Staging Tips: Why Blank Canvas Sells for Top Dollar


Advice for Preparing Your Home to Be Viewed by Potential Buyers

When preparing your home for sale, there undoubtedly will be a lot of things on your mind. How do you dress your home to attract the most potential buyers, and how can you ensure your home sells for the desired price? One surefire way to optimize the sale of your house for top dollar is to have it staged. Talk with your real estate agent about staging your home for viewings, whether they are in person or by a virtual tour.
The most common mistake sellers make is assuming that their particular interior design style will appeal to all buyers. In reality, this can hamper your ability to make a sale. You may love your colorful walls, modern sectionals, and unique kitchen accessories, but personalized design tastes can diminish a prospective buyer’s opinion of the home. As they walk through the house, they’ll be picturing themselves living in the space, decorating with their beloved furniture and favorite decor. This can be hard to do in a living space that’s too heavily influenced by its current resident.
While creating a blank canvas may seem like a daunting task, it is hugely beneficial to you, the seller. A simple interior design will help your home sell much faster and more efficiently and guarantee you a greater financial return. Read on to learn more about how to stage your home as a blank canvas.

1. Return to Whites and Neutrals

As you revert your home into its original blank canvas, consider touching up the walls with a fresh coat of paint. Maybe your kids loved their hot pink playroom, or you were attached to the floral wallpaper in the master bedroom, but there’s a good chance the vast majority of homebuyers don’t share these personal tastes. If they’re touring a space with pristine white walls, they will be able to picture the many ways in which they could customize the home to fit their needs. For example, they might want to paint a room to serve as a baby’s nursery, hang favorite art pieces on the living room wall, or add some new bedroom furniture. A blank canvas helps them envision these improvements and changes easily.
There are plenty of reasons why it makes sense to paint your home’s interior a lighter color, like cream, off-white, or even tan. These light tones brighten up a room, making the space feel more inviting and comfortable. Everyone craves natural light!

2. Brighten it Up

Another major component of the blank slate design? Lots and lots of light. Brighten up the space as much as you can by pulling back the curtains and raising the blinds. Play up your home’s natural light so potential homebuyers will feel right at home!
If some rooms don’t receive as much natural light, leave the lights switched on. This is important for safety as well as aesthetics since you want to avoid having people fumbling for switches in the dark or struggling to find their way around. Make sure your kitchen is well lit so buyers can examine the countertops and appliances in detail. Kitchen counters should be clear of extraneous items like toasters, blenders, and yes, even your favorite coffeemaker!
This will allow the buyer to see themselves using the kitchen for their own morning routines while also making the room look much more spacious. The same is true of bathrooms. Hairdryers, extra towels, and other nonessential accessories should be neatly stored, and the shower curtain should be in a neutral color or pattern.

3. Remove All Personal Traces

Over the years, families typically fill their home with personalized details: family photos hanging in the hallway, kids’ artwork displayed proudly on the fridge, favorite sports paraphernalia on the bookshelves. These items are meaningful to your family but are distracting to prospective buyers. During their open house or tour, they try to imagine themselves living in the home, which is harder to do when surrounded by someone else’s personal effects.
So how can you get those personal details out of the way and enhance your blank canvas? Remove any framed photographs of friends and family, clear knickknacks from dressers and bookshelves, and keep the bathroom clear of personal items like toothbrushes or contact lens solution. Once the space is clear and clean, potential buyers will be able to imagine themselves stepping into the role of the homeowner.

4. Keep Everything Simple and Clean

When your home has been cleared to create the perfect blank canvas, it needs to be absolutely clean as possible. Without extra furniture or decor in the way, prospective homebuyers will be able to see every nook and cranny, so make sure the space shines. Besides typical cleaning tasks, such as vacuuming and scrubbing the sink and bathtub, you’ll need to do a major deep cleaning.
Check all the small spots you might typically overlook, from dusty window blinds to dirty ceiling corners to behind the toilet or sink. Clean countertops and the fridge to keep them free of fingerprints, unclog sink drains, and consider getting the carpets steam-cleaned to eliminate any lingering odors you might not notice daily.

5. Make a Great First Impression

Potential buyers will be evaluating your home from the moment they set foot on the property. So, don’t neglect your house’s exterior. Keep the lawn neatly mowed, weed any walkways, so things don’t look overgrown with plant life, and spruce up any small details, whether that’s adding a fresh coat of paint to the front door or adding new flowers to the window boxes. If you have the time and resources to make some bigger improvements, power wash the outside of your house and keep the porch clean, neat, and free of cluttered furniture.
During the holiday season, take down any decorations, like wreaths and reindeer, to keep the area looking as clean and neutral as possible. When photos are taken for your home’s listing, holiday decorations can make the photos look dated. Make sure all walkways and driveways are well lit, especially around front stairs or porches, to ensure everyone can enter safely.

6. Create a Pleasant Atmosphere

Prospective homebuyers should feel welcomed from the second they step through the front door. If your property has a backyard, the lawn should be mowed regularly. Make room for buyers to envision themselves creating a stunning poolside patio, stringing up a hammock between trees, or setting up a playground for their kids to enjoy. Remove all clutter, grills, and patio furniture, if possible. The blank canvas should extend to the outdoor areas as well.
As for the inside of your house, it should feel cozy and inviting. If you’ve removed furniture to create the blank canvas look, the rooms could get chillier than usual, so set the thermostat at a comfortable temperature. After you’ve cleaned, empty all trash cans and let some fresh air in by opening some windows earlier in the day. The last thing you want is for the home to carry an unpleasant smell. Think about adding fragrant plug-ins to high-traffic areas, like the kitchen or living room, preferably in scents that are not overwhelming. Vanilla and citrus are always popular choices. A famous real estate trick is to bake delicious-smelling cookies or apple pie ahead of an open house to fill the rooms with a lovely scent, or you can grind half a lemon in the garbage disposal.
It is imperative that bathrooms feel clean and smell fresh. Don’t overdo it by adding too many items to the small space, but you can add nice-smelling hand soaps, lotions, and a dry, soft hand towel for visitors’ convenience. Citrus can be another great choice here, or you may gravitate toward something calming, such as lavender, chamomile, or jasmine.
Are you looking for the perfect San Francisco luxury home? Contact Brendan Callahan today! Known for his years of outstanding experience and incredible knowledge of the Silicon Valley luxury real estate market, Brendan Callahan will be happy to guide you as you search for houses for sale in San Francisco.

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