You’re hoping to stage your city home, but there’s one small problem. The square footage. It’s far more challenging to attract buyers and finalize a deal when your living space is… “cozy.”
So how do you move past your limitations and make a big impact with a small home? What are the best ways to emphasize the most appealing features of your space? Here are five simple tips to guide you in the right direction.
1. Declutter and Conceal Personal Items
Over the course of ownership, you’ve made your house a home. You have your share of art, decor, knick-knacks and other assorted items in your living space, evidence that you’ve lived there. Instead of organizing and dusting these items, it’s better to take a minimalist approach and declutter wherever possible.
Real estate agents and professional stagers will often recommend this strategy, as a cluttered and overly-personalized room can take off 5 to 15% of your home’s value. When you set aside time to store your items, your home will feel more spacious and blank, larger than its size.
2. Clear Out Your Closets and Storage
Even a smaller city home has a few closets to show off. You may have fewer closets than you’d like, of course, but that’s nothing to worry over. It’s easy to leverage your existing storage space when you take a strategic approach, using one or two simple techniques to get the most from your low square footage.
Start by taking most of your linens from your linen and towel closets. Store all the miscellany — belts, jewelry, suspenders, etcetera — in your drawers and move most of your clothing to a friend’s house or a storage facility. When you’ve finished, you’ll want around 65% of your clothing left for a buyer to see.
3. Strategically Accessorize Your Space
You’ll almost always have less space if you’re living in the city. It’s one of the primary differences between city, suburban and rural lifestyles. Even with these restrictions, you can still make the most of your situation when you strategically accessorize, placing decor in select areas of your home.
For example, you may have a window with an appealing view. Place a vase with fresh flowers in the windowsill to draw a buyer’s attention to that feature or similar elements of the space that deserve attention. It’s not clutter as long as you’re discerning in your choices.
4. Brighten Up Your Home’s Interior
Do you have time for a short project before you stage your home? If your schedule isn’t strict, you should search out any rooms in your home with a darker color scheme and consider a makeover. Brighter colors will give buyers a sense of openness that will make your smaller rooms feel large.
That said, you may find yourself with a heavier workload if your new colors don’t complement the furniture. But the extra effort is often worth it, especially if you have a room in your home which feels dark and cramped. As long as you balance your colors, and let in a little natural light, you’ll see the difference immediately.
5. Redistribute Your Furniture
Your living room is the one place where your staging will pay off the most. It’s typically near the entry point of a home, and if you showcase the space correctly, you’ll leave a lasting impression on a buyer as they continue their tour. So what’s the “correct” way to showcase a living room?
Redistribute the furniture. It’ll take a bit of heavy lifting, but you’ll want to move your couches and sofas away from walls to allow for easy circulation, setting them in other areas or other rooms if necessary. Make sure the space is clear and open, with a seating arrangement that allows visitors to sit and talk.
Staging a Home in the City
Staging a smaller city home isn’t as tough as it may seem. Just follow the five suggestions above and you’re well on your way toward a quick, agreeable sale. And remember!
Buyers in a city aren’t expecting a grand estate with dozens of rooms and acres of property to roam. As long as you minimize your clutter, clear out your closets, strategically accessorize and draw attention to the better aspects of your home, you’ll find someone who’s willing to meet your asking price without issue.
Holly Welles is a freelance writer specializing in real estate. She’s the editor behind The Estate Update, where she shares weekly updates on making the most of any home.