The living room for most households is the center of activity. This is where the family gathers to relax and get entertained. The living room is where we enjoy the company of our guests, where we catch up with extended family or friends who are visiting, and also usually where we enjoy our favourite music, movies or television programs. In fact, in a lot of homes the living room would probably be considered as more of the dining area than the actual dining room because dinners are often spent in front of the TV.
Potential home buyers that tour around your house would be looking at how your living room can match with their own activities and entertaining preferences. Of course, every homeowner has different living room preferences based on their family size and interests, but it is important to highlight the qualities of your living room that can make it even more attractive and marketable in the eyes of a potential client. Points of interest generally include the floor space, furniture placements, and the general ambience of the living room.
Staging your living room would need to be planned with the target buyers in mind, and the safest route is usually to make it neutral and with as much mass appeal as can be maximized. Some homeowners rent staging furniture specifically for their living room, but you may also want to look at affordable furniture items or living room fixtures which you can purchase and then take with you when you move out, or include in the selling price of the home so you can recoup your investment. Either way, living room staging can require some financial investment on your part.
However, there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to get your living room ready for house showings. Some suggestions you can consider include:
- Minimize and de-personalize. Take a look around your living room and decide what items are essential and what furniture pieces can be removed. Too much furniture crowding your living room, especially if it has limited floor area, can distract the buyer from being able to see just how much actual space the room actually has. Also, remove belongings that are too personal (family portraits, crafts, souvenirs) as these are also distracting; remember, the goal of staging the living room is to make it fit what potential buyers have in mind.
- Reconfigure and rearrange what you have. Some maintenance, repairs and cleaning might do the trick for your living room furniture, so before you go out and rent or buy all-new items, look at what you already have first. Slip-on covers for couches and chairs can instantly transform them for a fraction of the cost. Also, re-arrange furniture so they promote eye-to-eye conversation and socialization. More than likely, you and your potential buyers will spend some time conversing in the living room, so this would be a perfect opportunity to show just how comfortable and homey your living room can be.
- Accessorize, throw in some colour, and experiment. As with most other areas of the home, a fresh coat of paint can work wonders in the living room; go for a paint colour that is easy to accessorize; usual suggestions would be pastels and neutral hues. Then, bright-colored throw pillows and window treatments can provide contrast and update your living room with a contemporary flair. Minimalist light fixtures can also add a touch of sophistication or add to the ambience you are going for.