contract.

Define your spaces

Many homes have that extra room that ends up being used for storage, or worse yet, serves multiple functions (think formal dining room / study). And while multi-use use may work for you, for buyers it just creates confusion. Each space in your home should have a clearly defined purpose. Once you've decided what purpose a room should have, de-clutter the space and remove anything that doesn't support it's purpose. Potential buyers should be able to recognize a room's purpose with just a passing glance.

Create Groupings

Often time when sellers are trying to make a room feel more spacious, they'll push all of their furniture against a wall. This arrangement might leave a considerable amount of open space in the room, but more often than not makes a room feel unfinished and turns buyers off. In this type of situation, you're better off creating furniture groupings. Group your furniture in ways that would make sense for their intended use, then make sure there are clear pathways through the room.

Cleaning Our Your Closet

It's incredibly common for home sellers, in an effort to de-clutter their homes, to stuff everything into closets where they assume buyers will not be looking. In reality though, potential buyers will look everywhere - even in attics. They're taking a mental inventory of all the available spaces in homes, even looking into crawl spaces, closets, and storage areas. Closets are essential to home buyers, and should be just as clean and organized as any other room in the house prior to viewings. As a general rule, if you wouldn't be comfortable showing it to a guest, it's not organized enough.

The helpful uses of paint

We all have that one room that just needs to feel bigger. The creative use of color can provide a solution. Repaint that smaller room to match the color of a room that is adjacent to it. Those matching colors create the effect of making both rooms feel like one big space. Be weary of bold colors - they have a tendency to make rooms feel smaller; opt for lighter shades that reflect sunlight and subsequently create the illusion of larger spaces.

Add more light!

Just as lighting will mean the difference between bad photos and great ones, it can also have a direct impact on buyers when they're touring your home. You want to make sure that buyers can see all aspects of your home, so when in doubt - always opt for more light. Natural light is a HUGE plus where buyers are concerned so during the day, when you have showings scheduled - pull back the shades, open the blinds and direct them to let in as much light as possible. As for artificial lighting, if you've dark corners of your home, pick up a few floor lamps with warm lightbulbs and turn them on during nighttime showings.

Organize Your Stuff

More often than not, home sellers still must live in their homes while they're trying to sell it. You don't want personal items like toys, mail, pet items cluttering up the space when potential buyers are on their way to take a tour. The easiest way to clear your home in a hurry is to invest in proper storage. Put a chest at the foot of the bed or line shelves with cute baskets to create a cohesive look while hiding your belongings from view.

Give It that Fresh Touch

Want to make a HUGE impression on home buyers when they view your home, bring in some fresh touches. A new coat of paint inside keeps the home feeling cleaner and looking fresher, and sometimes even a simple flower arrangement on the kitchen table can make an impression. Buyers notice the little things. Staging your home doesn't necessarily dictate a complete overhaul; simple things like being clean, bright and open, smelling fresh, and even playing some soft music during showings can make your home stand out from the rest.

These tips are culminated from years of marketing properties successfully and can make a world of difference in how your home is perceived by buyers. You can easily make your home the hottest property on the market by following them.