How to sell your home and make a faster, more profitable sale
Staging your furniture properly will help your home show better on the real estate market and sell for more money.
A survey by the Real Estate Staging Association in 2013 concluded that staged homes typically sell 73% faster than non-staged homes.
A different survey by stagedhomes.com® shows that 94% of homes staged by an Accredited Staging Professional® sell in about 29 days or less. The average un-staged home takes around 145 days to sell.
Home buyers often judge a home by its contents. As a former Real Estate Agent, I can vouch for this. Ugly or shabby furniture can give people the impression that a house is old, dirty, or hasn't been well maintained.
Let's face it, plenty of us have furniture that has seen better days and wouldn't look good under any light.
You may ask, "Why not just show an empty house?" Because unfurnished homes can feel cold and unwelcoming.
Plus, many buyers simply lack imagination and are puzzled by undefined spaces. And contrary to common sense, rooms actually feel smaller without furniture.
Additionally, empty homes have a tendency to linger on the real estate market far longer than staged ones.
If your furniture is well past it's expiration date, there are a few affordable home remedies that can help. Keep reading to learn how to stage your furniture to sell your home.
Why do home stagers always use neutral colors? Because this color group appeals to more people than any other. As a home seller, your goal is to get as many buyers in your door as you possibly can!
If you inherited grandma's cabbage rose sofa in mauves and greens or have furniture that's simply worn out, don’t despair. A slipcover may be all that's needed to neutralize a dated pattern or unfortunate color.
Note: Some furniture is beyond redemption... shape is important. Even a slip-cover won't hide the shape of a taste specific piece of furniture.
Taste specific: In a nutshell-- not to everyone’s taste.
If your furniture is "taste-specific," like the dark, heavy furniture from the Victorian era, you may want to put it in storage, (or have a yard sale!) and rent modern furniture while your home is on the market.
You don’t need a lot of furniture pieces in a space, just enough to indicate the purpose of a room.
Because most of us can't afford all new furniture, keep reading for some ideas to disguise flawed pieces and give your outdated furniture a fresh new look.
Slipcovers are essential in the business of home staging. Not only do slipcovers hide dated or stained fabrics, they can unify a room of mismatched furniture.
Slipcovers are the most cost-effective way to update a room when staging a home to sell.
I use them in my own home as well. I use dark slipcovers in the winter and lighter colors in the spring for a refreshing seasonal change.
Throwing an old horse blanket over a couch or chair won't cut it when you're trying to sell a house. Slipcovers should be clean and unwrinkled.
My favorite source for buying slipcovers is surefit.net. This company has a wide selection of slip covers in many colors, styles, and fabrics and they always fit.
Other sources for cheap slipcovers: overstock.com, JC Penny, Walmart, K-Mart, Pottery Barn, Amazon and IKEA.
Watch the instructional video below showing how to put a slipcover on a sofa. Video by PotteryBarn.
When buying your slipcovers, avoid wild patterns and bright colors-- stick to solids in neutral colors like; linen, flax, loden, sage green, gray, coffee and cream.
The downside to using slipcovers is that every time you sit down they become wrinkled and untucked.
Sure Fit sells a product called, “Tuck Once,” a grip that fits between the cushions and arms of the furniture to keep the slipcover in place. You need more than one though, and they are expensive.
Here's a FREE alternative and one that I personally use. Tuck rolled up magazines deep between the cushions at the back and sides. T-shaped upholstery pins can keep slipcover fabric in place, as well.
Here's a quick and easy solution for outdated or stained upholstered dining chairs. These chair covers are wrinkle resistant, stretchable and machine washable.
These clever and AFFORDABLE slip covers and many others can be found here at Amazon. Watch the video demonstration below:
Renting furniture doesn't have to be expensive.
Aaron's is a budget friendly furniture rental company that allows you to pick out the package you can afford. You can also rent to buy if you choose to do so. Their motto: "A budget-friendly way to make your space feel like home." Aaron's was voted one the best rental companies for 2021. They service most of the United States, except Alaska and Hawaii.
Cort is a great furniture rental company that services 65 countries worldwide!
Brook Furniture Rental was also rated one of the best rental companies for furniture in 2021. Find out if they deliver to your state.
IKEA has showrooms located all over the U.S. that you can visit or order from online. They offer a large selection of attractive and affordable furniture.
Wayfair.com is another solution for affordable furniture.
If you don’t mind a little diy painting or staining, buying unfinished new furniture is a great alternative. Here is one resource located in the United States;
www.furnitureunfinished.com. They service ALL of the states in the U.S., and Canada.
Rescue a piece of furniture you found at a garage sale, flea market, second-hand store, or the online classifieds, like Craig’s List, by giving it a brand new look.
Refurbishing old furniture is a great way to breath new life to into pieces that might otherwise end up in a landfill.
Maybe you already own a piece of furniture in need of rehab. Create that shabby chic look that is so popular, or simply add new hardware to update a drab piece of furniture.
Strip the ugly paint off to expose a beautiful wood grain below. If you get down to the grain and find that it's not so pretty, paint the piece instead. Choose a fun color and turn it into an accent or focal piece.
When I was a kid, I tagged along whenever my mom went antiquing. We often brought home promising pieces of furniture in dire need of TLC. We refurbished armoires, dining tables, chairs, an old treadle sewing machine, dressers and more. We sold most of the finished pieces for much more than we originally paid, but kept some for our own use. I still have a few pieces today.
If you want to stage a bedroom, but can’t afford a new bed frame and mattress, here's a great home staging trick;
Get a couple cheap inflatable mattresses and just stack them up. Place them on top of a platform, or buy some inexpensive bed risers to raise the bed off the floor.
Bed risers and inflatable mattresses can be found at any home supply center.
Or, use 6 filled boxes of the same size, 3 on each side. Use some of the boxes you have already packed for your move.
It's not okay to leave the mattresses on the floor, as the will send result will scream, "dorm room decor!" Not a good impression for buyers.
Once you cover the bed with lovely linens, nobody will ever know it’s not real.
Don't push furniture against outside walls when staging a home to sell. This creates an impersonal feeling and buyers will feel like they have arrived at the dentist's office. Plus, it makes a space look smaller.
Instead, create “floating” conversational areas that are just more visually appealing.
When staging your furniture in the living room, arrange in cozy conversational areas and facing your most prominent focal point.
These days the TV is often a competing focal point and finding the right placement for two focal points can be difficult. Interior designers have solved this problem by placing the TV above another popular focal point, the fireplace.
What if the focal point is a large window with a stunning view and facing a different direction than the TV? Interior decorators often deal with this by placing an L-shaped sectional sofa in a room. Placed correctly, the L-shape sofa makes it possible to face two focal points at once.
Another solution is to create separate seating or activity areas; sort of like having two rooms inside one. You might arrange a cozy furniture grouping in front of a fireplace or in a nook next to a window.
As a rule, end tables shouldn't be too high or too low, no more than 2 1/2 inches higher or lower than the arms on sofas and chairs.
People sometimes wonder why their living room looks "off." Often it's just a simple matter of the coffee or end tables being too high or too low against the sofa.
If the legs are showing on your upholstered furniture, avoid putting a “leggy” end table next to it. Try adding a piece without legs, such as a chest, a trunk, or a drum shaped table.
A sofa table, or console, is typically placed against a wall or behind a sofa. They're useful for staging accessories like lamps, plants, candles and photographs.
For good balance, a sofa table should be three to five inches lower than the back of the sofa, and about 3/4 the width of the sofa. This is not a hard and fast rule, just a guideline.
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