In part two of our series on staging, we will focus on how to best prepare an empty house to sell. Selling an unoccupied house is the ideal situation since it makes the house available to show at any time. However, staging an empty house can make it feel more like a home to a potential buyer. In fact, a report done by the National Association of Realtors in 2015 found 81% of Realtors polled said that staging helped buyers to visualize a property as a future home. Click here to see all the results of the NAR study.
Staging can be costly, but it could help your house sell faster and for more money, making the investment worth it. There are several ways to stage a home. We’ve broken these down into 3 levels: Minimal Staging, Staging Strategic Areas, or Staging the Whole Home.
Level 1: Minimal Staging
Depending on your budget and the price of the home, minimal staging can help by warming up the overall space.
- On the kitchen counters, place decorative things you might normally find in your home, such as: a canister with cooking utensils (spoon, spatula, etc.), salt & pepper shakers, a cookbook, jars with dried goods like rice and beans. Put towels on the oven door with a matching kitchen rug under the sink. If there is a breakfast bar, set two decorative plate settings so that buyers can imagine themselves eating in the kitchen.
- In the bathrooms, place matching towel and toiletries sets.
- For the living room, place something decorative on the fireplace, like some candles or a vase with flowers.
- Lastly, strategically place a few paintings on large walls to break up the space
Level 2: Staging Strategic Areas
- In the living room, make sure to have a couch, coffee or side table, and a picture or a room divider to draw interest.
- Make sure to add stools to the breakfast bar in the kitchen and set a table in the dining room/breakfast nook.
- The master should focus on a large, neatly made bed with matching side tables. Adding lamps in any room can soften the lighting, making any staged house feel like a home. Also if the room is large enough for a sitting area, add a couple of chairs and book.
Level 3: Staging the Whole Home
Staging the whole home doesn’t mean you need to have a bed in all 4 bedrooms. If you’re selling a home in a family-oriented neighborhood, choose one space to stage as a kids room. Use brightly colored bedding and white furniture to give it that cute factor. You can also stage an extra bedroom as an office to show versatility.
Lastly, don’t forget those odd spaces such as empty built-ins. Adding a couple of books, house plants, or candles can really make the space come alive and showcase a unique feature of the home.