Find a Happy Middle with Staging

We’ve had several posts here on how to stage your home and the do’s and don’ts of preparing your house for buyers. One of the key rules is to clear out your personal stuff, clutter and other objects that might make it hard for the buyers to see this as their new home. But, you have to be careful following this advice or you might end up showing a bland, white box with no personality to your potential buyers.

Extremes can be powerful things. If you LOVE red and paint your whole house in various shades of it, you’re basically going to need another die hard red lover to buy your house. Maybe someone else will see through your color obsession and be willing to paint, but they are most likely going to factor that into their offer (if they place one at all). That is why sometimes finding the middle ground is often the way to go when you’re trying to appeal to a broad audience. You want to cast the widest net possible and allow the most people available to love your house and see it as potentially their own.

Here are some ways to find the middle ground in your staging and get multiple offers coming in. According to an article on Better Homes and, the look you want to achieve for your staged home is “new neutral”. Let’s touch on what this means and how you can achieve it.

Personal – Not Busy

The first tip to achieving “new neutral” is to make sure your home is “finished but not fussy.” Think of your house like an upscale, boutique hotel. You want it to feel comfortable and filled with carefully chosen, high quality accents. You don’t want them to be stark and completely devoid of personality. No one wants to move into an institutional looking house.

You need your home to look lived in but not messy or cluttered. The buyers have to see your house as their potential future home. If not, they will move on to the next one. So, there has to be some warmth and personality, you just don’t want to drown them in it. Here’s how you can achieve this:

  • Have light and modern window coverings
  • Arrange furniture so rooms look and feel bigger
  • Create a nice conversational area in the living room
  • Have good reading lamps next to the beds
  • Put high quality towels in the bathroom

Ditch the White

Yes, extreme colors can turn off a buyer faster than you can say “neon pink”. But that doesn’t mean you need to cover everything with white. Despite what you might think, white is not the best color to paint walls. Here’s why white sucks for staging:

  1. White shows off dirt and defects (cracks, uneven walls) a lot easier than other colors
  2. White walls are harsh on the idea and don’t compliment much in your house
  3. White walls are unflattering and can highlight the negative aspects of your home

So, instead of white, you need to go with something like beige. It’s soothing and pretty popular amongst most buyers. It is also very versatile and comes in a variety of shades to meet anyone’s stylistic needs.

Sterile is Not Good

Don’t take everything out of your home that makes it look like someone lives there. You don’t want it to be a desert waste land of personality and style. That will not encourage people to buy. Remove excessive style elements that may not appeal to a wide audience. But if you want to keep one or two things around to give a nod to your love of Victorian sewing machines, go nuts.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll find the middle road of staging in no time at all.