Staging an open house properly can make the difference between receiving several offers on a piece of real estate and remaining without offers. The main reason home staging works so well to help sell a house is that after clearing out the current homeowner's personal clutter, potential buyers can more easily see themselves living in the home. Home staging deals with clutter and color issues, yet it isn't the same as decorating the home. When you want to do real estate staging and hold an open house, you must strive to present the home in a way that allows potential buyers to visualize living there.
The first step in staging an open house is to analyze the problem areas from the buyer's perspective. Unattractive paint colors are an easy fix for the homeowner. Yet, research shows that even buyers that make a conscious effort to make an analytical decision when considering a home for sale are still likely to be influenced by their emotions and by cosmetic problems such as unappealing paint colors. Decide which areas of the home need painting in order to appeal to buyers and choose appealing colors that make the house seem to have a flow to it. You don’t have to stick to neutral colors, but whatever paint color you choose should be rich rather than loud and it should be contemporary.
The second step in real estate staging, now that you have your color scheme, is to plan needed fixes to dated areas of the house. For example, painting ugly kitchen cabinets and changing their hardware is an inexpensive solution to updating the kitchen. While major renovations may be too costly when home staging, small changes in the right places can increase the selling potential of a house.
The third step in open house preparation is to make needed repairs. Something as simple as a loose floorboard, or linoleum that rolls up on the edges, can turn buyers off and give them the feeling that the house will be a burden rather than a blessing. A missing railing on a staircase can look more unsafe than it actually is and these types of repairs must be made. Cracks in walls are another big concern for buyers and must also be repaired to prepare an open house.
The fourth step in staging an open house is to get rid of unneeded furniture and personal accessories. This includes family photos, personal collections and small pieces of furniture that don’t really need to be there. Keeping the furnishing to the basics in each room can also help the home look more spacious. Use your imagination as a bedroom table may work better in the living room or vice versa. Arrange the furniture creatively in each room so that all the rooms flow together well; be sure that each room has a purpose such as a bedroom or an office.
The fifth step is to add accent pieces to the painted, repaired and sparsely- furnished rooms. Don’t use more decorative pieces such as artwork, plants and pottery than is needed. For outdoors, plant some flowers in outdoor planters or place one or two pots of flowers by the front and back doors. You don’t want your staged open house to look lived in, but rather show that it can be lived in. Baking cookies and having soda or coffee to drink is a nice finishing touch to an open house.