for saleIf your house is up for sale, then it’s probably your mission to sell your home quickly and for the highest dollar amount possible. These days, buyers are extremely savvy and have very discriminating tastes. Therefore, it’s crucial that sellers find ways to make their property appealing to buyers at first glance. This is when staging your home can be very helpful. But what exactly is staging? I decided to get the facts from Roslyn Ashford of ra reDoes rooms, inc., based in the Washington, DC area (where the housing market is booming!).

“Staging sets up the home so that potential buyers will walk into the home and positively respond to the rooms and settings, and see themselves easily in the home,” Roslyn explains. She goes on to say that 87% of people can’t visualize their things in someone else’s home. “It’s important to de-personalize the house to make it easier for prospective buyers to see themselves in the space,” she says.

That could mean un-doing a well thought out design or re-painting a room that was perfect for you, but could be a total turn-off to buyers. Ouch. As homeowners, we take pride in our belongings and color choices. These things hold sentimental value and conjure up memories of special times. Here’s the thing. You don’t want to risk the chance of having your home linger on the market because you couldn’t put your personal feelings aside. Remember. The goal is to sell quickly and for the highest dollar amount. So, let’s focus on color for a minute. I asked Roslyn a few questions that resulted in great information that every home seller should know:

What is the best approach when a homeowner has used several paint colors throughout the house?  Should they re-paint or sell as is?

Roslyn: Unless the homeowner has painted within the past year, they should re-paint.  New paint just gives everything a fresh look and feel.  Using several colors throughout the house is fine, as long as they complement each other and the overall integrity of the house.  Buyers are more accepting of colors these days but color preferences are geographic – what works in Charleston, SC may not work in New England.

via flickr
via flickr

Which neutral makes a home the most buyer-friendly — beige, white, off-white or gray?

Roslyn: It totally depends upon the style of the house AND the amount of natural light. If the house is more traditional with a lot of trim and molding, a little color on the walls really emphasizes these details. So, deeper beiges, creams or grays could work well. If the house is more contemporary with large rooms and open spaces, off-white and soft grey might work better here. Keep in mind that kitchens and baths have their own built-in furniture, so having color in these spaces may help the room feel finished.

colors from practical beige, alpaca, indian white and dover white

Are there any other colors besides neutrals that work for home staging?

Roslyn: There is something about soft yellow that has consistently been an effective color in selling homes. Typically this works the best in common spaces like living/family rooms and dining rooms.

from sherwin-williams: vital yellow, full moon, lantern light and lilly
from vital yellow, full moon, lantern light and lilly


via flickr
via flickr

Are there any colors that should be avoided?

Roslyn: Any colors that evoke a strong emotion should be avoided. Pink (in any shade), deep lavender and lime green are some examples.

All great advice. Also, keep in mind the other important aspects of home staging:

  • Edit down your furniture. The furnishings you remove can be put in storage or given to a reputable charity, such as Goodwill.
  • Remove personal photographs
  • Pare down layered window treatments (to maximize natural light)
  • Get your carpets professionally cleaned

contract sealed

Good luck selling your home!

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