Staging Tips (Part 2)

April 21, 2009 · 4 comments

Last week, my lovely wife provided a number of great staging tips for those looking to “spruce up” their property for sale.

Tonight, she managed to pull herself away from American Idol long enough to help me write more about staging. Thanks honey!

In true Idol spirit, here are her Top 7 tips for today:

1. Use Windows Wisely. Make rooms taller and windows larger than they actually are with clever curtain positioning. Notice in our staging pictures how the curtain rods are hung well above the windows. This draws buyers’ eyes further upward, emphasizing the height of the room and leaving them with the illusion that the room is taller than it really is.

2. Light Sells Houses. It’s quite simple to bring more natural light into your rooms while visually increasing the size and prominence of your windows by positioning curtains on the right and left sides of the window trim, rather than covering the windows themselves. This frames the windows and makes them appear significantly larger and more substantial than they actually are, which is really appealing to buyers.

3. Even More Light. While we’re on the topic of light, keep your eyes open in stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s and Target for 3-sets of lamps on the clearance shelves — and use them wherever you can in the house you’re staging. (We’ve picked up a few sets of three — including a floor lamp and two table lamps — for around $20 a set!) Even better, if you or your agent has time to get to the house before your buyers arrive for a showing, brighten up your rooms by turning on every single light on in that house, even if it’s super sunny outside. This little trick, combined with all the sunlight shining in through your properly-staged windows, inspires buyers and leaves them with a cheerful and happy (instead of doomy and gloomy) feeling. Cheerful and happy translates to a heck-of-a-lot-more-willing to write up a contract!

4. Two words: GLASS TABLES. It’s no secret that larger spaces generate higher sales prices. So to show off all that space that exists (or doesn’t really exist) in great rooms, living rooms, and dining rooms, use glass top tables. Items like these that you can “see through” that don’t visually take up as much space as wood or other traditional materials.

5. Smoke and Mirrors. Okay, I’m not saying to use smoke and mirrors…but mirrors by themselves are a very good thing. Talk about buyers seeing themselves living in that house, literally! Don’t go overboard though, or you risk dangerous cheesy “Big 80’s” design disaster-style flashbacks reminiscent of mauve carpet and black lacquer accents. Stick with simple and classy and you won’t go wrong.

6. Protect Your Carpet. If you’ve installed new carpet in the house, put down plastic carpet protector. Not only does it keep the carpet from getting stained, but multiple buyers have noted that the fact that we made an effort to protect the carpet indicated that we probably took extra care when renovating. We’re not sure there’s truly a correlation, but if that says “higher quality” to potential buyers, that’s all that matters. Another advantage to protective carpet plastic is that you can use it to strategically define the “flow” and walk-ways through the house, which establishes a clear path for buyers to follow.

7. Use Rugs. While we’re talking about the floor, remember that area rugs are an awesome way to add visual interest with splashes of color, define and anchor your furniture to create specific spaces in large rooms, add a sense of warmth to tile and vinyl floors, and draw attention to your newly finished hardwoods or newly installed carpeting. Area rugs don’t have to be expensive to be effective — in fact, most of our area rugs come from seasonal clearance sections at home improvement and big box stores. When used in the right context, area rugs are like artwork accents for your floor!

Well, that wraps up our Top 7 for tonight.

Oh, and my wife would like everyone to know her Idol predictions are that Lil and Matt are going home tomorrow night. Scary obsession, I know.


4 responses to “Staging Tips (Part 2)”

  1. hakrjak says:

    Good stuff! I like fake plants and sometimes fresh flowers if I’m really trying to suck up to the buyers… Maybe a bottle of champagne chilled and in the fridge, ready for their celebration? haha…


  2. ezra says:

    I look to you for real estate advice, but considering your poor track record regarding American Idol predictions, I’m not so sure anymore!

  3. Jodi says:

    J Scott

    Where do you keep all your staging stuff?!

  4. J Scott says:

    Jodi –

    For the most part, we’ve been lucky that are houses are always ready at the perfect time. Whenever a house is ready to be staged, another house is about to be sold. So, until this week, we’ve never had the issue of what to do with “excess” furniture.

    This week though, we sold a house and didn’t have another house to put most of the furniture in; some of it (the living room and dining room sets) stayed, as the buyer negotiated it into the purchase. The rest of the stuff (bedrooms, office, basement), we moved back to my personal residence and threw it in the basement.

    We’ll be finishing a house next week and will move it there at that time.

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