More than ever people want a home office. The COVID-19 pandemic left thousands working remotely unexpectedly trying to work from home in a cluttered kitchen with a laptop perched on their knee or in the corner of a bedroom trying to do their best work on a desk hurriedly purchased from Walmart that would be barely adequate for a grade school kid to do their homework on, let alone a serious businessperson who has four reports to finish by Friday.
As things begin to reopen some people are returning to work, but those who can work from home are still being advised to. And as we move into a ‘new normal’ the one thing that business experts, sociologists, medical professionals and yes, real estate agents agree on is that more businesses will make working from home at least part of the time a permeant move for many of their employees.
This means that a dedicated home office space is climbing higher and higher on the needs lists complied by homebuyers. No one ever wants to have to work in a dark, cramped corner again if it can be avoided. To appeal to the widest variety of them staging a home office is therefore a very good idea.
Do You Have a Home Office Space?
For the reasons I’ve just outlined, and many more, a home office is a big asset to a home on the market. If you don’t have a home office, it could be the perfect solution for an extra or awkward space in your home, such as a loft or a room without a closet (which can’t be defined as a bedroom).
It’s relatively easy to set up a home office for the purpose of staging. However, if your home office isn’t staged properly, it can have the opposite effect on buyers.
Here are my top five 5 tips for staging a home office that will impress home buyers.
Remove all Furniture Except The Essentials
When staging any space, it’s usually the case that the less furniture that is in it, the better. There should be just enough to define the space without it looking cluttered or making it difficult to move around the room.
A desk, a chair, and an area rug are perfect for staging a home office in most cases. If the room is a little larger, a bookcase or storage unit will help balance things out. If you have a few extra pieces that you can’t take out of the space before selling, just make sure they’re neutral in color and all the surfaces are clutter-free.
Declutter and De-personalize
A home office, almost by definition because it’s a ‘busy space’, one of the quickest spots in the home to become cluttered. Remove all paperwork, small objects, and electrical cords from view. Also, remove family photos, certifications, and other personal items. These items can be very distracting to buyers, who need to be able to imagine themselves using the space rather than getting caught up in the current homeowner’s life there.
Set up an Organized Workspace
To help buyers imagine themselves using the space productively, clear off the desk and arrange only a few key things on it, such as a computer, desk lamp, cup of pens, and a notebook. This will set the stage while making it look clean and tidy. In other words, the perfect workspace.
Keep It Neutral
In the world of home staging, one of the key guidelines is to keep everything fairly neutral in color so the décor will appeal to the widest range of buyers possible. It also allows buyers to imagine their own décor in its place.
While bright colors are sometimes good for keeping you energized and inspired in a home office that is a personal thing; they drive some people crazy. This means that they shouldn’t be on the walls or any large pieces when staging a home office. Keep colorful accents in the accessories or even the desk chair.
A few tasteful pieces of décor help make a space feel warmer and more inviting. When staging a home office hang some artwork on the walls, bring in an attractive but obtrusive plant, and hang some curtains to soften the windows. These small touches go a long way in making buyers feel more at home.