Home staging creates a living space buyers will crave. If you want to sell your house, you have to make every room appeal to buyers. The most important room is the room where your family spends most of your time: the real “living room”—or family room, as some of us call it. (The kitchen and master bedroom are the other two most important rooms for buyers.)
First of all, find the focal point of your room. The focal point is that area or feature in the room that you want buyers to notice first. In the living space, it’s usually a fireplace, a set of windows with a terrific view, or another interesting architectural feature. The focal point is something related to the house, not your art or furniture. I find many sellers are surprised when I tell them the TV should NOT be the focal point of a living space. That’s because today, people want to see how to entertain in their homes, and entertaining means interacting, not TV watching. So, while sellers might feel a little inconvenienced while they’re showing their house, change the furniture placement so that anyone who walks in the room notices the focal point and not the television.
The second most important aspect of staging a room is to make sure there’s not too much in it. We tend to collect furniture, mementos, and decor over time, and we want to live with them and enjoy them. But buyers are planning to bring their own furniture, décor and mementos.
Surveys show that 90 percent of buyers can’t easily determine if their furniture will fit in a new house. So, take out all but the most essential furnishings in the living room. A few pieces of decor or wall art that go with the furnishings and don’t distract the eye from the focal point can help warm up a room.
Third, the most appealing houses are ones in which the traffic flow from room to room is open and unobstructed. Arrange your furniture so that it not only emphasizes the focal point but also create easy pathways to navigate a room.
Once you’ve arranged your furniture to highlight the focal point of a room and you’ve taken out the extraneous items in a room, step back and take a look. Does the room look spacious enough for people to see how to get around in it?
Finally, your living space should be as bright as possible. People don’t want to live in dungeons! If your walls are dark, paint them a light, neutral color. If you have heavy draperies, remove them. Open window blinds and pull them all the way up for showings. Move furniture that blocks windows, and trim back hedges and trees that impede the views from inside the house.