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Staging tips from HGTV’s Sandra Rinomato

Getting your house ready for sale is all about making it as attractive as possible to the greatest number of people. Here are some tips from a top real estate agent.

Living room

Even though your home may be impeccably decked out with tasteful furnishing and accessories, you may still need to stage your home, because you want it to be as appealing as possible to the greatest number of prospective buyers. Staging a home comes with its own set of rules, and Sandra Rinomato, expert home realtor and host of the HGTV show Buy Herself (and former host of Property Virgins), shared some of her top tips for getting your home ready for sale.

Go for neutral

“When you decorate for yourself, your passion is put into it,” says Rinomato. But that may not appeal to a broad audience, so you need to approach the entire project of staging by making things as neutral as possible. That orange paint in your den might be a designer shade that complements your rug perfectly, but that colour is not for everyone. A more neutral shade that allows home buyers to picture the space as their own is a better choice. “That fashion-forward furniture too probably has to go. You want to have what’s familiar to the highest proportion of buyers,” she says.

Put away family photos

“Don’t impose your lifestyle on them,” says Rinomato. While your pictures of a chic party in the backyard may show the possibilities the yard has to offer, potential buyers may not be the hosting type, and your photos will only distract them. You want them to notice the great bones of the house rather than examine pictures of you.

Get your home more than just clean

To show your home, it has to be positively sparkling. What’s clean for you is not good enough. “People will be scrutinizing your place,” says Rinomato. Every inch must be pristine. She says to make sure to clean your lower cabinets: “Grease can collect there, and this will make your home seem not taken care of.”

Create a spa environment in your bathroom

Set the mood with a subtly scented candle or air freshener in the bathroom. Rinomato suggests a relaxing scent such as a lavender-based product from Febreze. She also recommends chicly displayed rolled-up towels in neutral colours. “White goes with everything,” she says, adding to make sure you don’t use these towels yourself.

Accessorize sparingly

You can add some flair with decor accessories, but limit it. “You don’t want them drawn to the objects in a room, but for them to notice the actual home itself,” says Rinomato. Include fresh flowers, but don’t overdo it. Resist setting the dining room table. “It’s too cluttered,” she explains.

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