When your home is up for sale, you need the home-hunters to see its value or potential. Unpresentable homes with clothes over bedroom floors, cluttered living rooms, and dirty dishes stacked in the sinks will not make a house appealing. A house viewing is your one chance to impress or convince the buyer, and home-staging will improve the property's appearance.

Remember, home-staging does not mean you should be dishonest and cover up structural problems. The idea of staging is to get the right price as opposed to settling for less because the seller didn’t take the time to clean the house. The last thing any seller should want is to lose a few thousand dollars because he or she didn’t make the home presentable.

Here are three cheap and easy ideas for home staging:

  1. Declutter.  Get rid of loose items like boxes and excessive shoes that are pouring out of your closet.  Clutter makes the home appear smaller and closet space insufficient.  If you have outgrown your home with clutter, move it over to your sister’s place or rent a storage locker. Read our post on decluttering here.
  2. Sanitize.  Give your home an industrial-style cleaning.  Make sure all the grease is removed from the kitchen and that the house has been fumigated.  A fresh-smelling home is worth much more than one that smells like last week’s laksa. Spritzing the place with a solution of water and lemon juice is one of the ways to get rid of odour.

    (image: SRX)

  3. Present it.  Make your home inviting and welcoming to potential buyers.  Put some coffee table books and flowers on a coffee table.  (Just enough so it does not look cluttered).  Puff up the cushions on your sofa and maybe place a folded blanket on it.  Put flowers in the kitchen and in the bedrooms.  Flowers are a great way to spruce up rooms, make them feel cozy, and improve on a first impression. Try creating vignettes or decorating your bedsides.

A good first impression helps the buyer imagine the potential in the house rather than its flaws. As a result, the buyer is more likely to conclude, “I like what I see, I’ll make you an offer.”

(First published in SRX)