If you’re selling your home, your real estate agent may have shared some home decor staging tips. Don’t balk – staging can have a real effect on how well your home does on the market. In a 2015 study, the National Association of Realtors found that 96 percent of buyers are affected in some way by home staging, with 81 percent of buyers saying it makes it easier to see the property as a future home.
Quick DIY tips for irresistible home decor
1. Get rid of the family photos. You want potential buyers to imagine themselves living there, but it’s hard to do that if they’re surrounded by pictures of Johnny, Sue, Aunt Selma and Fido. Zillow.com advises packing up the pics and putting generic, yet tasteful, wall art in their place.
2. Create a homey atmosphere. Fresh-cut flowers can add simple sophistication to a room, and a bowl of fruit creates a lived-in feel. Complete the home decor with a comfy throw neatly folded on a sofa and a book on a nearby end table, says Realtor.com.
3. Freshen it up. The paint, that is! Consider painting over drab walls with a new coat. Keep colors neutral, though. You may dig lime green, but a potential buyer might run screaming from any home decor colors that aren’t beige or ecru.
4. Clear the clutter. You may not realize it, but stuff tends to accumulate after years of living in a home. Shelves, counters and basements are some of the worst offenders, according to Bankrate.com. So box up what you don’t need – c’mon, your baseball card collection and 90s-era CD collection will be OK without you for a few months – and see if a friend or family member has any extra storage space.
5. Go for easy luxury. Transform your bedroom from drab to fab with a simple bed-in-a-bag set, which you can easily get for under $100 at department stores. Rich colors and details will draw the eyes of prospective buyers.
6. Spruce up your entryway. A little curb appeal goes a long way when it comes to potential buyers, says the National Association of Realtors. Consider what they’ll see as they pull up to your house. Will they wince at the sight of long-neglected bushes or a garage door that’s seen better days? Investing in a few inexpensive fixes will pay off when it comes time to sell.
7. Light it up. Lots of natural and overhead lighting will show off your home’s best assets. No one will be inspired walking through a dingy, dark-lit home. So clean and open your windows, turn on as many lights as you can and consider adding a few tasteful lamps in crevices that need some brightening.
8. Group furniture together. Create conversation nooks with your furniture, says HGTV.com, instead of putting the sofas against the wall to make the room look larger. Grouping a sofa and two chairs around a coffee table will create a cozy spot that will appeal to buyers.
9. Don’t forget the dining room! This surface is often overlooked when it comes to staging a home. Try three small vases of lilacs in the spring, or autumn leaves in vintage bottles in the fall. Just avoid a huge floral centerpiece; they look too stiff and formal.
10. Add some polish. Even if your bathroom looks like it’s straight from the Brady Bunch era, some coordinating home décor accessories, rolled up towels and candles can make viewers feel like they’ve just entered a spa.
11. Clear out your closets. Potential buyers love homes with plenty of storage space. Show your closets’ potentials by clearing out the clutter and letting only a few strategic pieces remain. Think five pairs of shoes neatly lined up, rather than 20 packed into every available space.
12. Think cozy. Spread comfort throughout your home with thick, colorful throws and coordinating pillows on the sofas, chairs and beds. Small investment, big rewards.
13. Scatter your art. Hanging photos and art high on the walls make them nearly invisible. Delight potential buyers by scattering prints and knickknacks in staggered patterns and lower groupings, advises HGTV.com. It will catch the eye and really make your artwork pop.
14. Banish pet odors. We all love our fur babies, but not everyone appreciates their, um, scents. Steam clean your carpets, wash the walls thoroughly, and make sure all the catnip toys and rawhide chew toys are securely put away when potential buyers come to visit. Spread baking soda on cushions, sofas, beds and wherever your pets hang out. Let it soak in for a few hours, then vacuum completely.
15. Add charm in the kitchen. You might not be able to remodel your kitchen, but a few strategic DIY touches will turn it into an inviting space. Clear clutter from the countertops, put out a beautiful bowl (or two or three) of fruit and clean, clean, clean! Buy puck lighting units that attach to the bottom of cabinets to really brighten up the countertop area.