One of the first rooms that a buyer may see when entering a home is the dining room – so it’s especially important when selling your home to make that first impression a good one. Even if your dining room is located elsewhere following these suggestions will help to “showcase” it.
First, make sure that your dining room looks like a dining room and not an office or a playroom. Then you are ready for the basics of home staging: declutter, depersonalize, clean, brighten and make minor repairs. Finally, there are some specific things you can do to enhance the appearance of your dining room.
Declutter. When staging think, “less is more.” Eliminate clutter by removing and packing up any accessories or items that are not chosen to keep for a decorative accent.
Depersonalize. Remove any personal photos and replace if needed with an accessory or artwork that adds a decorative touch. A mirror is also an acceptable replacement in a dining room. Remember that you want buyers to be able to picture themselves living in your house and not feel like they are just visiting someone else’s home. Also, be sure to remove any valuables you might have on display.
Cleaning your Dining Room. When cleaning the dining room, be sure to clean the windows and dust / wipe off the light fixtures and polish the furniture, if needed. Clean the floors and any rugs. Get rid of dead plants.
Brighten your Dining Room. The freshly cleaned light fixtures will help brighten the dining room. Make sure that all the lights work and that all of the light bulbs function. Use the highest wattage bulbs allowed for the light fixture. A dimmer switch is a good idea also. On occasion, “mood lighting” may be more effective than a bright room. If you have heavy window treatments blocking your dining room windows, then draw them back or replace them with something else to allow more natural light to filter into the room. If the room still seems dark, then consider putting an extra lamp on a buffet table.
Make Minor Repairs. Check to make sure that all the switch plates and outlet covers match and that none of them are broken. Replace them if necessary. Also check the trim around the doorways. Repair any nicks and consider repainting. If your wallpaper is dated, then it is be a good idea to remove it and paint the walls with a neutral color.
Setting the Stage. Complete the staging of your dining room by making the room feel more spacious, creating the illusion of higher ceilings and setting up the dining room table. Make your dining room feel more spacious by minimizing the amount and size of the furniture in the room. Unless the room is large you should only have a dining room table (with the leaf removed) and four to six chairs on top of a rug along with just one other piece of furniture (china cabinet / side board / buffet). The room should also have a chandelier or other light fixture, with the dining table centered underneath. If you know you absolutely want to take your existing chandelier with you, then take it down now and replace it with something else; otherwise, it can be excluded from the listing agreement (sometimes can become part of the negotiations for sale of home). Create the illusion of higher ceilings by removing any plants or accessories from the tops of china cabinets. The more wall space there is between the furniture and the ceiling, the higher the ceilings look. When setting up the dining room table, use a table runner or place mats. Designers recommended grouping in threes. Fresh flowers and a couple of candles can make a nice centerpiece.
Whatever the size of your home or whether a formal dining room or not, adding a fresh look to your dining room is sure to make a good impression with buyers! In today’s real estate market, a home in good condition and that “shows well’ adds value for Long Island homeowners.