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Using Minimalist Design in Home Staging
Selling your home is a journey, not an event. For many, the home-selling journey involves some emotion, as they start to let go of their home, with all the memories it holds. The first step in selling your home, you might say, is the emotional step of letting go. This includes letting go of your personal tastes and decor.
When you are preparing your home for sale, you want to make room in your home for potential buyers to imagine the life that they will build in that home. Buyers need to have physical and visual space to see themselves at home. This is the time to consider minimalist home staging.
What is Minimalism?
Minimalism is quite the buzzword these days. I’m remembering funny commercials with scarcely furnished rooms and empty tables. That extreme caricature is not the essence of minimalism, but rather an advertisers attempt to make an impression.
Breaking it down to the most common elements, minimalism is more about a lifestyle than it is about particular rules. It’s more about being free from outer pressures to live more purposefully.
A minimalist mindset naturally leads to owning less stuff, to shedding unnecessary items in your living spaces. Whether or not you choose to live a minimalist lifestyle every day, minimalism certainly fits hand-in-glove with the concepts of home staging.
How Can You Incorporate Minimalism in Home Staging?
When staging a home for sale, the goal is to appeal to the widest segment of most likely buyers. A neutral canvas, while tasteful and current, will achieve that goal by turning up the universally desirable features, while scaling back the homeowner’s personal style. Would-be buyers will be much more able to envision themselves living in the spaces of the home.
This is where minimalism enters in. Minimalist home staging is really about editing. If your home is overflowing with family photos and personal mementos, with your own eccentricity, potential buyers will find it more difficult to think of it as their future home, not yours. Neutralizing your home means more than just colors (btw, neutral colors don’t have to be boring).
The first step in minimalist home staging is to start with a fresh, clean slate. First, de-clutter your spaces. Put non-essential things into storage. Think of it this way, hopefully, you’ll be moving very soon so you may as well start packing up your personal treasures!
While you are minimizing personal items, replace a small number of them with a few well-chosen art pieces. Make sure rooms are not cluttered and there is plenty of room to walk. Wherever you can, replace heavy, cumbersome pieces with lighter, more streamlined items. The visual sense will be more spacious and airy.
While you are editing your belongings, clear out seldom-used items from your closets, cabinets, and other storage places. Not only will you make those spaces look bigger, you’ll get a jump on packing.
First Impressions Rule the Day
Just as you prepare the inside of your home, remember that a welcoming outside is important as well. First impressions matter. Captivating curb appeal shows potential buyers that your home is well cared for, and gives them an idea of what is waiting inside.
Studies show that most homebuyers make up their minds about a home within the first 30 seconds. This means first impressions weigh heavily in the decision making process. A welcoming front entry, smart landscaping, a well-manicured lawn, and a neat and tidy entrance will create a winning first impression.
Breathing Life Into Your Space
When staging your home for sale, adding plants is an important element you should never submit to minimalism. People respond positively to natural, living elements. In addition to beauty, green plants are healthy. They clean the air.
Even if you have some fake plants scattered about, the effect is the same. People respond positively to faux natural beauty, too.
Here are five common houseplants that are easy to care for and add life to your home:
- Floral arrangements are easy to manage. You can even pick up a colorful bouquet at most grocery stores. The care is simply a matter of keeping fresh water in the vase every 3 or 4 days.
- Palms add a lot of greenery in a single space. They bring in a carefree, tropical vibe that is relaxing.
- Ferns are perfect for minimalist staging because they are light and airy and do well without a lot of sunlight. They are flexible in that they can reside on the floor, on a shelf or countertop, or they can be hung from a hook.
- Floor plants are a great minimalist addition. They fill up vertical space and draw the eyes upwards. This works well to show off a high ceiling, without putting holes in the wall!
- Succulents are very popular right now. They are low maintenance and bring in beautiful colors and shapes.
Home Staging and Real Estate Photography
In today’s online driven real estate world, 94% of home buyers are looking online for their dream home. Quality real estate photography is the bate that attracts these buyers to give your home a second look. Very often buyers will give a thumbs up or down when their buyers agent sends them possible listings to tour because of the photos. Great real estate photos make a home stand out in the market.
This is why minimalist home staging is critical when you want your photos to stand out. The camera doesn’t lie. You know how the camera adds ten pounds to your selfie? Well, clutter adds ten pounds to your home…multiplied by the number of cluttered rooms, of course.
The combination of minimalist home staging and professional photography is like a one-two punch. It will get your home a second look, which will get you actual showings, which lead to offers. You can’t get an offer on your home without showings.
Home Staging Takeaways
While most homeowners have spent their time in their homes decorating and filling the spaces with their favorite things, selling a home is a new stage of the homeownership journey. The home staging process is the perfect time to start considering your home as a product, rather than your nest. Previously, your home was the place of personal connections. Finding ways of keeping those memories, while de-personalizing your home will help you move along in the process and you’ll see the benefits when your home stands out in the market.
As much as you have loved your home, now it’s time to create an environment that appeals to your most likely buyer. It’s time to put on your editor’s hat. At its core, minimalism is not only about making that home feel light, airy, and expansive, it’s about creating a space for your buyers to envision their own lives and families there. It will be the perfect place for prospective buyers to build a big, long, happy life.
Recommended Reading on Home Staging:
- 15 Home Staging Rules My synopsis on what’s really important.
- As explained above, real estate photography is an important aspect of online marketing. In her article, Preparing for real estate photography, Eileen Anderson, real estate agent and photographer in central Connecticut, points out the importance of great real estate photography. She’s got helpful tips for every room in the house, including the gardens.
- 40+ Home Staging Tips! This is a super resource with the best home staging advice from three top home staging professionals. You’ll want to bookmark or Pin this post from Luke Skar, with Madison Mortgage Guys.
- Do you like to listen to podcasts? Paul Sian, Cinncinatti real estate agent, has an informative interview with home stager Jo Potvin, Owner of Design To Market Home Staging. You’ll find quick staging tips to help you position your home for a quick sale.
- Lastly, here’s a good infographic and explanation of the basics of home staging, Home Staging 101, from Danny Margagliano, Destin Florida real estate pro. For those of us who love information in pictures, this is a great Pinterest save!
Home staging, whether minimal or all encompassing, is an important part of real estate marketing. As internet marketing invades all aspects of business, real estate is a leading industry. Make sure your home selling journey has a great start with a well-staged home.
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Chris & Karen Highland
eXp Realty – 301-301-5119