Neutralize it, baby!
If I have one addiction, it’s to color. From dark and moody to clear & vibrant, my home is a reflection of my ‘habit.’ And while it looks amazing (my personal opinion 😉) I’ll be the first to admit if I had to sell my house tomorrow there would be a LOT of painting going on at my place. Color and other style choices we make showcase our personality and make our houses homes.
That being said, our goal with staging is to have someone else envision making your place THEIR home. And the more of your personality is in the home, the harder it is for any potential buyer to do that. This is one of the most difficult steps to staging your home. You basically are removing your family, memories and yourself from YOUR space. While it’s tough, there are two major benefits to ease your pain. First, and most obviously, is it will attract buyers and hopefully sell your home fast! Second, and this one surprised even us when a client mentioned it, is it helps you emotional move on from your home.
So how do you even “neutralize” your home? If you’re thinking everything gets painted white you’re wrong (mostly 😉). Check out these tips to get you started.
- Paint – While we don’t think you have to paint every wall in your home beige (seriously please don’t), it’s time to take a critical look at your colors and what condition they’re in. Generally, these are the colors you should avoid: Dark colors (the make rooms look smaller), primary/bright colors (red, yellow, and blue should be left in kindergarten), & white (always looks dingy). You also need to look at the condition of your walls, are they marked up? Scratched? Covered in fingerprints/dust/smudges? These all need to be addressed.
- Photos and art – While we love our families (hopefully!) they don’t need to be on display when buyers are touring your home. Family photos need to be carefully packed away for the move. In their place use mirrors, generic art (think home goods) or nothing at all. And remember not all photos have to go away! Also, consider replacing small wall pieces with larger scale pieces. Don’t have art? Try framing old calendars, wallpaper samples, or scrapbooking paper.
- Window treatments – Repeat this with me: Lace curtains will never help you sell your home. Neither will teal taffeta or mauve velvet. The easiest way to lighten up your space is replacing your old curtains with inexpensive white sheers. I’ve found them for as little as $5 for a pair. It will also create a subtle consistency throughout your home. Besides if the buyer ends up asking for the window treatments, wouldn’t you rather let them have your Ikea steal rather than your custom drapes?
- Furniture – Patterned upholstery is great usually for accent pieces, but for your sofa not so much. We all have memories of grandmother’s house and her brocade settee. If your furniture has…personality or hasn’t aged well, then it might be a good idea to invest in slipcovers. Stick with a neutral, and if your lifestyle allows it the lighter the better.
- De-accessorize – As we live in a space we tend to accumulate items that make us happy. A paper weight that the kids made, shot glasses from every vacation, and a collection of frog statues from our great aunt. These are all things that define who we are, who we love, and what we’ve accomplished in life. However, no one else will understand that. To potentials buyers, they will seem quirky at best, cluttered at worst. Because these are items you don’t want anything to happen to do everyone a favor and carefully pack them first. That way you have the comfort of knowing the movers didn’t throw your bowling ball on top of your angel collection, and it keeps the buyers from getting distracted.