How to Decorate Your Home for an Open House
Long gone are the days of simple home selling. Today, the expectations of both home buyers and sellers have changed, although not in the most general sense. Sellers still expect to get the most money for their property, and buyers expect to get the best property for their money. The battleground is often set during the house viewing where these expectations can meet.
To decorate your home for an open house may imply camouflaging any disadvantages. However, there is nothing deceptive here. Every sincerely interested buyer will ask for a home inspection to get acquainted with the state of the house. Home staging is basically visual merchandising. Out of several products of the same or closely the same quality, the buyer will choose the most attractive one. Your job becomes making your home most appealing and memorable to a majority of potential buyers. Think along these lines: try to design a cozy home with modern decor because this is what sells a house today, and for top dollar.
When less is more
Would it surprise you that you might need to remove some home decorations to stage your home for an open house? This trend is tightly connected with the current buyers' demographics. Specifically, millennials are not the only age group out there looking for homes. Younger generations have a growing interest in becoming homeowners soon, and for them, home staging goes through a few adaptations. This often implies a simple, almost minimalistic approach to open house decor. What does this mean in practice?
You become cool when you're not trying to be cool. The same goes for home staging. Your home is staged well when it doesn't look staged. However, certain rules make the essence of every successful open house. They involve:
● Making the house spotlessly clean
● Removing excess furniture
● Storing away personal belongings
● Decorating with measure
The home staging industry is continually changing, but the differences are becoming more evident. As baby boomers retire and millennials crowd the real estate market, it became obvious that priorities have changed. Valuing experiences over the materials used is shifting new homebuyers' focus toward eco-friendly, sustainable, natural, and balanced homes. Oversized homes are deemed wasteful and replaced by those that allow just the right amount of comfort. The -less is more- appeals to home buyers of today, and you should follow the same principle when you decorate your home for an open house.
Cleaning doesn't have an alternative, but the traditional scents do
Decluttering, disposing of excess, and cleaning are priorities. A powerful adage has never been more relevant: a clean room - balanced life. However, the smell of cleaning products doesn't speak to modern-day potential buyers the way it did to their parents. A sparkling clean home is critical for a successful open house, but the appeal of scents has changed. Once, freshly baked cookies were a synonym for a cozy home atmosphere. However, the new demographic isn't looking for a cozy grandma's home but a simple, modern, low-maintenance house.
If you wish to decorate your home for an open house and intrigue the younger buyers, then shroud it in citrus scents. The fresh fragrances of lemon and grapefruit most appeal to millennials and Gen Zers. A few drops of essential oil in a spray diffuser will do the job. The point is, as always, not in masking but enhancing. And nothing intensifies a sense of cleanliness as much as citruses.
You should clean your home thoroughly the first time and then repeatedly refresh it before each open house. This is greatly important if you own pets, smoke, or cook foods with a strong odor. However, artificial scents, and even citrusy ones, raise suspicion among viewers, so try not to overdo it.
A simple way to decorate your home for an open house is to keep it - simple
Most home buyers are looking for a home that is easy to clean, maintain, and enjoy. Typically, decluttering and getting rid of junk is the first step before any cleaning on your part can happen. Removing heavy furniture will not only help you declutter the space, make the room seem bigger, and make cleaning more manageable, but will also allow the visitors to fill in the space with their favorite belongings. Once again, the essence of staging is to tickle the buyer's imagination, show off the potential of the property, and not impose the current owner's sense of style.
There is a thin line between an expertly staged home and the one that looks staged. Whenever you're in doubt, don't hesitate to ask professionals for help. After all, home staging has emerged as a lucrative profession. It doesn't surprise that staged homes help their owners get more money and sell faster. However, if it were that easy, there would be many more professional staging experts. The effort is in following current trends in real estate and interior design and comparing them to the interests of the homebuying population.
Most of the time, it means clearing the space to the point when basic features come into the spotlight. In other words, don't invest in new rugs but polish the hardwood floors. Don't overstuff the kitchen counter with a cookbook and utensils; people know what it serves for. Besides, it would make it look used, and that's the last impression you want to inspire. Instead, decorate it with an artful vase and a few fresh flowers under a modern but simple ceiling lamp.
Remove personal, bring in practical aesthetics
If you are new to home staging, asking yourself what you'd like to see during an open house may not be a good idea. This is because you're offering your home to people who may not share your sense of aesthetics, your affiliations, passions, or your political or religious views. The best course of action is to remove personal belongings from your home for the duration of viewing. Keep things you need daily, such as cosmetics, cleverly covered in an unassuming laundry basket.
When we speak about modern practical aesthetics, we think about lighting. Replacing old fixtures with modern lighting is the most cost-efficient way to upgrade and decorate your home for an open house and appeal to many. Nothing makes the home more stylish and contemporary than well-chosen lighting installations. It is the practical aspect of lighting that, apart from the psychological perspective, makes it so attractive. No homebuyer ever has complained that there are too many lighting fixtures in the house.