In the age of HGTV reality shows, buyers expect homes to look like they do on TV and are willing to pay more for what they want. The goal of Home Staging is to make a home appeal to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property faster and for more money. And it works!
Meet Brinkoetter Realtor and Home Stager, Aimee Dial.
“Home Staging is not just a hobby for me; it combines my two passions: real estate and interior design,” says Dial. “And with a Bachelor’s degree in interior design, seven years of real estate experience in three states, and twice an owner of a home staging business, I am an expert in the topic.”
According to Dial, vacant homes are much more difficult to sell than furnished homes. “It’s difficult for most buyers to visualize how their own furniture would fit in a vacant space without existing furniture for scale and proportion. This is especially true for bedrooms that always look smaller without furniture,” says Dial. “Vacant homes can send the message that the seller is willing to deal on price and terms. Plus, empty rooms mean potential buyers have nothing to focus on except flaws in the walls and floors.”
Here is Aimee’s Hot List of Home Staging Tips: 1. Paint
Paint is inexpensive and transforming and most buyers want neutral. For those buyers who do appreciate colorful walls, they want to use their own colors, not yours. My go-to paint color right now is Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray. It’s a beige/gray color that goes with almost everyone’s home décor.
This is SO important because lighting sets the ambience for a room. Open all curtains and blinds to let sunlight in. But when you need extra lighting, avoid using overhead lighting in bedrooms and living rooms because it creates harsh shadows. Instead, light these spaces with mostly lamps and always use "soft white" lighting. The lightbulbs I recommend are the “GE Relax LED – HD Light - soft white, 60 watts.”
3. Furniture Arrangement
Furniture should be arranged in conversation seating rather than everything pointed towards the TV; an 8x10 rug is usually the perfect size to help anchor the room.
4. White Towels (The fluffier, the better)
Old towels can make the whole bathroom seem dingy. Even if you just buy a few towels that will be for display only in the bathroom, it will make a difference.
5. Welcome Mat
If your current mat is faded or worn, replace it. It’s one of the buyer’s first impressions so make it a good one!
6. Light Switch / Outlet Covers
If they are either mismatched colors or old/dated, switch them out for new white ones. With prices starting as low as 30cents each, this is a very inexpensive way to give an updated feel to your home.
Pull the weeds, trim the bushes, and mulch those flower beds. The impression of a well-maintained home starts the first time a prospective buyer drives by. Don’t underestimate the importance of curb appeal.
8. Power Wash
If a clean interior is the most important thing realtors recommend, then having a clean exterior should be just as important. This includes the sidewalks and driveway. You can rent or borrow a powerwasher and I recommend a 3000PSI to get the job done.
Did you know that Illinois ranks the lowest state in dog and cat ownership in the US? Only 32% of Illinoisans are dog owners and 26% own cat(s). People that don’t have pets are often turned off by homes with animals. Are you willing to risk turning off up to 68% of the buyers due to the smell or presence of your furry friends? Just like the sellers shouldn’t be home during a house showing, neither should your pets. I’d recommend either taking your pooch for a walk, doggie daycare for the day, or at a minimum crating the pet. Keep litter boxes clean and sweep daily. You never know when you’re going to have a last-minute showing!
(Editor’s Note: Aimee is available for free professional consultation or full-scale Home Staging! Let us make an introduction.)