First impressions sell homes, yet many homeowners are far from prepared when they invite potential buyers inside. We asked real estate agent Jim Meyer of Cutler Real Estate’s Meyer & Dial team and home-staging expert and real estate agent Colleen Lora of Colleen Lora Designs & Staging for advice, from must-do renovations and tips for staging furniture to perfecting home decor. “[Preparation] always costs less than the first price reduction,” Lora says.
“Some agents say you should take down photos, but you don’t want your home to look sterile,” Meyer says. “You want it to look warm and lived in. Leaving up art is fine as long as it’s not overwhelming.”
“Color is huge, and paint is the cheapest way to decorate. For years people thought they had to do beige. Neutral is important, but make sure it’s warm,” Lora says. “Gray has been very popular with a younger demographic.”
“The TV may be the focal point of your living room, but it won’t be for everyone,” Lora says. “Don’t set it up so that the focus is on a great big TV.”
“Float furniture away from the walls—lining a room with furniture just makes it look smaller,” Lora says. “Make little conversation groupings. They make a room look bigger and traffic flow better.”
“When it comes to furnishings, think about the home-buying demographics,” Lora says. “If you’re anticipating younger buyers, get rid of the flowered sofas. If you plan on buying new furniture [for your new home], do it now. Otherwise, consider renting furniture.”
“Go ahead and pack up things,” Meyer says. “If you’re going on the market in the spring, store your winter stuff. We’d rather have things packed up and thinned out.”