Courtney Warren is a Texas-based interior designer whose work has been featured in Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, and Today.com. She is a frequent consultant on Fox 4 TV’s Good Day program in Dallas, was ranked in the top 3 percent of interior designers in the US by Houzz.com, and starred in the Dallas episode of TLC’sFour Houses. She delights in helping overwhelmed clients create beautiful spaces—and will never turn down a warm chocolate chip cookie or Diet Dr Pepper.
Staging homes is a fun side gig, where a Realtor calls me to work in empty homes and bring in needed decorative pieces to boost the homes’ appeal. The staging consistently makes a huge difference in client interest, time required to sell, and–here’s the good part–THE SELLING PRICE!
What’s the takeaway for you if you’re prepping your house to sell? Although you’re probably NOT working in an empty space and starting from scratch to create an inviting interior, allow me to use these staged homes to demonstrate some tips for showing YOUR home in the best light!
First, the very basic basics (do not skip this part).
Potential buyers will never notice your amazing home features (the 6-burner chef range, the voice-activated makeup mirror) if they have to look past dirt and pet hair to see them. Clean as if your mother-in-law is coming (with her white gloves on.) Clean the windows. Take out that kitty litter and put up the dog dishes. Use a wax warmer during showings to freshen the air–or bake some cinnamon rolls (and invite me over–LOL).
Moving is a great time to clean out and pare down your stuff, so go ahead and get rid of things you don’t love and don’t use and don’t want to move. Afterward, if needed, rent a storage unit and take 1/3 to 1/2 of your remaining belongings there while your home is on the market. Too much stuff in your closets, cupboards and on your shelves gives the impression that your home lacks storage space. In the kitchen, limit yourself to 2 or 3 items max on your counters.
3. REPAIR and PAINT.
Fill nail holes, touch up paint and complete any repairs that you’ve been meaning to get to. YOU’VE grown accustomed to seeing that missing piece of baseboard, but it will stick out like a sore thumb to potential buyers. A well-maintained home sells faster! And remember that neutral paint colors please the majority of buyers. Let THEM paint the bedroom purple if THEY want to.
When you’re prepping your home to sell, you want the families coming through to imagine THEMSELVES in your home, so remove photos of your family and specialized collections (they may not have a thing for lighthouses, you know?) Just leave the very essential toiletries in the shower. Stow cosmetics in drawers, not on the vanity–no one wants to know what brand of depilatory wax you use.
5. DECORATE–with a light hand.
You thought I’d start here, didn’t you? Oh, no, no, no. Only after you’ve done 1-4 are you ready to decorate. NOW you have a lovely clean space and not too much stuff to deal with. NOW you can do things like:
-Move furniture out from walls. Create a traffic pattern that makes sense and maximizes the size of the rooms. Take down heavy curtains and let the light in!
-hang large art, or create a gallery wall of interesting pieces.
-style shelves with items in a variety of shapes, sizes and textures. Layer some of them. Turn some books up and stack others.
-include some live plants or realistic “faux-liage”. And cut flowers for an open house are classy!
Need some professional help getting your home ready to sell? Or someone to help capture your vision for the new home? Let’s talk!
Have some questions? No problem! I offer a complimentary, no-strings-attached phone call consultation.
Email me to book a call time–and let’s start making design fun!