• A little lighting, some fresh flowers and white linens go a long way in making a home look more attractive to buyers.

When buyers walk into the right home, they get that look in their eyes. They get the warm-and-fuzzies because they can envision living in the home for years to come.

As a listing agent, it’s your job to make sure that happens; you have to facilitate the buyers’ ability to see themselves in that home, and the easiest way to do that is through staging.

If you’ve read any of my articles, you know that stellar photography is a must. However, amazing photography only goes so far without excellent staging.

Before you bring in a photographer, and definitely before you begin marketing the home, you have to set the stage.

I reached out to some of the best interior designers our agency has been fortunate enough to work with for tips on making a house irresistible to buyers.

Here are five simple staging tips that will help your next listing attract the right kind of attention:

1. Light it up

bezikus / Shutterstock

Lighting is everything, and often, it is a great low-cost solution that can bring plenty of gains. The best way to improve lighting is to add floor lamps and table lamps.

Of course, this must be done strategically. Too many lamps, and you’ll be headed for disaster.

Herline Goutama of Let’s Stage It said something as simple as a floor lamp can illuminate a dark corner or ceiling and completely change the space in the process. She advises that there should be three sources of light in every room.

“The key is to create subtle variances of light levels, which accentuate surfaces and make the room feel more spacious,” Goutama said.

2. Get away from the wall

If you are anything like me, this feels totally wrong and unnatural, but the wall is not your friend. Instead of depending on the wall as a guide, float your furniture, even in the least expected places.

This method not only makes the space easier to navigate, but it also helps it appear larger. The goal is for buyers to be able to explore the home without being overwhelmed by the furniture.

Margaret Schaffer of Restyle Home recommends using the home’s traffic pattern to guide you. “Furniture should never be a distraction, but rather a way to enhance the natural flow of the house,” she said.

3. Add flowers

Just some dust / Flickr

Fresh flowers are a basic crowd pleaser.

These simple additions lend vibrance, beauty and aroma to any room.

Bouquets can be used as center pieces in the kitchen or dining table, and smaller arrangements can be placed on side tables.

Even a few small stems in a mason jar can offer a welcoming touch.


4. Sell the lifestyle

You aren’t selling a home, you are selling the life. It’s all about the feeling that someone gets when they walk through the door.

Ideally, prospective buyers will feel right at home, and make offers to match.

To make them feel this way, you have to show them what life in the home will be like. That means creating moments they can connect to — without it feeling contrived.

“A cozy reading nook in a living room or a collection of glass jars on a tray in the master bath creates a sense of both luxury and comfort,” Schaffer said.

5. Use elegant white linens

S_Photo / Shutterstock

Looking for a way to create a spa-like atmosphere without breaking the bank? Goutama said it’s as easy as using white linens in the master bathroom.

“Thick white towels and shower curtains can transform a bathroom from frumpy to luxury spa,” Goutama said.

To take this to the next level, roll a few bath towels and place them on the tub, and do the same with hand towels near the sink. You can also add baskets of scented soaps, tub accessories, candles and a vase of lavender or an orchid.

Voila, you have an oasis.

Goutama also advises not to neglect the master bedroom.

“A clean, voluminous cotton duvet cover and white pillows adds a pleasant hotel look,” Goutama said.

Granted, it takes more than just five tips to create an irresistible home, but it’s a start. As the listing agent, staging will play a critical role in your marketing efforts.

The first priority is always to get buyers through the door. Once that’s accomplished, great staging will allow buyers to feel at home and envision the possibilities.

It’s time to stop viewing staging as merely an option, and start seeing it as a necessary part of the marketing process.

Laura Ure is the CEO of Keenability, a marketing agency specializing in lifestyle marketing that targets the affluent buyer. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Email Laura Ure

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