July 28, 2020
TJ McArdle

Recently, Redfin reached out to several home staging experts, including Larimar Home Staging, to ask for tips we could share with home sellers who are on a budget. Many of the suggestions include similar advice Larimar offers homeowners during one of our pre-listing consultations. For example:

  • Remove Excess Furniture – This opens up the space, giving buyers the perception of more square footage. It also results in better listing photos for MLS by removing some of the visual chaos that distracts the buyers’ eyes from the fixed assets of the home. The quality of your listing photos is imperative, as they will be posted on sites such as Redfin, where most buyers start their search. If you’re having problems identifying which pieces of furniture would be considered “excess” in this context, a staging company that specializes in preparing homes for the market can help you.
  • Depersonalize – This is the phrase Larimar prefers over the term “declutter”. We worry that the word “clutter” has a negative connotation and can be synonymous with “junk”. We don’t want anyone to get the impression we’re calling their family photos, heirlooms, collections, vacation souvenirs and other personal effects “junk”, but there are several important reasons why these personal effects need to be removed before listing photos are taken and buyers start touring the property. We’ll address all of those reasons in detail in another post, but an important one we’ll share now is this: When items that are very personal to you and your family are visible in the house, you are essentially “marking your territory”. By not prepacking these items, you are giving buyers the impression that you haven’t emotionally detached from the home, preventing buyers from forming their own emotional attachment to it, which we want them to be able to do since it will increase the chances that they’ll not only put in an offer, but an offer for your full asking price (or more, even). Buyers need to see a neutral, depersonalized “clean slate” where they can begin writing their own story.
  • Designate a Space as an Office – More and more people are working from home these days, and even those that don’t work professionally from home still want a designated space to pay their bills, make appointments, do homework, etc. If you have three or more bedrooms, define one of them as an office by furnishing it with a small writing desk and a chair.

These are just a few generic, “one-size-fits-all” tips we can share with home sellers getting ready to put their home on the market. If you’re committed to selling your home faster and for more money, the best advice we can give is to hire a certified home staging professional who can provide a custom consultation that will address the specific challenges with your property that, if left unresolved, may lead to price reductions and increased days on market.

Be sure to go to Redfin’s full blog post here to read more tips provided by Larimar and other home staging experts.

About the Author

TJ McArdle is Principal Stylist and CEO of Larimar Home Staging, LLC in Southern California. She is an Accredited Staging Professional, e-Designer, Certified Color Consultant, Occupied Consultation Specialist, Trends Expert and a member of the Real Estate Staging Association.

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