More and more people are flocking to the San Francisco Peninsula to plant roots and make a new home. But let’s be honest: when it comes to putting your house on the market in the area, your home has to stand out among the competition. Between the new homes being erected every day and dozens of other beautiful homes for sale, there are a lot of options out there for potential homebuyers. Luckily, we know a thing or two about staging homes and making them as lovable and presentable as possible. By choosing to utilize these tips while preparing your home for viewing, your property is bound to show up at the top of potential homebuyers’ wish lists.
The very first rule of staging a home is to declutter. Donate any extra trinkets or clothing, put away all of your valuables, clear your countertops and tabletops, and don’t leave unnecessary items lying around. Your biggest goal should be to clear up as much space as possible in your home in order to make everything look clean, open, and welcoming. One popular method as of late is the KonMari method, created by Marie Kondo. It is a system used to simplify and organize your home by getting rid of physical items. This is also great motivation to help you get ahead on the moving process, so there are fewer boxes to pack for you and your family!
Almost as important as decluttering but a little less obvious: consider getting rid of any large furniture. It doesn’t matter if you have seemingly endless square footage or a legitimately limited amount of space, the worst thing you can do is leave room for potential homebuyers to think of your spot as small and cramped. Go minimal. If you have two couches in the living space, consider removing one. If your coffee table takes up the entire family room, think about taking it out of the picture. When you remove hefty furniture pieces and bulky items, it opens up the space and makes it look bigger. And yes, bigger is better. Less is definitely more when it comes to staging.
Now is the time to get creative! Don’t be afraid of change; consider rearranging your remaining furniture to widen the room even more. If your bed has been in a diagonal position, try pushing it against the wall or near a window. Move dressers, bookshelves, desks, chairs, tables, sofas, appliances, nightstands, and other furniture pieces. You don’t have to change which rooms these items are in (although you could), but you can refresh the space to give it new energy (and as always, more space).
Cozy, comfortable, and warm. This is what most people are looking for in a space when they are on the search for a new place to live. When you color coordinate between your furniture and your decor, you tie the look of a room together so the area seems organized, intentional, and neat. Rather than organize the books on your bookshelf by author or title, you can group them by color to add a nice pop to any room. You can do the same with your closet: grays with grays, reds with reds, yellows with yellows, and so on. For larger areas, try having your furniture pieces coordinate with one another as well as with the decor on the walls (e.g. paintings and photos) and accessories on shelves (e.g. lamps and trinkets). Another great idea in any space — whether it’s the bedroom or the living room — is to add a bold and exciting splash of color with decorative throw pillows. To take it a step further, you can even coordinate the look of other small nooks in your home not just by color, but also by size. Remember, each color conveys a different emotion and meaning, so choose wisely!
Another well-kept secret is regarding light. As humans, we are drawn to anything that emits a warm glow and sets a cozy tone. Add lamps throughout the house and be sure to turn them on for a comfy atmosphere during all showings. For daytime showings, be sure to open your blinds and shades and let the natural light shine in. The most magical lighting tip of all, though, is to use mirrors to your advantage. Mirrors are known to make rooms feel bigger and brighter. Not only do mirrors trick our brains into believing a room is larger than it actually is, but it also adds a nice texture and layering effect to any plain wall that needs some sprucing up. It’s a breath of fresh air — visually.
We’ve covered the main spaces, but what about the small, seemingly invaluable places in your home? It only takes one forgotten nook to give someone a sour taste in their mouth during a house tour or showing. Nothing is off-limits when people are considering your house as their future home. Dust your mantle, the corners of all your shelves, and television stands. Organize under your kitchen and bathroom sinks with baskets or bins. Sweep and label your laundry area with a cute sign. Get rid of old items or linings in your kitchen cabinets. Make every pantry and closet area (even the hallway ones) seem straight out of a home magazine. No space should be forgotten.
The main key to staging your home is accepting that this will no longer be your home or space any longer. Put away any pictures of you and your family that are hanging or lying around the house. Notes and drawings on the fridge can be put in boxes that will go with you to your next dwelling. A good question to ask yourself is this one: “Is this what I would like to see when I walk into my future home?” If the answer is no, take it down, put it somewhere safe, or save it for your next home-sweet-home.
This is possibly the most fun part of staging your home for viewing. Like a movie, you want to set a scene. How do you want potential homebuyers to feel when they walk into your home? If it’s a morning or afternoon showing, place a pair of your best mugs and a good read on the coffee table as if you are preparing for your morning coffee on an easy, breezy weekend after sleeping in. If it’s an evening viewing, consider setting the dinner table with a few wine glasses and your finest china, as if you are about to have friends over for a little dinner soiree. If you’re feeling up to it, crank on the fireplace to really set the mood for a romantic evening. Turn on some light jazz tunes around the house. The more possibilities your viewers can see or imagine for themselves in your home, the more memorable your place will be. You want your visitors to think, “I can see myself living here.” This feeling can easily be generated right off the bat when they enter your home and see the beauty and coordination of your living spaces. All viewers want is to see themselves where you are.
If you are looking to make the move to the San Francisco area for the first time or are seeking a new location or beloved neighborhood, consider contacting us today. We would love to assist you in finding homes for sale in Millbrae, Belmont, Redwood City, San Carlos or San Mateo. To explore more fun activities and interesting things to do in the SF peninsula area, you can take a look at our blog. To see more real estate insights, tips, and tricks, check out our videos here.