1. Kick clutter to the curb. No one wants to go to look at a potential new home and be climbing over clutter. Your home should have the right amount of furniture and decorative items, but nothing extra. Think of staging like creating a show house. Clutter also makes a house appear smaller than it is. A good rule of thumb for staging is to remove half of what is in the home and then use the remaining fifty percent to stage the home.
2. Group the furniture. It is a common misconception that placing furniture against the walls will create the illusion of more space. This actually has the opposite effect and causes the space to feel smaller. Grouping furniture into conversational groups that flow well with the room will open up the room, make it easier to navigate, improve traffic flow and make it appear bigger.
3. Repurpose a storage room. If you have a room that is used for storage it needs to be cleaned out immediately. You want to be able to stage this room in a way that showcases its potential. Make it into a guest room, office, hobby room or something else what will apply to buyers. You can use furniture and accessories that you already have to create this room.
4. Use the right lighting. You need a good mix of ambient, accent and task lighting. The truth is, most homes do not have the right lighting. You want a home to be the perfect mix of warm, but still bright enough to be able to get things done. A good way to ensure that you have enough lighting is to make sure that for every 50 square feet, you have 100 watts.
5. Paint your home. Neutral and cool colors are the most appealing to potential buyers. If you have dark colors in your home, you want to go over these with a more neutral color. Neutral colors will fit the taste of most people and they can be painted over if a new buyer wants color changes.
6. Accessorize with a pop of color. The walls are neutral and so is most of the furniture. This allows you to have some fun with accessories. Do not be afraid of small accents of orange, purple, yellow, red or turquoise. These can draw the eye to things that you want to show off. For example, if you have a really great fireplace in the family room, add two small pieces that are colorful and eye-catching to the mantle.
7. Be more sporadic with wall hangings. Many people hang everything on their walls at pretty much the same height. This pretty much allows these items to get lost on the walls. Take paintings, mirrors and other wall decorations and hang them at different heights. This will keep the pieces visible and will give rooms a little spice.
8. Decorate in odd numbers. When you are decorating a side table, for example, place an odd number of objects on it. Most side tables will neatly accommodate three to five pieces. These pieces should be of different heights and shapes. For example, a short stack of books, a wide and shallow bowl, a picture frame or two that are different and a tall vase can be the perfect combination.
About the Author: Jennifer D’Angelo is a real estate professional who lives and works in the Chicagoland area. Check out Right Residential's site for more information about Jen’s work.