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Are you Really Dressed for Success?

In today’s competitive market it is more important than ever that your home shows its best if you’re trying to sell in Rocky Mountain House or within Clearwater County! So just as you want to look your best when meeting someone new or attending an event…your home wants to look its best too! That is where home staging, or “house dressing” comes into play!

So what exactly IS home staging, and how, as home sellers, do we decide what kind of makeover our home needs?

Firstly, the objective of home staging isn’t to improve the house itself: the fixtures and fittings; kitchens; bathrooms will all stay the same, even if they are dated – we’re not talking about plastic surgery here….just some new makeup and maybe a facial.  Imagine your home is about to be the subject of a four page spread in Homes and Land magazine, or a 25 Most Beautiful Homes article; what would you do to prepare each room so it looks its very best for the photographer?  Maybe you would move furniture around to accentuate a feature, or have a grubby wall repainted; it’s really about looking at your house with a critical and objective eye.

If you’ve lived in your home for more than a decade or two, you may find that you can’t be objective; you’re just too close to it.  Or perhaps you just don’t have the time, or the necessary skills, to bring the best out of every room.  In which case, your Clearwater Realty associate may be able to offer an educated opinion (we’ve seen thousands of homes of all sorts!), a good friend, the local paint store (New Image Paint and Interiors is a great Rocky Mountain House business), or you could even hire a professional home stager to help you out (though this can significantly add to the cost of your facial)! Whoever you decide to call in, don’t be shy and do be open to productive criticisms=)

Shop Around!

So, you’ve had your advisor of choice over for coffee and you’ve made a list of things in your home that could use a freshening up. Let me just say, if anything on your list involves a paint job, or anything else that borders “renovations” please hire a professional! It may look easy but nothing is more disappointing than putting your sweat and tears into an amazing stone grey feature wall and realizing you slipped and marked the ceiling with grey paint. Trust me, when you should be able to walk into that room and admire your hard work, all you will see is that grey spot on the ceiling! Let the professionals take care of these jobs. If your list includes some decluttering, a good scrub, maybe some fresh new blinds, brightly colored pillows or some white accents….get shopping! But don’t just go to the first store you see, check the online swap and buy sites, or a new and used store!! They often have great conversation pieces and knickknacks! Winners is also a great place to find affordable trinkets to pull a room together!

What will I need to buy?

The good news is, home staging items are things you can take with you!  Therefore it’s important that you like them, wherever possible, whilst at the same time they add value to your home.  Home staging accessories often include new bedding, cushions, rugs, artwork, bathroom accessories, and any little knickknacks that help to complete the look. As a first step I suggest looking around each room and deciding what you need and what you can live without for a month or two. Declutter first, if possible, even remove some of the larger furniture! The larger the rooms look, the easier it seems for a buyer to see themselves in your home.

What do I Put Where?

A few very simple tricks: a set of nice bright towels and/or soap dispensers in a small bathroom makes it feel like a much happier place (always close the toilet seat before a viewing please lol).

In the bedrooms, have the beds made with bedding that has a simple or minimal pattern on it and analyse the colors in the room. If it feels dark, a couple of white or light colored complimentary throw pillows on the bed can really add some pop!

In the kitchen, clear the counterspace, every buyer wants a lot of counterspace in their kitchen! Open the blinds (in all rooms really) to add in as much light as possible, and if the blinds are dark, consider purchasing something sheer to add even more light. If you have fresh fruit in your fridge, throw it in a bowl on the table for instant color! A bright table runner is inexpensive but offers great results!

The living room offers similar options, a white vase on the coffee table or brightly colored candles from the dollar store. A nice live plant or two seems to have a great effect, and consider turning the tv onto a nice music channel before a showing to make people feel at home. Again, if you have dark furniture, pull that fuzzy blue baby blanket out of the closet and drape it over a corner of the couch! Often we have the things we need somewhere in our homes, they just need to be utilized differently.

And don’t forget about smells!! Our olfactory senses are so much stronger than we realize, if a buyer catches the scent of fresh linen or apple pie when they walk into your home it could trigger a childhood memory, what a great first impression that would make!

Creating A Lasting Impression…

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking outside the box! In conclusion, please remember that everyone’s tastes are different so keep it simple. Maybe think twice about the zebra print throw or the brightly painted skull on the table…these things are great and they help us express who we are! Your unique conversations pieces will look great in your new home…..but you gotta get the first one sold first 😉


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