Do this right and your home should sell faster and for top dollar. Here is what you can do to make home staging work for you.
1. Clean your home thoroughly. Put on your cleaning clothes and begin tidying your home like you haven’t done for years. You want to give it a cleaning equal to what a cleaning company would provide by wiping down walls, cleaning baseboards and vents, washing windows, scrubbing floors, cleaning carpets and painting rooms. If you don’t have time to do the work, then hire a cleaning company that can.
2. Get rid of the clutter. Your home has that “lived in look” that you prize. Unfortunately, many buyers won’t share your appreciation and will have a hard time looking past the clutter. This is where combing through your belongings and packing away excess books, furniture, artwork, and anything else that fills up your home is so essential. Hold a garage sale to downsize your stuff or donate it to charity. If you absolutely must keep certain items, put these away until you move to your new home.
3. Light and bright is best. What makes a home look larger and more cheerful? That would be plenty of natural light, something that may be obstructed by thick drapes or furnishings. Replace those heavy drapes with sheer curtains and move obstructions away from the windows. On the outside of your home, trim trees and bushes that block out the light.
4. Put away your personal items. Items of personal nature such as photographs, artwork, plaques, trophies and awards should be removed. That collection of frog knick knacks would best be put away too — you want to showcase your home, not your personal collections.
5. Clear the counters. Your kitchen may be highly functional, but it will look smaller and constrained if the counters are cluttered. Really, there should not be anything on the counters when you show your home except perhaps one toaster and a bowl of fruit. Everything else should be put away including the pots and pans on the stove and the dishes in the sink.
6. Freshen the kitchen and baths. There are two rooms in the house that will get extra scrutiny by potential buyers: the kitchen and your bathrooms. This is where you need to seriously consider if your appliances are updated and if all plumbing is working. You need not invest a large sum of money in an update, but painting cabinet faces, replacing dated kitchen knobs, installing a new bathroom vanity and replacing a tired shower curtain are steps in the right direction. Both rooms should say “new” and “modern” as much as possible.
7. Replace dated wallpaper. Wallpaper rarely sells homes. Most designs are a distraction and if your look is aged — as in peeling or yellowed — take it down. Then, paint the wall in a neutral shade such as off white. Don’t worry — if the buyer doesn’t like your paint color, it is easier for them to update it than to rip down the old wallpaper.
8. Replace light fixtures. Aged light fixtures can be another hindrance unless your home is a colonial or an older manse. Besides the fixtures, consider the light switches in each room. If old or cracked, replace with a neutral design.
9. Paint the entranceway door. Curb appeal is what attracts people to your home. There is nothing more welcoming than a pretty entranceway door that has recently been painted. Be bold here by painting it a bright red or some other contrasting color, but only if it adds pop to your home.
10. Plant fresh flowers. In front of your home you should plant fresh flowers to add visual appeal. The colors should be varied and seasonal, adding interest to the outside of your house. Trees and bushes should be trimmed, the grass cut, leaves raked and yard debris removed. Hide the garbage and recycling can; remove lawn ornamentation that might be perceived as too controversial or distracting.
Staging Done Right
Spend a week or two whipping your home into shape. Your real estate agent may offer tips on how to beautify your property too — consider these points and then get ready to show your home for a quick sale.
See Also — Sold! How to Close a Sale