Stage to Sell

throw-pillowsTurn Your Home into Their Home

Selling your home can be a huge headache. This is especially true when you are also in the process of purchasing your next home. Staging your home can assist in the selling process in many ways. Staging can create a comfortable, friendly atmosphere for potential buyers and allow them to see the home furnished while also enabling them to imagine their furnishings in it. When staging you want to make sure you appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. Keep the house neat and organized at all times. The last thing you want buyers to think about is how much time it might take them to clean the space. Let them imagine a home that is always perfectly clean without effort. So let’s go through a short list of suggestions when it comes to your home- stage to sell.

DE-personalize– This is one of the biggest things to think about when it comes to staging a home for sale.

  • Pictures. People don’t want to see pictures of you and your family on the walls – they want to imagine pictures of themselves and their families on the walls. Remove all pictures of people from the house.
  • Personal Kitchen Items. Remove all magnets and drawings from the refrigerator. Not only does this make it look cleaner and less cluttered, it also gives potential buyers the chance to think about how they would arrange their magnets (yes, people do this).
  • Personal Bathroom Items. While people may know you still live in your house while trying to sell it, they don’t need (or want) to see the plethora of facial products you use on a daily basis. Start using your available storage (medicine cabinet, underneath sink) at all times. Put your things away neatly after every use.
  • Remove or hide dog/cat items. While you may love your furry friends, the next owners may be allergic or not interested in pets at all. Potential home buyers should not be tripping over pet toys and bones as they tour your home.
  • Keep any children’s toys put away neatly at all times. Again, these are personal items and home buyers don’t need to see them.

DE-clutter– Removing clutter from your home can seem like a painstaking task, but it can be done pretty easily. You are selling your home, which means you are moving. The most efficient way to de-clutter is to pack for your move early.

  • packed-clothesPack up out of season clothing. Home buyers love to look at closets. Removing at least half of your clothes/items from each closet will make the spaces look larger. By packing up each person’s out of season clothing, all closets should be almost instantly half empty.
  • Check your bookshelves. Are some shelves neatly packed with books while other shelves have games or bins piled on them? Fix that. Remove all non-books from bookshelves to make it look less cluttered. Filling half a shelf with books and putting a framed picture (of a flower or bird, not of your family) on the other half of the shelf can make it look wonderful.
  • Check your bookshelves (again). What’s on top of each bookshelf? The answer for tall bookshelves should be nothing. The answer for shorter bookshelves should either be nothing or maybe a picture (again, not a personal photo) or maybe a plant. Clean the tops of bookshelves regularly.
  • Take a look at your living room. Many people spend a lot of time in their living rooms or dens, which often leads to clutter. You only need one throw on the couch, remove any other blankets from the area. Make sure cushions and blankets are always folded and set up neatly after use. If you don’t own any nice pillows, you can always pick up a matching set at a yard sale or find them cheap online. Nice looking pillows can make all the difference when it comes to staging a couch. They can also add a needed splash of color to a dark or neutral couch.
  • Step back and look at your kitchen. Life happens in the kitchen – things pile up on the counters, items are left out, dishes are drying. Remove everything not cooking-related from the counters. Now it is a potential buyer’s turn to imaging his or her life happening in that kitchen, and to do this you need to remove your things. If you have an island in your kitchen, keep it cleared off at all times aside from maybe a pretty plant (large lilies tend to look very nice on a kitchen island).
  • Make all beds look nice. Each bed in your home should be made and staged every morning, right after that first cup of coffee. A messy bedroom (or two or three) can really throw off potential buyers.

Remove Furniture– A rule of staging that I have read about over and over again is to remove half your furniture. As you remove furniture from the home, choose the pieces you leave carefully. Leave the nicest and least personalized items and remove the rest. While you may consider your living room to be cozy, a potential buyer may think the space looks small and cramped. You want to make the spaces in your home appear to be as large as possible. Many home buyers do not want to drop a lot of money on a new house just to remodel it to open up space a month later. The people walking through your home are trying to decide if they can live in the home… not if they like the way you live in it. Removing half your furniture gives buyers the opportunity to imagine what their dining room table or couches will look like in the home.

wet-floor-signClean– Sounds simple enough, right? Just clean up the house. No, when we talk about cleaning in terms of staging a home, we mean really clean and keep it clean. Baseboards tend to get dingy and dusty, so take care of those every few days. Light switches can get grimy from constant use, so make sure to clean those up every few days. An important thing to remember when selling a home that you are still living in is that a potential buyer could come take a look at any time. Your home must be ready to show with zero notice.

REMEMBER– You are hoping that in a short time, this will no longer be your home! Packing up and removing items from your home can be considered a head start for your future move. It is not a waste of time and could very well help you sell your home faster.

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