When I get called in for a consultation with individuals and/or families who are ready to sell their home, I start with an on-site consultation to see the property. It is during this time that I typically hear one of two things right near the start:
- I know what you’re going to say, we have to get rid of everything. OR
- I already know what you’re going to say, but people have to realize this is my home.
When I hear either of those two comments, I know that I have to work with getting the homeowner to start looking at their home in a new light.
The goal in staging a home should highlight a home’s best features and create a neutral, spacious atmosphere that will appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers. How you live in a house is simply far different from how you present it for sale.
Creating neutral spaces often involves a change in paint colour that will appeal to the masses. By neutral, I don’t necessarily mean beige! Depending on the hard finishes (flooring, cabinetry, counters) the home has will depend on a neutral paint colour. It is also extremely important to ensure that the property has flow. By that I mean that if there are different colours painted in the house, do the colours flow from room to room or does the home feel ‘choppy’.
This is where the suggestion is made to take down any personal photos and tuck away personal items. Bathrooms are one place in your home where it is important to tuck away personal items (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.) Please note, this is not to say that every shelf will be bare and empty.
Removing the Excess
Although I am a huge believer in ‘less is more’, when it comes to getting a home ready to sell, I don’t believe you have to get rid of everything. There are times where excess furniture blocks the flow or gets in the way of homes having neutral spaces. An oversized couch may be blocking the flow from the kitchen to the family room. A room that has too many pieces of furniture may need to have some of the furniture removed. Storage rooms and garages are notorious for being over stuffed with items. If you know you are not going to be using a few items, try giving them away, donating them, or selling them. In some cases, yes – we need to ‘get rid’ of some things. This means removing them from the home in order to get it ready to sell. Renting a storage bin to temporarily house items is a great option. It’s a quick alternative to remove excess items.
Shift of Perspective
Purchasing a home is a huge investment that many people do not take lightly. For most of us, it’s the biggest investment we may make in our entire lives. To shift the perspective of ‘my home’ to ‘a home’ is one that is needed. Although many family dinners may have occurred in your home, special holiday and birthdays may have occurred in your home, those memories are not in the dining room or family room. Those memories are in your heart, in your brain (memory), and quite possibly captured in photos. I believe the saying, ‘home is where your heart is’ is so very true. It’s not the walls that make your home. The walls make up your house. It’s the people and experiences, which make it a home. Do you see the difference?