It’s no secret that houses sell faster (and for higher prices) when they’re staged— in fact, most experienced Realtors will urge their clients to hire a stager before putting a property on the market.
As an investor, you may even have worked with professional stagers in the past, but doing so for every flip can quickly eat into your profits. Fortunately, for this reason, we’ve compiled a list of practical guidelines to follow for DIY staging.
8 Home Staging Dos and Don’ts Every House Flipper Should Know
1. DON'T Use Too Much Furniture Or Decor For The Space You’re Working With
When it comes to staging, less is more. Remember, your goal is to create a warm, welcoming aesthetic that sparks enthusiasm in buyers.
Trying to use as much furniture as possible is the quickest way to make a home feel cramped and cluttered; instead, focus on giving each room an identity while still leaving plenty of space to walk.
For example, you can easily stage a dining room with the following: a table and chairs, a centerpiece, and one or two pieces of hanging wall art. This is enough to show prospective buyers how the space can be used and decorated without creating a distraction that could detract from the home’s overall beauty.
When in doubt, you can take a few photos of the rooms you’ve staged to double-check they’ll appear spacious and inviting in your online listing.
2. DO Stage The Master Suite (And Make The Bed)
Again, remember to err on the side of caution; a king-sized bed probably won’t fit in some homes, but you can generally fit a queen or a full with two matching nightstands instead. You may also want to add a dresser or a seating area too, but only do so if the space permits.
And of course, be sure to dress the bed with a bed skirt, sheets, pillow shams, and a duvet.
3. DON'T Stage Every Spare Bedroom
If a home has more than two bedrooms, don’t worry about staging them all; just focus on the master and one other bedroom, then let the buyer’s imagination take it from there.
There are infinite ways to utilize spare rooms, and not all buyers will share the same vision. Some may intend to set up a nursery, for instance, while others might need space for a home office.
Rather than purchasing unneeded furniture, simply leave extra bedrooms empty and let the potential speak for itself.
4. DO Hang Fluffy, New Towels In The Bathrooms
You can never go wrong with clean, white towels and a decorative soap dish or dispenser.
And don’t forget to close the lid on the toilet seat before taking photographs!
5. DO Air Out The Home Before Scheduling Walkthroughs
Use fans and open up the windows to remove any unpleasant odors or paint fumes that may still be lingering after the renovation.
6. DON'T Use Air Freshener, Scented Candles, Or Essential Oils Before Showing The Home
Strong fragrances and perfumes in these items can cause irritation in buyers with allergies. If the home still has an unpleasant smell after you’ve let it air out for a reasonable amount of time, try a natural remedy instead for eliminating odors and purifying the air.
7. DON'T Use Fresh Flowers (Or Produce!) To Decorate
You may want to think twice before you decide to place a vase of fresh-cut flowers on the coffee table—the same goes for adding a bowl of fresh fruit to the kitchen counter.
Sure, these items look beautiful and add eye-catching color, but they’re practically guaranteed to attract insects and other pests when placed in an unoccupied property.
8. DO Use Faux Plants, Area Rugs, And Wall Art
Most major craft stores and home decor chains sell affordable faux plants and area rugs that are both beautiful and perfect for staging. Plus, since you can reuse these items to stage more flips in the future, they practically pay for themselves over time.
You can also find plenty of low-cost, quality wall art at neighborhood thrift shops, garage sales, or even local online marketplaces. These pieces are perfect for adding some personality to a home; just remember to decorate conservatively!
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