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Everything You Need to Know About Open House Staging

Staging your home the right way is essential for a successful open house. Read on to find out the easiest ways to stage your house for maximum impact and ways to save money in the process.
Staging your home the right way is essential for a successful open house. Read on to find out the easiest ways to stage your house for maximum impact and ways to save money in the process.

Open houses are a great opportunity to showcase your home to buyers in your area. But to make an impact, you have to present your house in a way that appeals to them.

Staging your house can help you achieve just that — assuming you have a deep understanding of buyers in your areas.

Home staging takes your house from being a collection of empty rooms to a space that prospective buyers can see themselves living in. When you work with a top, local real estate agent, they'll know exactly what you need to do to attract motivated buyers.

> Learn how you can work with a top agent and save money.

In the meantime, here's everything you need to know about staging for an open house.

Why Home Staging is Important

It has almost become a given that home sellers need to stage their properties before an open house. There are several reasons why this step is so important while selling your house.

Research shows staged homes sell faster and for more money. It instantly puts you ahead of any competition you may have who've chosen not to stage their homes.

When you organize an open house, staging helps visitors see what living in the house themselves would be like. Show how the space can be used and define the purpose of each room by furnishing it just the right way. An empty home doesn't have the same effect.

How to Stage to Impress at an Open House

Capitalize on First Impressions

The first thing that a prospective buyer will see is not that amazing living room or the office room in the house. It's the exterior that will help visitors form a first impression. Make the most of that opportunity by maximizing the curb appeal.

If you have a lawn, keep it watered and mow the grass right before the open house. Homeowners who don't have a lawn can add a touch of fresh greenery with window boxes or planters.

Another important element of curb appeal is the entryway to your house. Make sure this area is well-lit and clean. Pressure washing the driveway can have it looking good as new quickly.

Clean and Declutter

Now for the interiors. The very first thing you need to do if you're staging your house for an open house is clean it thoroughly. You don't want to have visitors coming to your house noticing cobwebs in the corners. So make sure to clean every room before an open house.

The next thing you need to do is to declutter the house. That includes the rooms as well as storage areas like the kitchen cabinets and closets. Decluttering a house makes it appear less crowded and roomier. It also gives you a head start on packing your belongings in preparation for moving out.

When decluttering, remember to remove personal items such as family pictures or refrigerator art. You want visitors to be able to see themselves living on the property and not see it as somebody else's home.

Maximize Available Light

Light is an important resource for anybody who is trying to sell a house. Dark rooms and gloomy corridors can make your house seem a lot smaller and not very welcoming. On the other hand, a house that is well-lit appears fresh and puts visitors in a positive frame of mind.

If you're lucky enough to get a lot of natural light, then take full advantage of it. Take out the blinds and open the windows during the open house. The more natural light that you can get in the house, the better.

Homes that don't get much natural light need to use light fixtures to replicate the same effect. Make sure to do a walkthrough before an open house to see which rooms can use some brightening up. You can stay on budget by purchasing LED lights or bulbs instead of fancy fixtures.

Cost of Staging a House

What staging a house cost depends on the option you choose. It's very economical if you do it yourself and use the furniture you already have in your house. Doing it that way costs you only the time that it takes to do all the staging yourself.

The other option that you have is hiring a professional stager and renting furniture. A stager will go through every major room of your house and come up with a plan to stage it in a way that appeals to buyers.

A one-time design consultation with a professional stager can run you anywhere between $150 and $600. Renting furniture to stage your house costs about $500 per room per month. You can decide whether you want to stage the entire house or just key rooms like the living room and master bedroom.

Working with a Clever Partner Agent can help you decide how to go about staging your house to have the greatest impact on buyers. Partner Agents are experts in their local real estate markets and know exactly what buyers are looking for.

You can hire a Clever Partner Agent to sell your house for a flat fee of $3,000 or a 1% commission if the home is over $350,000. Home sellers save thousands of dollars and get the advice and knowledge of a full-service agent.

> Reach out to start interviewing top agents in your area and save big on commissions.

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Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents to help save on commission. He spreads the word about Clever, disseminating studies to journalists and developing relationships with media outlets. Reuven is passionate about investing in real estate and creating lasting success for families. His writing has been featured in Max Real Estate Exposure, Leverage Marketing, and more.

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