Originally posted on April 18, 2016 by John Dessauer

big stageWant to make it to the “big Stage” as a real estate investor flipping houses? Make sure you think about how important staging your investment is. When flipping a house, you need it to look as if it is lived in, without making it looked like it is “lived in” if you know what I mean. Making your investment house look good before you put it on the market can be one of the most important steps. With the appropriate staging, you can totally maximize the ‘sell appeal’ of your investment house and create eager buyers that will pay top dollar.

When staging a house, you will, in essence, be creating a warm, cozy atmosphere that all homebuyers are searching for in a house. It’s the magic element that says ‘home’ or ‘safe’ to the buyer and emotionally hooks them into quickly making the purchase. If the emotional hook is strong enough, they will pay more than the asking price to get that home they love, and you will reap the benefits.

The trick to staging a house for sale is not to use too much decor or too little. Think about the Goldilocks Affect. Too much furniture and other furnishings will make a small house look cramped, but too little can make the same house look under-furnished and bare. More decor can be used in a larger house, but not so much it resembles a furniture store.

Successfully staging a house can help overcome or play down aspects of the house that are not so appealing. Architectural features, such as a very open floor plan, can be quite daunting to a buyer if the house is empty and echoes with every footstep. Fill the empty space with tasteful rugs, furniture, and other decor and the effect can be most welcoming. Showing the buyer how attractive the house can look is your key to selling the property quickly and more profitably.

If you are an investor that regularly flips houses and interior design is not exactly your forte, you can hire a professional house stager to do the decorating. You don’t even have to buy anything, as the furniture and decor can be rented by the month. One great advantage of your investment house is no one lives there and once staged it will not be disturbed by day-to-day living.

If you want to save money on renting decor and furniture, over time you can collect second-hand pieces from places like consignment shops, or upscale thrift stores. You can also temporarily borrow from your own home or from relatives and friends to stage a house.

Always use the best furniture and decor you can afford. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive, but a better quality of goods will definitely convey a sense of good taste to the prospective buyer. Better furnishings will raise the perceived quality level of the whole house, and the buyer will respond in a very positive, emotional way.

Keep the tone of the house as friendly and comforting as possible. Avoid any sort of decor which may offend the senses. Don’t use bold, bright colors, but rather keep colors in the soft, neutral range instead. Don’t use pictures or statues that some people may find offensive, or psychologically perceive as threatening, such as a snarling tiger. Remember, you are promoting the vision of happy home life to the prospective buyer. Use lovely silk plants and a small statue of a bunny rabbit instead! If you do it correctly, you’ll find yourself on the “big stage” with all of the other successful real estate investors!

“Remember, wealth has nothing to do with money, success has everything to do with failure, and life is as simple as you make it!” – John Dessauer