They say you only get one chance at a first impression. So if would-be buyers have already sidestepped your bursting-at-the-seams closet or shuddered at your dreary laundry room, you can’t undo it — but you can do some strategic home staging before the next house-hunter shows up.
Barb Nazzaro, a professional house stager who runs A Simply Staged Home, in Natick, Massachusetts, insists that it’s essential to stage. “When people walk into a house, they form an opinion almost instantaneously.” There’s a knee-jerk reaction that happens, she says; within seconds, buyers either adore the place or want to flee. And while homes in hot neighborhoods may sell themselves, Nazzaro says any home can benefit from staging to bump up the asking price and help speed a sale.
“People see gorgeous homes on television and want exactly that for themselves,” Nazzaro says. And, she adds, just as you wouldn’t wear sweatpants to a job interview, your home needs to put its best foot forward. Moving represents a fresh start, and if your home isn’t clean and doesn’t evoke a peaceful feeling, potential buyers will bail.
Here’s how to make your house gorgeous for its time in the spotlight:
1. Purge the hallway closet.
2. Edit the china cabinet.
3. Liven up the laundry room.
4. Tidy the kitchen cabinets.
5. Scale back on photos and wall hangings.
6. Add a bed skirt.
7. …And while you’re at it, change your comforter or duvet.
8. Round up the kid stuff.
9. Beautify bedroom closets.
10. Don’t forget the basement and the attic.