By Candis Meredith
As much as I tend to fall in love with our restoration houses while we’re working on them, the real reward comes when the perfect buyer walks in and sees their new (to them) home. Watching the look in these people’s eyes as they take in all of the work we’ve done and they imagine themselves living in this beautiful and historic home makes me so happy I could burst. Of course, if you want people to really appreciate the work you put in and see themselves living in an amazing old house, you can’t just leave it empty. You have to do some staging to give their imaginations a little boost.
Work With Professional Stagers
Unless you want to strip your own home or spend a ton of time picking out rental furniture and décor, your best bet is to find a good home stager to work with. They’ll have all of the furniture, rugs, and little details that set the stage for buyers to come in and fall in love.
That said, I want to put the emphasis on the words work with in this situation. You don’t have to just let your stagers come in and deck out every room the way they think it should be furnished and decorated. Instead, think about which rooms should be staged and how, and then communicate with your stagers about the style and level of staging you want in each area of the house.
Choose the Rooms You Want to Stage
What are the most important rooms when you’re selling a house? If you’ve been around the real estate business for any time at all, you already know that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. You also know that first impressions can make or break any deal. So, even if you’re not going to stage any other room in the house, you really have to stage the front foyer or living room, the kitchen and/or dining room, and the bathroom(s).
Typically, you don’t have to worry about staging most of the bedrooms, but if you have a really impressive master suite, and you’re going to be staging the bathroom anyway, it can’t hurt to give the master bedroom some attention.
You Don’t Have to Go With Historic Furniture and Wall Hangings
Now, here’s the thing about selling a restoration. Yes, you worked hard to keep it as authentic as possible (with the exception of some modern creature comforts like climate control and kitchen appliances), but your buyers are probably not going to be coming in with museum pieces for their living room set. So, to help buyers see themselves living in your house, work with your stagers on bringing in more modern furniture that will complement the style of the house without scaring buyers into thinking that they’re going to have to buy all new furniture to live in this place.
You’ll also want to show off any updates you’ve made to the wiring of the house (or show that you’ve added electrical wiring), so don’t skimp on lamps and other light fixtures. You might even want to stage a flat screen TV in the family room to show that your restoration really does work for modern living.
Finally, if you’re at a loss for what to do with a room, don’t hesitate to ask your stagers what they’d do with it. They’re pros, and they turn all kinds of empty houses into inviting homes with just enough personality to make people want to buy them. They’ll be able to help you with the perfect setup to make your buyers fall in love with your gorgeous restoration.