As you set out to flaunt your home’s best assets, the most vital element might be the lighting tasked with accentuating it all. Think about it: we love parks, shopping centers and other public areas that have bright, ample lighting. Potential buyers will appreciate the same glow coming from your home.
It’s not as simple as turning on every overhead light, though — there’s an art to choosing the proper combination of bulbs. Here are seven staging tips to ensure your property is perfectly lit before a showing.
1. Think of Utility First
As you contemplate where to add lighting within your home, consider each space’s utility first: how much light does a person need to make this area functional? For example, your kitchen probably has overhead lighting built in, but focused task lighting can brighten it further and make cooking simpler and safer.
Consider adding a lighting system underneath your cabinets, should the space need a brighter glow. The same goes for the bathroom, where primping happens. A bright light over or around the mirror can transform a dark, gloomy bathroom into a functional place to get ready.
2. Make Sure Fixtures Are Modern
While potential buyers peruse your home, they’re sure to look at where the light’s coming from and evaluate those fixtures, too. You might think an old fixture isn’t necessarily something you have to fix — the new homeowner can swap it out for something that suits their tastes, right? This is true, but it could affect your bottom line if the person buying your abode knows they’ll have to put money into updating the place.
So, swap out any chandelier or fixture that feels old-fashioned. To that end, be sure every bulb works, whether it’s part of a dangling lamp or a simple recessed bulb. It will make the place look more polished and, of course, brighter.
3. Layer Your Lighting
When it comes to decorating, layering is an art form. You can place rugs atop one another or pile throw pillows and blankets atop an already patterned sofa for added interest. The same goes for your lighting setup — don’t rely on overheads alone. Instead, try placing a table or floor lamps, so the level of light is even throughout a space. This is especially important in older homes, which typically do not have the plethora of recessed bulbs and overhead fixtures we see in modern construction.
4. Make It Energy-Efficient
As you add new lamps and bulbs to your space, be sure that what you’re installing has a high energy-efficiency rating. Today’s buyer wants a home that runs in an eco-friendly — and budget-friendly — manner. Traditional incandescent bulbs burn out quickly and use much more energy to function than their LED or compound fluorescent lamp (CFL) counterparts. Yes, these options tend to cost more, but those who tour your property will like knowing they won’t have to pay a premium to keep the place lit as nicely as you have.
5. Add the Illusion of Space
No matter how cozy it feels to you, a dark room can feel cramped to those touring your home. On top of that, if you have oversized furniture or too many pieces within a dimly lit space, it will feel even tinier.
Part of your staging will undoubtedly cover the removal of excess furniture, but keep in mind that the dark space will still feel cramped without the right lighting. If the room’s confines are, indeed, small, then you might be wary of losing square footage to a floor lamp or table with a lamp on top of it. In that case, consider installing wall sconces or an overhead fixture to do the same job.
6. Let in Natural Light
Another element beloved by potential buyers everywhere is natural light. Unfortunately, you can’t purchase a lamp or bulb to enhance your property’s natural light — it either has it or it doesn’t. What you can do is ensure as many of the sun’s rays are flooding into the property as possible by throwing back curtains, opening blinds and removing any other obstructions from the window area. If you know when your home is at its sunniest, try and suggest showings during this time, so buyers see the property in all its naturally lit glory.
7. Incorporate Outdoor Lighting
Finally, your home’s curb appeal can make or break a sale. If potential buyers drive up after dark and can’t see your property, you have a problem. So, add outdoor lighting to your to-do list if your home is enshrouded by nightfall. Aside from spotlights on the facade, you might want to uplight any foliage that deserves attention. The same goes for your backyard — although it’s not technically part of your property’s curb appeal, highlighting any backyard features will help your home sell.
Light It Right
With a few small upgrades to your existing lighting scheme, you will be on your way to a successful staging of your property. The right lamps and fixtures highlight all the wonderful features of the place for the next person who will move in and love your home as much as you have.