Spring is in full bloom and that means summer is just around the corner. If you have clients who are planning to list their houses in June or July and need some help with staging them, now is the time to start planning. How can you set the mood so that prospective buyers will be enticed by that home? If your clients don’t have a huge budget for staging, there are some fairly inexpensive ways to give the house an inviting summer feeling.
Ceiling Fans For Hot, Humid Days
In the past, ceiling fans sometimes got the thumbs down from designers. But today’s models offer such a variety of attractive fans that it may be time to think again. A sleek and stylish ceiling fan can be an accent piece while it delivers cool air to the bedroom or living room. Or try putting a fan in a large open area like a big hallway. A house that feels hot and airless will not entice many buyers, so a couple of handsome ceiling fans could be a wise investment.
Summertime and the Living is Easy
Probably the no. 1 piece of staging advice that real estate agents give their clients is to remove clutter from their homes, leaving it looking airy and spacious so that potential buyers can imagine their own stuff in that space. While that’s quite true, a few carefully arranged items can prompt the viewer to imagine how much fun they could enjoy living on that property. Try out the effect of a tennis racquet or a picnic basket left in the hall or entranceway. Hanging a colorful, inexpensive hammock between two trees in the garden can conjure up memories of lazy summer afternoons reading. And if the house you’re showing has a pool, place neatly folded towels over a couple of lounge chairs and put out a pitcher and glasses to create a sweet summer vision.
Perk Up the Porch
If the house has a porch, it may be the first thing that people see when touring a home. You want them to imagine sitting out there with a glass of iced tea on warm June evenings. Advise your clients that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to give the porch a fresh, beckoning look. Install some flowers in hanging baskets to add greenery and color. Flowers in planters or window boxes can be placed on the porch steps or inside the porch. If there are areas of the porch that don’t get much sun, use some shade-tolerant species like hosta plants or ferns. If the porch furniture consists of a couple of battered beach chairs and a rickety card table, tactfully suggest that it needs a little upgrading. Wicker furniture is a traditional choice, but it works better if the porch is enclosed. Synthetic wicker furniture (usually made with resin) is a weather-resistant alternative that could suit your client’s budget. Use colorful, outdoor fabrics for pillows and throws often available on sale at big-box warehouses. To add extra charm, look for an accent piece like wind chimes, a birdcage or a whimsical garden statue. Yard sales and garden centers are often good sources for inexpensive decorative items. And if your clients have decided to add ceiling fans inside the house, suggest a ceiling fan on the porch as well, so that it will stay cool and airy on the hottest days.
Create an Outdoor Dining Area
Even if your clients’ house doesn’t have a porch, deck or patio on which to carry out the theme of outdoor living, don’t give up on the idea. It’s easy to create a dining area in the backyard or garden. You just need a table, chairs, a few pretty table decorations, and perhaps an umbrella for shade. For a larger table you can create a dining canopy with four bamboo poles and a length of fabric arranged over them to make a sunshade. Be sure to set the table with napkins, place mats, and dishes in pretty colorful shades, and add some flowers from the garden. Or try an accent centerpiece, like some votive candles floating in a bowl. Now potential buyers viewing the house will be able to imagine the luxury of meals outdoors as peaceful summer afternoons turn into evenings. And the outdoor dining area can be quickly dismantled and brought indoors once the open house is over.
Are you going to stage any houses this summer? Share your experiences in a BizPals status update!