STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — As the real estate market in the New York metro area continues to heat up, with a national report at the end of last year predicting that sellers who have owned their home for awhile will likely walk away from a transaction with a healthy amount of cash in 2022, some homeowners may be considering a move.
“2022 will be very competitive as home sales hit a 16-year high and trends like workplace flexibility enable more homebuyer success,” noted an annual housing forecast released in December by Realtor.com.
Sandy Krueger, president and CEO of the Staten Island Board of Realtors, told the Advance/SILive.com at the time that he predicts “a wealth of factors” affecting the local real estate space this year.
“I think 2022 will be a time for real estate professionals to show their worth in helping consumers weigh the options and opportunities in the housing space,” he said, adding that many homeowners have capital sitting in their home, “the value of which has skyrocketed over the last few years.”
So for those who are getting ready to cash in on the current real estate market, data journalism website Stacker researched the best ways for staging a home for sale using information from Fund That Flip, which compiled tips from movers, real estate agents and home improvement experts.
Below are 10 economical ways to stage a home for sale, according to Stacker’s analysis.
1. Use neutral colors. Buyers want to be able to see the homes they tour as their own — they don’t want to picture the home as someone else’s space. As homeowners prep their home to go on the market, they should pick up some neutral paint to cover any accent walls or unusual colors. Light taupes, grays, or off-whites are the optimal colors.
2. Highlight storage space. Most buyers will consider a home’s storage space as part of the decision process. Buyers want enough space to store clothes, shoes, food, holiday decorations and more. Sellers should showcase the closets and drawers by placing folded clothing neatly in baskets or bins, using shoe racks and organizing linen closets.
3. Bake cookies. Buyers want to be able to picture themselves living in a house — they want it to feel like home. And what gives a home more of that warm, inviting feel than a plate of just-baked cookies? The smell of freshly baked cookies or a loaf of warm bread can be extremely enticing to buyers. Baking cookies shortly before a showing — and placing them out on the counter with a note for visitors to help themselves — can set your home apart from the others on the market.
4. Avoid showing too much personal taste. Staging a home with items that cater to a specific personal taste isn’t going to appeal to all buyers, and in some cases, can be a big turnoff. That’s why it’s important to depersonalize a space as much as possible before listing a home. Don’t opt for kitschy decor, flower-covered wallpaper, or personal photos when staging a home.
5. Use mirrors to make small rooms look larger. Small spaces in a home don’t have to feel small — sellers just need a few mirrors to create the illusion that they’re larger than they appear. Adding mirrors to an enclosed space like a bedroom or hallway will instantly make it appear larger than it actually is — which will appeal to buyers. Strategically place a mirror near windows to bring more reflective natural light into the room, which will illuminate dark spaces. Adding more mirrors to a small bathroom can also help to enlarge it, which can be a handy trick to employ for half-bathrooms or bathrooms with limited space.
6. Use an air mattress to stage a bed. Empty bedrooms — or bedrooms being used as storage or play areas— aren’t generally appealing to buyers. To turn an empty room into a staged bedroom, purchase an inexpensive air mattress and prop it up on some boxes. Then simply cover the boxes with a bed skirt and then top the air mattress as you would any other bed — with a nice comforter and some pillows. Add some inexpensive end tables to the mix and some simple decor, and you’ll create a guest suite that’s bound to be a lot more appealing to buyers than a cluttered storage room.
7. Color coordinate half-empty closets. The best way to make closets more appealing is to leave them half full. That creates the illusion that the closets have more space than they actually do — and also makes it easier to organize them. After selecting some articles of clothing, display them by color. This type of neat, color-coordinated organization will help make your closets — or other spaces, like cabinets for cleaning supplies — more appealing.
8. Decorate with fresh flowers, plants, citrus. Adding fresh flowers and plants can be a great way to add color and give a welcoming vibe. Hang a wreath of fresh greens and flowers on the door, or strategically place vases with flowers throughout the home. Opt to add a bowl of fresh citrus fruits to the kitchen counter or tabletop to brighten up the room.
9. Use white towels in the bathrooms. Invest in clean, white towels that can create a spa atmosphere, which is precisely why hotels and day spas all use bright white towels and sheets. The same goes for shower curtains and bathmats. Avoid decorating a bathroom with darker colors, patterns, or light colors that have seen better days, and opt instead for creating a brighter, cleaner feel.
10. Don’t overlook the garage, basement and yard. It’s easy to focus on the main living areas of the house, but don’t neglect sprucing up spaces like the garage, basement, garden, walkway and outdoor stairs. Make sure gardens and outdoor areas don’t look overgrown, and remove old items like barbecue grills or patio furniture that have seen better days. To show off the space in a garage or basement, stack cardboard boxes and containers vertically to show how the space can be optimized for a buyer’s own storage needs. Plus, it will help these spaces to look more organized, which will be even more appealing.