MHM Professional Staging, LLC is lead by Megan Morris, CEO and founder. MHM Professional Staging is your one-stop source for all your real estate staging, home staging and design needs. Here you will find effective home staging ideas.
Statistics show that homes that are staged sell faster than ones that aren’t, especially when it comes to empty homes. Most buyers struggle to connect with empty homes because they feel cold and impersonal, and they also struggle to comprehend the scale of a room without furniture in it.
If you’re on a tight budget but still want to take advantage of the benefits of staging an empty home, soft staging is the answer. It has a similar effect on buyers as traditional home staging but with less of an investment. Read on for soft staging tips you can easily implement.
Budget-Friendly Home Staging Tips for Empty HomesCozy up the entryway
The entryway is the first impression buyers will get of the home, so it’s important that it makes a good one. Outside, put out a welcome mat by the front door and perhaps a couple of potted plants to bring some color to the area. Inside, hang a beautiful piece of art on the wall and place a small area rug on the floor to define the space.
Add warmth to the kitchen
We love to use apothecary jars in home staging because they are chic, classic, and versatile. They come in a variety of shapes in sizes and can be found for less than $20 at places like HomeGoods. For kitchen décor, fill them with dry goods such as beans, rice, and pasta. A bowl of fruit is another great way to bring a pop of color into the kitchen and make it feel more inviting.
Add touches of luxury to the bathrooms
Soft textiles go a long way in making a room feel warmer and more inviting. In a bathroom, hang up some beautiful bath towels on a rod if there is one. If not, drape a soft white towel over the bath tub and place a folded hand towel by the sink. A white robe on the door is another great touch. Apothecary jars also work great in bathrooms when they’re filled with items like soap, cotton balls or loofahs.
Bring attention to built-ins
If your home has any built-ins, you’ll want to draw buyers’ attention to them as they’re a great selling point. Place a few pieces of beautiful décor on the shelves just to add a touch of charm and help buyers notice them. Don’t go overboard – a few beautiful pieces will go a long way.
If you need some décor for built-in bookshelves, you don’t necessarily have to go out and buy brand new items. Some stuff you have lying around the house or find at a garage sale for a few dollars could do the trick if you update it with spray paint. You can get cans of spray paint for less than $5. An unattractive sculpture, for example, could be completely transformed with some white high gloss spray paint.
To give your home its best chance as selling fast and for top dollar, at least some degree of home staging will help you meet that goal. It’s been proven time and time again that most buyers respond more positively to staged homes than non-staged homes.
But how much staging does your home need? It can be hard to distinguish what you should spend time staging and what is okay to stay. Here are some tips to help you decide where your effort and money will be best invested.
Deciding How Much Home Staging Your Home NeedsPut yourself in a buyer’s shoes
When you place a property on the market, the focus is no longer on what you love and what makes you feel at home there. It’s all about the buyers. Searching for a home to buy is an exciting process, but it’s not without its pressures. Remember, buying a home is one of the largest purchases most people will ever make, so they want to get it right.
That’s why emotion often comes into play. If you can make the buyer feel at home as soon as they walk in, you’re that much closer to getting the amount you are hoping for and selling it fast. To do this, the home needs to be as neutral as possible so they can imagine their own décor in its place. Anything that reminds them that they are walking through a stranger’s home or turns them off it isn’t there taste will break that emotional connection you want to cultivate.
When you look at your home every day, it’s hard to see it objectively. That’s one of the reasons it is so beneficial to get the opinion of a real estate agent and professional home stager. Another helpful trick is to take photos of your home and then look at the photos. This gets us one step away from actually being in the home as we look at it, allowing us to see things the way a buyer would if the photo was on the MLS. It helps you see it from a more objective standpoint.
After taking the photos, study them carefully. What jumps out at you at first? Do the rooms appear small? Cluttered? Awkward or unbalanced? Do they grab your eye or are they just “blah”? Does that one accent wall with bright red wallpaper look even more dramatic and distracting than you thought?
Consider the market
While there are certain factors that are true regardless of what region you’re in, some areas have variables that you could take advantage of when staging your home for sale. For example, if you’re in a neighborhood near good schools that a lot of families move into, make sure the spare bedrooms are staged as bedrooms and stage a bonus room as a playroom or game room. However, if the market your home is in will likely be shown to a lot of bachelors, it would be better to stage it with that kind of buyer in mind, such as turning that bonus room into an entertaining area and one of the spare bedrooms into an office.
Talk to a professional
The best way to get an objective assessment of your home and a direct line to what your perfect buyer is looking for is to consult a professional. Professional stagers like us devote all of our time to understanding the market and what buyers respond to. We’ll be able to give you clear, personalized advice that will help your home stand out from the competition and sell faster for top dollar.
One of the most transformative elements in a kitchen is the backsplash. If a kitchen doesn’t have one or has an unappealing one, it affects the entire look of the space regardless of how beautiful the other elements are.
If you plan on selling your home in the near future, upgrading the backsplash is a great place to start to make your kitchen more appealing to buyers. It’s a quick, inexpensive component that will go a long way.
Not sure what backsplash to choose? Here are four options we recommend that are great for resale.
Backsplash Options for ResaleSubway Tile
Subway tile is the most classic, no-fail choice for a backsplash because it never goes out of style. Not only is it timeless, but its simple design assures that it will go with any kitchen style from traditional to contemporary and everything in between.
The most classic option is white subway tiles with white grout, but you can change it up with larger tiles, different colored tiles (including glass subway tiles), or a different grout color. It all depends on the style of the kitchen.
Glass tile has become very popular in recent years for its clean yet eye-catching look. It adds a bit of glamour to a space without being too flashy or feminine. There is a variety of modern glass tiles to choose from. They come in just about every color you can imagine, as well as different shapes and sizes, whether you want to do something bold and dramatic or elegant and neutral.
Mosaic tile backsplashes have been common in kitchen design for a while now because they bring a lot of character to the space. Typically, they are stacked, interlacing tiles in alternating sizes and colors. This look instantly provides some personality to a neutral kitchen with its charming variety. Even if you opt for a neutral mosaic, the different shades all working together create some beautiful visual interest that will instantly upgrade the look of the space.
One of the most budget-friendly, classic backsplash options if beadboard. It’s a great choice if you want to bring a warm, cottage-style feel to the kitchen. However, it’s clean and streamlined enough to suit a variety of kitchen designs. The only downside to beadboard is that you have to make sure it is sealed properly, as it’s not as durable or heat-resistant as tile.
Our Featured Staged Listing for July is different from any of the other homes we’ve featured so far because this month, we’re bringing you inside a stunning high-rise condo in Downtown Orlando. The home offers city living at its best. Floor-to-ceiling windows give you a captivating view of the city from every room while filling the entire home with natural light.
The open floor plan and high ceilings make the condo feel even more open and spacious. Even the bedrooms have floor-to-ceiling windows for the same views and natural light. All of the finishes are sleek and contemporary for the type of vibe any city lover can appreciate.
One of our favorite parts was the surprisingly spacious balcony with plenty of space for entertaining. The whole condo takes full advantage of the views and made clever use of the space, so you never feel tight or claustrophobic. How can you, though, with all those incredible windows?
It’s no hidden secret: most home buyers want plenty of space. If you have small bedrooms in your home, you may be worried that they won’t impress buyers, especially if one of them is the master bedroom.
Any bedroom can look appealing to buyers, even ones on the smaller side, if they are staged properly to maximize the space and show the potential in it. If you have a small bedroom you want to stage to look bigger, keep reading for some clever home staging tricks that will do the job.
Small Bedroom Staging TipsDeclutter
The first step is to declutter the whole space. Put away anything that doesn’t need to be there, especially on the surfaces. This includes décor and personal things like jewelry. While you may love a lot of beautiful décor on your dresser and end tables, we recommend editing it down while the house is on the market so there is less visual clutter. You may even want to remove a piece of furniture or two, such as an armchair or vanity, to clear up some visual space.
Let the light in
Light always makes a space feel larger, so if your bedroom has a window, make sure there is nothing blocking the natural light from coming in. Keep the window treatments like and airy. For a bedroom without sufficient natural light, make sure there is plenty of artificial lighting to fill each corner and brighten it up.
Decorate with mirrors and reflective surfaces
A trick to making any space feel larger is to incorporate mirrors into the décor. They bounce light and trick you into thinking there is more space than there actually is. Besides traditional mirrors, you can also use reflective surfaces to create a similar effect. Shiny surfaces, such as metallic décor, bounce light and help open up the space.
Use a smaller bed and lightweight furniture
In a small bedroom, the bed can swallow up the space if it is too big. While your home is on the market, consider swapping out the bed for something smaller if this is the case. A king or queen may dwarf the room while a full or twin makes it look balanced and comfortable.
Keep the bedding light and bright
Dark bedding will absorb light and make the space look smaller, so we always recommend staging a bed with light-colored bedding. Use just a few pillows to make it look comfortable and luxurious without visually cluttering the space and use a comforter with a streamlined cut. Big, fluffy comforters will make the bed look wider and therefore, make the room look smaller.
Storage space is key for most buyers when they are house hunting. Buyers will peek into closets and cabinets to see how much space is available and if it isn’t up to par with their expectations, it can be a huge strike against the listing.
Even if you have lots of cabinet and closet space, using it ineffectively can actually make those areas look smaller. There are tricks you can do to maximize this space so buyers walk away impressed rather than disappointed by what they saw.
Staging Tips for Closets and CabinetsClear out the clutter
Like in the rest of your home, the first step is to get rid of anything you don’t want or need. Go through every closet and cabinet in your home and pull out the items that are expired, no longer in good shape, or that you haven’t used in a long time. Create three piles: toss, donate and sell.
There may be some items you can recycle or that need to be disposed of in a certain way, such as medication or certain household cleaners. Check into the proper ways to get rid of them before simply tossing them.
Pack up what you don’t need
There may be some items that you do want to keep but don’t need to have around the house while it’s on the market, such as seasonal clothes, décor or dishware. To make space in the closet or cabinet, pack up these items and store them elsewhere, such as in a storage unit or under the bed. The less that is stored in these areas, the larger they will seem to buyers.
Organize by category
Once you’ve cleared out everything that doesn’t need to be there, it’s time to organize it. The easiest way to do this is to arrange it all by category. Not only does it make it look more appealing, but it also makes it easier to find what you’re looking for. In a closet, you can take it a step further by organizing the clothes by color, then by category.
Use attractive bins, baskets, and boxes
To corral small items, use pretty bins, baskets, and boxes. You can then label them to make it extra easy to find whatever you need. It also makes the closet or cabinet look a lot cleaner and more streamlined as opposed to a ton of items of different shapes, sizes, and colors crowding the shelves.
The space in a cabinet or closet can be optimized with shelving. For a cabinet, you can purchase small shelves you can insert and move around without any installation process. They make it a lot easier to organize things in a bathroom or kitchen cabinet, for example, to give you more vertical storage space.
As for a closet, such as a linen closet, consider installing some shelving if it doesn’t have any. This will make the closet appear to have a lot more storage space because buyers will look at all the shelf space rather than the small square footage of the closet itself.
While the summer is fun for a lot of reasons, the hot weather can be uncomfortable at times, especially if you are house hunting. Going from home to home can take a lot out of you. As a seller, you can help buyers feel more comfortable and make your home more appealing by doing a few extra, simple things that go a long way.
Follow these hot weather staging tips to help your home stand out from the crowd.
Hot Weather Staging TipsMake sure the AC set to a comfortable temperature
First and foremost, make sure your air conditioner is set to a cool, comfortable temperature. Keep in mind that they will be walking in from the heat, so it should be a little crisp inside to help them cool off, but not too cold that they end up shivering while touring the home. Turn on fans to help circulate the air, especially ones hanging in outdoor areas.
Offer snacks and water
Walking through different houses can be very tiring, especially in hot weather. Show you care by offering snacks and water to buyers to hydrate them and give them some energy. If a buyer is fatigued, they’re going to automatically be less enthusiastic about a home. They’re also going to miss certain details because they aren’t fully focused. By putting out some snacks for buyers, not only do you create a positive sense of home, but you also put them in a better mindset.
Put out cold towels
Another way you can go the extra mile is to put out some chilled hand towels they can use to help them cool off. This is especially great during an open house in the summer. Keep a basket nearby that they can toss them into when they’re done.
Create shade in the backyard
Make your outdoor area more enticing by offering plenty of shade. If there is no shade, buyers may shy away from checking it out. Make it as inviting as possible by keeping the area cool and refreshing.
Incorporate a water element
The sound of water has a calming effect and also gives us the feeling of being refreshed. Tap into a buyer’s subconscious by placing a fountain in your outdoor area and perhaps even one inside the home near the entryway. It doesn’t have to be large; a small fountain on a surface like a console table or hanging on the wall outside will create the feeling of an oasis that is a reprieve from the hot sun.
Having your home on the market can be a stressful time because you have to keep it in tip-top shape and be ready at any moment to have a buyer take a tour of it. It’s exactly not the most ideal time to host an overnight guest. However, sometimes circumstances don’t give you another option.
If you are in the middle of selling your home and find yourself hosting an overnight guest in the process, follow these tips to make the best of the situation.
Tips for Hosting Overnight Guests When Selling Your HomeBe honest with them
As soon as the plans are set for your overnight guest, have an honest conversation with them about the situation. Explain to them that in order to give your home its best chance on the market, your lifestyle at home will be a little different until it sells. This means keeping it clean and picked up at all times so you are ready for a showing at the drop of a hat.
Selling a home is a very important event, so your guest should be understanding and supportive. Set boundaries and let them know the importance of staging and cleanliness. Ask them to keep their quarters tidy in case potential buyers tour the home and decide what hours will be best for everyone to schedule showings while they are there. For example, if your guest isn’t an early riser, agree to only schedule showings after 10 am.
Offer them plenty of storage space
One way to help your guest keep their space tidy while they are staying over is to offer them plenty of storage space. By giving them drawers and closet space to store their things, they won’t be forced to leave stuff out and create clutter. If you need extra space, you could use containers that roll away under the bed or offer some of your drawer or closet space, depending on how long they will be there.
Keep things picked up
It’s always important to keep your home completely clutter-free and clean your home every day while it is on the market to give buyers the best impression of it. When you are entertaining guests, it’s easy for clutter to build up faster like board games, DVDs, and other activities. If you like to cook, your kitchen might be getting a lot of use, too. Stay on top of it and put things away after you use them.
Set flexible plans
When making plans with your guest, keep in mind that your home needs to be available for showings. If you have to put off a buyer for even a day or two, it could give them a chance to see another home and make an offer on it instead. Keep your plans as flexible as possible so can change them at a moment’s notice if a buyer suddenly wants to tour your home.
High ceilings are often sought-after by home buyers because of how large they make a space feel. However, while it’s wonderful for a space to feel so open, it’s nice to have a balance of coziness, too. It can seem downright impossible to achieve in a room with high ceilings, but it’s actually a lot easier than you may think.
Follow these simple decorating tips to make any room with high ceilings feel cozier and more inviting.
High Ceilings TipsPaint the ceiling
If you think of the ceiling as another blank canvas, a lot of possibilities open up. You can create a “wow” factor in a room by the ceiling alone, but even if you just want to do something subtle, painting the ceiling can help lower the ceiling for a sense of coziness while also highlighting the beauty of the tall ceilings. Go for a few shades lighter or darker than your walls for a subtle effect or a bold color for something more dramatic.
Do two-tone walls
Another way to pull the ceiling in closer is to do two-tone walls. One solid color lengthens while color blocking shortens. There are many options for two-tone walls such as doing one color on the top and another on the bottom, wallpaper on one half, or even opting for something textural like wainscoting or wood. This look also adds a lot of character to a space.
Accent with tall plants
Plants are wonderful to bring into your décor for a sense of life and warmth. They’re also great for tall ceilings. Strategically place tall, potted plants to fill up some of that empty air space and make it feel more inviting.
Warm up the windows with curtains
Curtains are another great way to bring some warmth to a space. The soft texture of the fabric will finish off your windows and draw your eye lower so the space feels more intimate.
Create intimate conversation areas
Avoid keeping the furniture far apart, as this will amplify how large and cavernous the room feels. Instead, pull the furniture in closer together and anchor it with an area rug. If the room is particularly large, create a few small conversation or activity areas with a natural traffic flow between them.
Use luxurious textures
Luxurious textures can always be counted on to bring comfort and coziness to a room. Instead of using a lot of cold, hard, shiny surfaces, incorporate things like wood, faux fur, and plenty of soft textiles.
If you love the fresh, charming mixture of white and wood in a home interior, then get excited about our Featured Staged listing for the month of June. This stunning estate was featured in Orlando’s 2018 Parade of Homes and we were honored to have the opportunity to stage it. It immediately takes your breath away as soon as you drive up with its Spanish-style architecture. Inside, the character continues through elements like rich wood beams and arches.
All of the walls are a crisp white, as are the kitchen cabinets, which allow the wood beams and matching trim work to stand out throughout the home. Wood is also a star in the master bathroom for a luxurious, spa-like appeal, and the bar in the bonus room that is perfect for entertaining. In fact, this whole house is set up to host some fantastic gatherings with its spacious, open floor plan.
Enjoy a tour of this stunning, unique Parade of Homes participant with the photos below.