When it comes to selling a house in Richmond, first impressions are crucial — and staging your home is one of the best ways to make it stand out from other active listings from the first moment potential buyers lay eyes on it. Whether starting from scratch with a vacant house or refining what you already have, staging can help buyers visualize themselves in a home. More importantly, we’ve found that staged homes sell more quickly and for more money than unstaged homes. In short, we believe that home staging is worth the investment. That’s why we offer a staging consult to all of our clients — and why we’ve gathered these home staging tips for you today.
How does home staging work?
Staging is a fairly new practice in the real estate world, but it’s gained traction quickly in recent years. That’s because agents have found it to be such an effective way to help their clients’ listings “win the beauty contest,” as we like to say.
We work with home staging consultant Wendy Fleetwood, who’s been staging homes in the Richmond region for over a decade. During her staging consult, she will walk through your home to determine how to show off its best features and hide its flaws. She’ll offer tips for organizing your belongings and making your home photo-ready, along with advice to depersonalize the space. This will make it easier for buyers to imagine living in the house.
Staging may range from completely furnishing the main living areas of a vacant house to making small adjustments to make your home more appealing. Think: painting rooms, swapping out light fixtures, and adding colorful planters to your porch.
Ready to take the first steps in staging your home? Here are Wendy’s top five home staging tips.
Cut the clutter.
“You want potential buyers to see the bones of the house — not all the stuff,” Wendy says. She suggests removing personal items such as family photos and diplomas to start — place them in a box in an out-of-the-way place. Focus on areas that tend to collect clutter like fireplace mantles, built-in bookcases, and countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms. Keep it simple with clean, cohesive decor that doesn’t distract from the big picture you’re trying to paint.
Set aside a budget for repairs and improvements.
You don’t have to spend a lot to make your home look fresh and updated, but it does require some effort and investment upfront. “Painting, floors and lighting are areas where you get the biggest bang for your buck,” Wendy says. Here’s where to focus your efforts:
- Painting — Repair any cracks, water leaks and nail pops prior to painting. Then paint your walls a neutral color.
- Lighting — Wendy always recommends removing dated ceiling fans, which tend to bring down the feel of ceiling height — and fans in the kitchen are just grease collectors. She recommends simple, modern drum shade chandeliers instead. “There are great choices in lighting that are not expensive,” Wendy says.
- Flooring — Replace stained carpet, and consider refinishing hardwoods if they’re in bad shape.
Improve your curb appeal.
No, you don’t have to hire a professional landscaper to get your home listing-ready, but weeding, trimming bushes, and laying fresh mulch will go a long way toward making your house look clean and cared for from the moment potential buyers arrive. Of course, be sure to keep that lawn neatly trimmed as long as your house is on the market.
Give your front door a new coat of paint.
It’s a quick, inexpensive project that can make your home stand out from the pack — and may even help increase its selling price. In 2018, Zillow famously released an analysis of listing photos and found that houses with black or charcoal gray doors sold for $6,271 more than expected. Dark blue, red, and natural wood are all currently popular, but don’t just follow trends — think about what will look best for your home.
Freshen your front porch with planters.
Whatever the season, a few pots filled with flowers or foliage can make a home feel more welcoming. We love bright flowers in the springtime, lush ferns in the summer, mums in the fall, and seasonal greenery and bright red berries in the winter.
Staging your home is just one important step in preparing it for listing. Get in touch with Ruckart Real Estate Listing Manager Cara Guyton today to find out more home staging tips as well as our proven strategy for getting your home ready for its moment in the spotlight.