The art of home staging is about creating a memorable experience for prospective buyers. In a sense, it is like decorating for the holidays. Both efforts involve addressing our five senses – sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste. If your home is on the market this season, keep both concepts in mind! It is just a matter of intentionally decorating with a little more subtlety.
Subtle decorating is most obvious in relation to what people will see. For example, if you string holiday lights up outside, consider using a minimal amount of soft, sophisticated white lights instead of multicolored ones. Keep any other exterior decorations to a minimum. That’s right…inflatable Santa and Frosty the Snowman should stay stored away this year!
Inside the house, select one or two neutral colors to use across your interior holiday decorating. This will create an elegant ambiance, especially when combined with tasteful natural greenery.
However, keep your focus on selling the house, not the holiday; make sure that each room still has a visibly distinct purpose. Your home office or dining room should look like a home office or formal dining room when prospective buyers visit — not a chaotic gift-wrapping zone!
While people are taking in the visual beauty of your property, their scent receptors are already firing. Eliminate all traces of mustiness because of the connotation to mold and mildew.
In contrast, the smell of fresh pine and fir evoke festive memories for many people. If you have either of these on your property (or you have a live Christmas tree), consider clipping boughs to arrange in bowls or vases throughout your home. Keep these decorations tasteful and discreet; remember, your goal isn’t to decorate for the holidays, it’s to showcase your home in the best way possible when you just happen to be selling during the holidays.
Music is often one of the least-noticed but most meaningful experience builders. Consider playing music quietly throughout your house during a showing. Keep your playlist neutral using classical or soft jazz pieces during open houses.
If your budget permits, you may want to create a home music network using small wireless Bluetooth speakers. They can be placed inconspicuously on all levels of the home and synced together so that the type of music and volume level are controlled from a single source.
You also never know what visitors may touch, so use a variety of cloths and textures throughout your home. The holiday season is a great time to incorporate one or two velvet ribbons in decorating!
Meanwhile, practically speaking, keep surfaces dusted and break out the wood polish to help your hardwoods gleam, too.
This is probably the hardest sense to address because prospective buyers are not visiting for a meal — and sadly you don’t want to offer refreshments like coffee, tea or snacks because they could stain rugs or furniture and distract from the home-buying experience.
However…there’s one thing that you, the home-owner, can savor when you’ve handed the keys over to a happy new buyer: the delicious taste of victory!
Homeowners can still sell their homes during the holiday season — it simply involves taking a more subtle decorating approach that still evokes the five senses.
Contact home staging expert Nancy Safran at Show House Home Staging to ensure a balance when it comes to decorating while selling your home this holiday season!