When it’s time to get your house ready to sell, stress can go off the…
Home stagers help home sellers start to direct prospective buyers’ attention; here’s a look at some strategies used.
Every house has strengths and weaknesses—features or structural details that will help buyers get excited, and at least a few that aren’t doing your sale any favors.
Home staging is, in part, the art and science of directing buyers’ attention toward its assets, and away from its less-appealing features. From the (ahem!) first impression created by good curb appeal, to the way décor or paint can minimize an awkward room flow, as a seller your goal must be to help buyers notice what’s highlight-reel worthy.
Strategy #1 Highlight, don’t compete
That’s worth saying again: when considering room layout and décor, our goal is to highlight (not compete with), the property’s best features.
- Paint; flowers (real or silk); vignettes composed of well-paired household items; décor; paintings and/or other wall art, can all serve to draw a viewer’s eye to or from a feature.
This is particularly important if a home has stand-out architectural features—a soaring ceiling, multi-level stone chimney, handsome plank floors or some other special feature.
The last thing you want is for an eye-catching enhancement that minimizes or draws buyers’ eyes away from the detail.
Strategy #2: Match the room’s scale
In addition to placement, scale of a space is important. A room with a cathedral ceiling, or open-plan layout may require larger or bolder accents. Not only will petite furniture, tiny vignettes or décor tend to look childish in large spaces like these, they can make the space itself seem unwieldy, hard to decorate or possibly out of proportion.
Wall art can help draw attention, pulling buyers’ eyes away from bland or less interesting spaces. Even hanging height makes a difference: ideally art should be hung so the center of the piece is 60-64” off the ground (or, if you’re hanging a piece behind a sofa, shoot for 6-8” above the back). This keeps focal points connected to average-human scale.
Strategy #3: Less is usually more…
Décor, flowers, pillows, and art are excellent, and affordable, ways to add pops of visual interest. Just remember not to overwhelm the space! While you may love an abundance of decorative details, and feel welcomed and cozy in a full-to-the-brim room, too many elements make your spaces look smaller and will appeal to a smaller segment of prospective buyers.
Instead, home stagers aim to use color and decorative elements judiciously to help guide prospective buyers’ eyes around the room, and get them to pause (admiringly!) at the beautiful fireplace, built-ins, or floors.
Strategy #4: Add restful vignettes in wide-open (or blank) spaces
This may seem counterintuitive: home stagers coach sellers to make their spaces look large and bright; why would we now want to add details to wide-open spaces?
Though every room has its own unique needs, in general kitchens, entryways, and halls suffer from a lack of attractive focal points. They also have an excess of smooth surfaces, and (in the case of kitchens) blocks of cabinet-or appliance-filled walls.
Vignettes can be an effective way to create visual interest and add homey ambience. They give buyers eyes a reason to slow down and take in some details that suggest they’ll be right at home here, too.
Another way to think about this part of home staging is a way to help buyers see what you want them to see. Creating focal points and distracting attention from less appealing features are integral to creating that amazing first—and lasting—impression
What questions do you have about helping home sellers start to direct prospective buyers’ attention to don’t-miss features? We’d love to see your comments—and to help with your next home staging project!