If you’re like me, you love looking through house listings.
All those pictures of perfectly appointed, sparking clean houses – it’s inspiring and fills me with ideas. But it’s also completely intimidating.
How come my house never looks like this?
It’s not just that these houses are decluttered. The furniture is perfect. There are no stains on the carpet and no piles of multi-colored plastic toys that your kids have thrown in the corner. Whose house looks like this in real life?
The fact is, looking at listings is a lot like watching HGTV. It’s all smoke and mirrors. It’s “house porn.”
When I first thought about downsizing, the beauty of these homes made me rather anxious. And I do this for a living!
But what I knew that many others don’t realize is that all of these homes had been staged. Professionally staged? Maybe not. But many real estate agents have become proficient at the art of home design. They even have storage units filled with furniture they’ve picked up at yard sales and all the knick-knacks needed to make a home look like it just came out of a West Elm catalogue.
In my experience, a beautifully staged home sells quicker and for a higher price than others. Similar houses on the same block can experience two different outcomes. I’ve seen homes sit because they don’t look fresh and clean and empty. You’ll always get back more than you put in.
What these real estate agents are doing isn’t rocket science and it’s something every home seller should know about.
Here are six of their best staging secrets. [Read more…]