You see it on “Sell this House”, “Designed to Sell”, “Staged to Perfection” and a plethora of other home selling reality shows. Hosts will take a (sometimes not so) normal house and make it so beautiful, you yourself would want to move in tomorrow. Ever wonder why the “after” is so enticing? It’s probably because the producers use the 1st trick of home staging, depersonalization. When in the market to sell your home, remember to take a cue from professional stagers like those producers did and make your home inviting and anonymous.
How does it work?
“Staging” is all about re-designing an interior so people can easily see themselves living there. The home should showcase the architecture and space of the room, not the stuff in it. It should have personality without being personalized. You want people to try to see their stuff in the home. Removing your personal items allows people to imagine that they live there. Your family photos and t-ball trophies can momentarily takes the potential home buyer out of this illusion.
How do I accomplish it?
Keep the attention on your house and not the stuff in it by removing and pre-packing personal items. This includes: Family pictures & portraits, statement artwork, collections, holiday decorations, accolades & trophies, souvenirs and anything else that may be sentimental. Not only will you be ensuring that your keepsakes and irreplaceable items are safe, secure, organized and ready to adorn your new place, this also means less packing you will need to do in the (not so distant) future when your home sells.
Make sure not to just store your pre-packed boxes in a corner, the attic, the basement, a shed, the garage or a closet. Try renting a storage unit for a few months while the home is on the market. This will guarantee that you maximize the perception of large living areas and plenty of storage space. Your potential buyer should view your home at its most inviting, not as a chaotic storage facility.
Use your existing furniture sparsely, you want just enough to define the space but try to keep any over sized, loud or dramatic pieces elsewhere (ahem… like your storage unit). If you have painted an accent wall or two a bold or striking color, consider repainting with a neutral color. You may also want to address and re-style “themed” rooms (such as a little girl’s pink princess bedroom) because this may seem like a lot of work to change to a potential buyer. Remember, you want it to seem that anyone could easily live here; even those who are not as “design daring” as you.
Home stagers know that it is almost impossible to take everything personal out of a home; after all you still live there for the time being. Before your house is shown, take a few minutes to depersonalize the spaces you use every day. Clean up those catch-all areas where daily clutter (like mail, shoes and book bags) tend to accumulate. Take your personal care items off of the bathroom counter top and neatly store them in a vanity or linen closet. If possible, tidy up by making beds, removing laundry and putting away dishes. Remembering to depersonalize before you leave your home each day can also save you from last minute frenzy.
Remember that buying a home is an emotional event; you want to make it easy for potential buyers to make that emotional connection with your house. This process of anonymizing and removing your personal items from a home can be an emotional roller coaster for you as well. We know that homeowners put a lot of love and effort into making a house their home, and it’s hard to say goodbye. By depersonalizing now, the transition and moving should be easier. Just keep in mind of all the wonderful memories to be made and displayed in your new home.
Talk to a Carter & Roque Real Estate Realtor® today about what more you can do to make your home anonymous. 301-689-0100!