Staging Your Home

Selling your home quickly and for your asking price isn’t luck, it happens because of careful planning and preparation on your part…combined with exclusive marketing and advertising efforts on our part.  By staging your home you will have buyers digging into their pockets in no time. Here are a few simple steps to make it happen:

1. Personalization…save that for the new home. 

Realize that you desire to enter into a business proposition with a client and that there is no room for personalization or feelings.  Your home is not your own, you must view it as an item that is being sold and realize now is the time to starting packing and “let go”. As proud as you are of them, buyers don’t want to see your kid’s trophies, your family photographs, or any other personal items.  They want to picture their personal belongings in your space and by packing up the majority of yours, you can make it happen.

2. Clear the clutter!

We never imagine the amount of junk that we collect in our lifetime, until we go to pack it up. Again, people want to imagine their belongings in your space, so it is time to pack up those knick-knacks, books, and personal items.

  • Be sure to clear your countertops of clutter. As much as we love to have all of our kitchen utensils and  appliances right at hand putting them away in a cabinet or a drawer will allow buyers to vision it as their own and will in some cases make the space seem much larger than it really is. Be sure to clear the countertops in your bathrooms also.  Tuck away, all personal hygiene items, hair styling equipment, etc. Instead fill you electrical sockets with a mild fragrance.
  • Carefully pack away all of the collections and knickknacks that you have collected over the years.  You will get a jump start on your packing and de-personalize your space at the same time. 
  • Remove your books from the shelves. As interested as you are in politics, religion, cooking, or any other topic, your buyer might not be.

3. Snoopers Anonymous!

Buyers can learn a lot from peeking in every nook and cranny of our homes, often more than we ever wanted them to know. Buyers will inevitably open most every kitchen drawer and closet door… don’t want to give them a reason to head out the door or inflict injury with the way that some of our closets look. Having everything neat and organized sends the massage that you are a “neat” person and you probably take great care of your home. To make this happen:

  • Clear out the closet clutter.  I know you are thinking, “Where else am I going to put it?”  My answer is get a head start on packing.  Chances are most of the stuff that you store in your closet you will not need in the near future anyway.  Pack it up, and put it in storage if you are able. Now would be a great time to donate to local charities…or your friends and relatives.  Arrange you clothing in the same direction and by color and type. I know for most of you this seems silly, but buyers will be thinking WOW! Also, pack up your out of season clothes, the ones that don’t fit, or that you don’t use that often.  The less that you have in the closet the better.  This also applies to shoes, handbags, belts, etc.
  • In the kitchen clean out your drawers and cabinets.  The items that you don’t use that often can most likely be done without for a short time. After clearing the clutter be sure to organize it all. Make sure your dinnerware is stacked nicely, your silverware is arranged properly, your glasses are arranged (please be sure to remove all sports, kids, or misc. cups from sight).
  • Remove all magazines, CDs, DVDs, etc from direct viewing.  Again these are personal items that may contain ideas or images that the buyer may find offensive.

4. Less is More!

Having tons of bulky furniture in your home makes it seem much smaller.  It is best to rent a storage unit for a bit, or ask a family member or friend if you can store furniture there.  While some furniture is nice any furniture that blocks or hinders walkways or is really bulky (such as a sectional) should be stored.  Since you now have removed all of your books you can also put those bookcases in storage.  Removing a leaf from the table in the breakfast area or dining room is also a great way to make the space seem larger.  The number one thing to remember is that you want to have enough furniture in each room to give it a purpose, but still have plenty of extra space so that the buyer can envision their own belongings…this is one of the biggest factors that sell a home!!.  A great way to make a master look larger is to remove a King or California King from the room and replace with a borrowed double or queen.

5. Fix It!

Any minor thing that the buyer sees that maybe isn’t in the best condition can either break a deal or knock money of your asking price.  Spending a little to complete that honey-do-list can save you a ton in the long run.  

  • The number one killer in real estate is adventurous paint color.  Buyers want to imagine themselves living in your space and even though you are a vibrant person and decided to paint your walls to match your personality your buyers may take one look and head out the door.  For some reason, even though paint is a quick fix for buyers they can’t picture themselves in your space. Buy a can of khaki paint and go to town in every room.  Fresh paint and neutral colors go a long way in a buyers mind.
  • Fix any cracks, scrapes, or holes. A quick filler or spackle will do the trick and save you hundreds.
  • Does your house look like the haunted house straight out of a nightmare on the outside?  Well, do something about it.  Having a great curb appeal goes a long way. If Buyers like the outside, they will generally schedule an appointment to view the inside…this is key!!  Pressure wash the exterior and sidewalks or repaint the outside if necessary, replace rotten boards, missing shingles, fill cracks in the driveway, pull out dead plants and weeds, mow the lawn, and add some new pine straw to your flower beds. If your flower beds don’t have anything still living in them, think about putting in a few inexpensive shrubs or flowers.
  • Make sure all of your lights are working and replace any burnt out bulbs.

6. Spick and Span…

Now is the time for spring cleaning if ever you needed one.  Clean everything inside and out such as appliances, windows, sinks, tubs, and showers.  Dust everything including fans, base boards, furniture and anything else that holds dust.  Anything that can be cleaned, clean it. FYI it is best for the time being to wash your dishes by hand.  Buyers don’t want to open your dishwasher and find out that you had spaghetti last night for dinner or better yet find it in your sink. Eliminate any odor that may be lingering in your household.  Put a lemon down the disposal, get a light air freshener in every room, take out the trash often, and make sure that the dog stays away.  

7. Pack an Overnight Bag for Fido!

No,  your beloved pets do not need to hit the road, but make sure there is no evidence that they live there.  If at all possible arrange for a sitter to take them during showings. Many people have pet allergies, and you don’t want to remind them of it when they walk in your door.  If you can get a sitter for Fido, keep them caged up, you don’t want to take the risk of a buyer being injured by your pets, or them getting let out.  Even outside pets should be caged, or tied up so as not to hinder the buyers back yard experience.  

The number on thing that you can do to sell you home fast it to make sure that it is buyer ready.  Remember, the less that it looks like someone lives there the better experience for the buyer. Look closely at every aspect of every room and think to yourself, “Would I Want to Buy This House by Looking at This Room?” If not fix it.  A little goes a long way in this industry, and if you still have no clue call you realtor and have them do a complete walkthrough of your home.