Are you prepping to sale your home but curious about how to style your home, the “Do’s and Don’ts” to stage before you really get into it? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Emily Weber, our LRG Home Stylist, helps answer some of the biggest questions here!
Do I need to take down all family photos?
The short answer is yes.
It’s human nature to be drawn in to look at photos of other people. This shifts the conversation and the focus from the house, to curiosity about the family that lives there. Thoughts like: They only have two kids and they’re moving, is there enough space or our family of five? Wow, they’ve done a ton of travelling, why can’t we seem to save enough money to travel? In short, the more pictures the buyers see, the more they envision the homeowner’s life in the home rather than their own.
Take down photos and replace them with more neutral artwork. Avoid big collages of frames. This doesn’t show as well online and it can be tough to get each piece perfectly straight and level. If you aren’t replacing the photos with anything, remove the pieces early so you have time to patch and touch up the holes in the wall.
Do I need to clean out my closets?
Yes, potential buyers will be opening every closet and the last thing we want is for them to have a negative experience when opening the door. Here are some quick, simple tips for getting bedroom closets ready to go:
- Clear the floor. This is where most of the clutter collects.
- Remove any out of season clothes.
- Use the same color of hangers. Ideally white or wooden.
- Face all clothes in the same direction.
- Group like-clothing. Hang all the long dresses together, sweaters, suits, etc.
- Create some space. If the closet is packed full, take out up to 50% and put it in storage. Clothing should have some room on either side when hanging up.
- Remove any pieces that really standout such as fluorescent colors, Hawaiian shirt patterns, etc.
- Refold and neatly stack items on shelves so they are uniform.
- Remove any clothes hampers.
Lastly, make sure lights are working properly and the closet is smelling fresh and clean. Tuck a few dryer sheets among the clothing for the clean laundry smell.
Should I put out place settings at the table?
Probably not. Unless you have a very formal dining room, I recommend leaving the tables clear or having one centerpiece. Having small items fill a table can make for a busy and cluttered online photo. A clear, or mostly clear table gives the viewer a visual break as they pour through picture after picture. If you do put out fresh flowers, keep the arrangement on the low side. This allows for an unobstructed view across the room. Choose seasonal flowers if possible and stick to 1-3 varieties in an arrangement rather than a bright mixed bouquet.
Can I move things from room to room while the photographer is working if I don’t have the time or space to put things in storage?
This sounds like a good solution to dealing with extra pieces of furniture or items that won’t fit in storage but logistically it’s not ideal. I always recommend homeowners, children and pets are off site for the photo shoot. Our talented photographers have a ton to do often including a 3-D video tour. Once you add more people, kids and pets into the mix, it can take considerably longer and can complicate things to avoid catching people in reflections, through exterior windows, etc. If you are comfortable, head out for a few hours while your home is being photographed and before you leave, please turn on every single light/lamp and open all shades/blinds.
I’m running out of storage now that I’m decluttering, can I pack the garage and basement full?
Yes. Pack the garage and basement but try to be neat about it. Stack boxes and bins for an organized look. Make sure potential buyers and agents can access everything they need to like laundry areas, the furnace and water heater. If your basement is partially or fully finished, it will definitely be photographed. If your garage has any kind of unique feature, like a custom tool bench, it will be photographed,
Will the inside of my bathtub/shower be in the photos?
If you have a large, tiled walk-in shower, yes. If you have a standard bathtub or insert with curtain, probably not. Either way, clean! Potential buyers will most definitely peak around the curtain. Pack away most or all of your personal products in the bath area, especially if you have glass doors. This includes razors, loofahs, soaps, everything. If you’re leaving some product, make sure it’s not visible around the edge of the curtain before the photographer arrives. Consider swapping out your shower curtain liner for a new one and even a new, white shower curtain if your current one is a little worn or loud with busy colors.
The furniture in the main living area is looking really worn from kids/pets/life. We aren’t ready to buy new furniture yet, what can we do in the meantime?
First, consider whether or not you can remove any large furniture pieces. Oversized pieces make a room feel smaller, especially if you’re dealing with a sectional and two recliners. Next, add some light throw pillows and a throw. This will give a dark, worn sofa an instant uplift. Choose off white, beige, gray or silver with lots of texture or various patterns. Purchasing 6 pillows and draping a blanket over the back of the sofa can make a huge impact for a reasonable price.
Take a look at your room and identify what the focal point is. A fireplace? A bay window looking out to the back yard? If possible, arrange the furniture to highlight this feature, rather than the television. It may be ideal to take the tv out completely for photos for some rooms.
Do I have too many plants?
Generally, healthy plants are okay to leave around but it’s true that too many can just be too much. If this is what people comment on as soon as they come in your home, you should pack some away before photos. Setting them outside on a deck or patio is a great option, weather permitting. Remove any unhealthy plants and move some to a different spot if they are hanging and covering much of the window. We want unobstructed windows and as much light as possible coming back in.
Do I need to pack away my collection (Legos, teacups, crosses, figurines, records, rocks, etc.)?
Most likely, yes. Again, if this is a conversation piece when people visit your home, it should be removed before showings, Remember, we want people looking at the features of the home, not thinking about who the homeowners are. All items will need to be packed away eventually so might as well start with the collections!
Still have questions or would you like a consult on styling your home to list? Email [email protected]!