The goal of this type of decorating is to strategically style to address the psychological needs of the buyer. The buyer has three major needs when he or she looksat the house:
All decor choices you make to sell the house will reflect those needs of the buyer. The most important tip to keep in mind at all times is that first impressions are critical in every area. The first time a potential buyer sees this house is called "curb appeal." Then that first glance they get as they step in the house can sell the house. First impressions will happen in each and every room; make that impression awesome!
Remove: This area of staging is very difficult for some homeowners, because it involves decorating it as a marketable house -- not as a beloved home. You do not want anything personal on display. This includes removing all family photographs, all toiletries, mail/bill piles, and all special collectibles. All bathroom and kitchen counters need to be cleared, excect for only one or two decorative objects. Generally speaking, remove all wallpaper and paint all rooms a neutral ivory color. This meets the need of being able to imagine living there (and not being distracted by who lives there now).
Clean: The house needs to be absolutely sparkling clean. This includes washing windows inside and out, shining the kitchen sink, dusting baseboards, bleaching grout around tiles. It also needs to smell clean and fresh -- the house can not smell of animals or cooking. Do not have daily housekeeping supplies visible to potential buyers. This includes laundry baskets and dish drainers -- nothing to remind people that there will be work to do in this house. You want to meet their psychological need of living in an easy, carefree house.
Reduce: This area of staging is the most overlooked area by the do-it-yourself home seller. All closets of any kind -- foyer closets, master bedroom closets, linen closet, pantry, etc. -- must only be half full (and that does really mean only one-half full). Also consider taking out the extra living room chair or second dresser in the bedroom. Pack up items you can do without for the next couple months. You want to show that the house has lots of space and room to grow -- meeting your buyer's need for good value for the money.
These three simple but effective decorating techniques can help you market and sell you home for what it is worth.
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