A primary factor in positioning your home to sell is how it's prepared prior to listing. Well kept and immaculately conditioned properties regularly command the highest, most lucrative offers. 

Less than stellar houses often fare much worse. Even in a highly competitive market, discerning buyers are apprehensive about making bids on disheveled homes where owners neglected regular maintenance and upkeep.

For your property to stand out, impress buyers, and potentially even see its value rise requires a deft touch in preparation. To get the most from your luxury sale, let's examine design and staging tips to best showcase and sell your home.

Clean and declutter

The first steps in prepping your home for sale are often the most arduous - cleaning and decluttering. However, this early effort sets the stage for what's to follow. It provides a fresh start before the staging process and gives your property a feeling of newness that would-be buyers love.

For your luxury home, consider hiring a third-party cleaning service to ensure a deep cleansing of every room in the house.

Decluttering is a more personal endeavor and, at times, requires an owner to make tough decisions about what to keep, pack, or throw out in anticipation of a future move.

Focus on removing all personal pictures and family heirlooms. Pack away unnecessary items that take up space and don't serve an immediate purpose - extra blankets and pillows, for example. Spend additional time organizing closets and storage areas.

When cleaning and decluttering, the goal is to ensure the buyer can see the home as their own and not a house belonging to someone else.

Stage and design

Once you've cleaned and cleared the "lived-in" aspects of your home, it's ready to stage.

According to a report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 83% of buyer's agents said staging helped their clients envision a property as a future home. Another 44% stated staging increased their client's offer versus non-staged homes.

In other words, staging matters.

More than rearranging furniture, staging breathes new life into your home. It serves to accentuate the property's livability, show off flexible spaces and infuse the house with a newness regardless of its age.

Staging also serves to improve a home's online appeal. Pictures, videos, and virtual tours are vital to the success of a sale, considering more than 90% of home shoppers perform some portion of their search online. The more photogenic the property, the greater the chance for multiple lucrative offers. 

When staging, you don't have to showcase the entire home - the NAR report suggests the living room, master bedroom, and kitchen are absolute, must-stage areas. However, you'll want to show your home's versatility as well.

A den, office, or playroom are all worth staging to highlight a property's flexible living spaces. Converting an extra bedroom into one of the above or a home gym works too.

Basic staging characteristics:

  • Trade outdated or oversized furniture for smaller pieces with a more modern or contemporary look
  • Improve the home's traffic patterns and create a better flow through the rearranging of furniture
  • Increase light entering the home by removing dark heavy drapery in favor of lighter fabrics (or none at all)
  • Replace existing accessories with contemporary accent pieces and updated table or floor lamps

Advanced staging introduces a more substantial design element to the process. This may include:

  • Updating an interior's overall design with fresh paint (usually with a completely new color scheme), the addition of crown molding, or swapping out fixtures and hardware
  • Adding new light fixtures through the replacement of overhead lighting in the kitchen, dining, and living areas
  • Adding or removing art throughout the home
  • Changing linens, drapery, and area rugs for those that create a more unified appeal 

Your home will show larger at the end of the process, featuring a much brighter floor plan and a more uniform aesthetic. For those who choose to stage themselves, you can use much of what you already own - just follow the tips above. 

However, to ensure the best results for a multimillion-dollar sale, it is money well spent employing the service of a professional staging and design firm. Companies such as House Whisperers by Susan Tracy specialize in luxury home staging, with their efforts consistently earning sellers well over their asking price.

If you're ready to explore the best of Greenwich, New York or Boston real estate and need a trusted partner to help sell your current home and secure your next residence, contact Mia Watabe today. Look to Mia's years of experience and expertise to be your guide on your real estate journey.


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