Tips for staging your green home

The real estate market is changing as clients prioritize living sustainably and keeping their carbon footprint to a minimum. Whether you are selling your eco-friendly home, or if you simply want to ensure selling your home minimizes harm to the planet, your timing is perfect! Yes, prices keep escalating and properties fly off the housing market, but Boise buyers are less interested in en-suites, walk-in closets, and hardwood floors and increased focus on a property’s biophilic design and eco-friendly elements remains steady.

Modern buyers want a home that’s kind to our planet and, by extension, friendlier on their wallets by cutting down utility expenses. They also want to see your home’s green features on display before they buy, so it’s important to stage your home to sell with an eco-friendly lens. Here are some tips for staging your green home.

Person holding a green plant.
Sustainable homes are flying off the market.

Eco-minded prospective buyers will love to know all about the green features and amenities of your home, and there are ways you can show them off. For starters, your real estate agent can emphasize to home shoppers if your property is built green and contains eco-friendly features like energy-efficient lighting, solar panels, garden space, proper insulation, smart thermostats, ENERGY STAR appliances, etc. And, if it is formally certified, make sure they know this means that your home meets the standards for energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. This helps paint a picture in their minds of a future in a healthy home, with reduced operating costs and a more sustainable lifestyle.

If possible, offer potential buyers a detailed checklist of your Boise home’s green features and the benefits of each while also highlighting the brand and model of green building materials and appliances. This will help them hone in on the type of home they want.

Don’t Procrastinate Fixing Wear & Tear

When selling a home (and to make sure these pieces aren’t flagged on a home inspection report), you need to do more than vacuum, fluff the pillows, and hide your personal collection of antique globes. There are eco-friendly implications to fulfilling basic maintenance tasks. Not only does this downplay the home’s weaknesses, but it’s not an efficient use of resources like water and energy if your home has leaky faucets, worn out weatherstripping, damaged guttering, cracks, and holes in walls. Deferred maintenance often uses more resources in the long-run when systems and finishes end up in the landfill with a shorter lifespan due to breaking down when they could’ve had a longer life with proper maintenance.

Upgrade sustainably

If you’re considering upgrades, experts routinely remind homeowners of making smart improvements that can increase a home’s resale value. When preparing your home for sale in an eco-conscious manner, consider investing in:

  • Installing energy-efficient windows and exterior doors;
  • Conducting a radon gas test and equipping your home with a radon fan and proper vents;
  • Insulating the weakest links in your home, like your attic and garage. Around windows and doors are the
  • most common locations for air leakage;
  • Replacing the old garage door;
  • Getting a tankless water heater;
  • If recarpeting, consider a green carpeting solution. Or better yet, let the new homeowner recarpet. When sellers replace items like carpet before listing, this item often gets removed and sent to landfill by new owners. If the carpet needs to be replaced, consider a carpet allowance to prevent unintentionally sending new carpet to the landfill.

Sometimes, homeowners consider remodeling to be able to command a higher sale price. For example, an open-plan kitchen may completely transform and modernize your interior. Also, keep in mind that just about any product for house construction could come from recycled materials (like countertops made from recycled glass, or cabinets or trim made of reclaimed local wood).

Keep the place neat and tidy

Another way to show off your home’s green features is to visually draw attention to them. When your place is polished and tidy, it’s easier for prospective buyers to see all of your home’s amenities. According to professional stagers and real estate agents, the first tasks home sellers should tackle when home staging are:

  • Decluttering. Clutter is not only distracting but a real turn-off for potential buyers. The house looks messy and feels smaller, making it impossible to draw their eyes to what’s important.
  • De-personalizing. We know how hard you tried to make your home your home. But now it’s going on the market, and it helps if the buyer can see it as a relatively clean slate. So, put away your personal collections, family photos, kitschy décor, and furniture of a specific taste. Don’t overdo it, though, or the house will look cold and stark. Oh, and also, don’t forget to ensure a place for all those accumulated belongings. Storage units are your best friends in this situation, and there are many options when it comes to storage facilities in Boise. Then, take down damaged or torn wallpapers, and repaint your walls a trendy neutral color that will appeal to a larger pool of buyers. Choose low- or zero-VOC paint that derives from sustainable sources and has no hazardous fumes or harmful effects on health.
  • Deep cleaning. No one likes walking into a house with a filthy bathroom or scuffed-up walls, let alone a potential home buyer. Therefore, make sure to thoroughly clean and organize every inch of your property before the showing. Green tip: steer clear from chemicals, and use natural cleaners instead.
Beautifully staged living area with greenery.
Keep the place looking clean, stylish, and smelling fresh.

Staging a home is all about appealing to buyers’ emotions and needs. This requires putting your own taste on hold in order to prioritize the buyer’s experience. Here are some tips to consider as you prepare to show your home:

  • Go natural. Instead of silk or plastic plants, living, clean-air plants will give your place a more natural look, boost your indoor air quality, and act as a natural deodorizer. We love sourcing these things from local stores like A Succulent Day and Biome.
  • Eliminate odor. Avoid having artificial fragrances from perfumes, candles, and air fresheners lingering in your home during open houses and showings. Instead, indulge in natural fragrances derived from flowers and plants, essential oils, and naturally scented candles. Lit & Co in Boise is one of our faves.
  • Buy pre-loved. If you’re prepared to invest in revamping your home, do so with your carbon footprint in mind. Some smart investments are gently used or vintage mirrors to add style to the space and make it bigger and brighter, and replace any tired or worn out drapes with updated thermal curtains.
  • Avoid carpets. Full of chemicals and pollutants, going green means avoiding carpet. Show off your natural wood floors, or look into some sustainable carpet solutions instead.
  • Reorganize bookshelves. Give your bookshelves a stylish twist by removing a quarter of your books entirely and then rearranging what’s left. Display some of your books vertically and some horizontally, and then add some character with a couple of trinkets.
  • Pare down furniture. Be prepared to remove half of your furniture for staging purposes. This will make the house look larger and give clear visual access to your property’s best features. Then rethink your furniture placement. For instance, pull some pieces, like sofas and chairs, away from the walls and join them into a cozy conversational group.
  • Accessorize in odd numbers. When it comes to accessorizing, it’s best to do it in threes. Place objects in triangles and at different heights and widths. Also, larger accessories always go at the back and the smallest in front.
  • Consider your catering. Want to impress prospective buyers and encourage them to stay longer? Then dumping some pretzels into a bowl isn’t the best solution. Choose some organic snacks or fresh, local produce instead.
  • Amp up the lighting. As mentioned, environmentally friendly lighting is a must, but also consider your fixtures. Be sure your lighting is layered, and lets in a lot of natural light during the day.
A cozy living room with plenty of light.
Allow plenty of natural light in your home during the showings and open houses.

First impressions matter! Your home’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers will see. Set your home apart from others on the market by:

  • Implementing eco-friendly paving solutions;
  • Adding solar light paths;
  • Adding LED lights on your home’s favorite garden features;
  • Polishing up the paint;
  • Regularly maintaining your roof;
  • Updating the porch furniture with some pre-loved thrift pieces;
  • Replacing gutters and downspouts;
  • Cleaning up your walkways;
  • Replacing your old welcome mat, house number, and mailbox.

Don’t neglect your landscaping. Simple yard care, like mowing, edging, and trimming hedges, can make a tremendous difference in boosting your home’s curb appeal. Eco-minded home buyers also prefer to see native grasses and plants that are organically grown or vegetable gardens thriving outside the house over lush lawns that typically demand huge resources. Compost bins, smart irrigation systems, and rainwater barrels are also nice little details that show off your environmentally conscious green thumb.

Anna-Marie Vargas

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