Staging Your HomePublished 10:51am Wednesday, November 13, 2013
There are always those things you can’t change when you are ready to sell your home, like the neighborhood, main structure and positioning of your home. So, let’s focus on the things you CAN do to make your home sell faster and get the price you need.
It’s not easy, but the first thing you need to do is to disconnect yourself from your home. Even if you’ve lived in the home your whole life, you need to leave behind the emotional attachment you have when you are getting ready to sell. You’ll want to box and store personal items, like photos of the family and Grandma’s hand crocheted doilies. The buyer wants to see a blank slate, more of what it CAN look like than what it does look like.
First impressions count, whether your home is small or large. Before they ever open the front door, things like exterior paint color and condition, roof/shingles, gutters, windows and landscaping catch the eye.
The biggest problem INSIDE your house will be STUFF. We all have too much of it. You’re going to be moving soon anyway, so start packing and de-clutter, starting with those items you don’t need or won’t use. Renting a storage unit is the best option. Pack it and move it out – just stacking boxes in the garage or basement just adds more clutter.
In the kitchen – remove EVERYTHING from the counter except maybe one appliance and a fruit bowl. Some people WILL open your cabinets, so take the time again to pack away items you don’t need, including foods from the pantry. Get those appliances sparkling clean inside and out (or replace really poor looking ones with new/used appliances). Make sure the cabinets are wiped down and hardware isn’t missing or broken.
In the bathrooms – cleanliness is the most important! No stains in the tubs, no missing tiles. Make sure it is clean, the lighting is bright, the faucets working properly and the hardware is current. Put out your “showing” towels and linens.
In the bedrooms – keep them uncluttered. Remove unnecessary furniture (the storage unit again), and make sure the closets are cleaned out and look roomy. Remove décor from the walls and make sure the bedding is set like a hotel/resort.
In the living spaces – is the space being used for its intended purpose? You may have made the dining room into a playroom filled with toys, but the buyer might not have children. Make sure the rooms are staged to show the space as it should be. Highlight the positives – if there is a fireplace – make it a focal point. If you have hardwood floors, make sure they aren’t covered up with rugs and excess furniture. Make sure the windows have “light” window dressings and that the sun can shine in – and that the windows are clean!
Ceilings and walls need to be free of cracks and stains. Fill cracks and nail holes before putting on a fresh coat of paint. Fresh, neutral paint might be the BEST thing you can do throughout the house to make it more attractive. Removing old wallpaper and borders is also a good idea – again, a blank slate is the best way to present your home.
Lastly, make sure your home is free of pet, smoke, or musty odors. Since you’re going to be giving the walls a fresh coat of paint – think about trying one of the new air freshening additives that are now available to the paint! Find the cause of any bad odor and remove it. Since realtors will call ahead for showings, a fresh baked loaf of bread or cookies will hold a great scent in your home before clients