Stage Your Home for Selling
Why stage your home for selling? Staging is recommended to showcase a home’s best assets, create a mood that appeals to a buyer’s emotions, and sell it for the highest possible price. It may be one of the most lucrative projects you ever undertake. It’s not essential just for higher-priced homes, but for any home being sold on the market.
Most buyers will not be able to visualize themselves living in an unstaged home. But many buyers will emotionally attach to a staged home. You want buyers to visualize themselves living in your home. If you’re not convinced of the value of staging, try watching a few HGTV shows.
The most important rooms to stage are the living room, dining room, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, and outdoor living spaces, pretty much any room in your home. Your aim is to clean, declutter, depersonalize and make your home appealing to buyers.
Staging helps buyers imagine themselves in the home, shows off its features, shows how various rooms can be used and also helps the home to look better when it’s photographed.
Here are the basics of how to accomplish staging:
CLEAN: Clean your entire home, from top to bottom. Kitchen appliances should be cleaned to look as new as possible, bathroom fixtures need to be thoroughly scrubbed, furniture and windowsills should be dusted, mirrors polished, floors swept and mopped and any odors should be found and removed. Putting out strongly-scented candles or air fresheners may make potential buyers skeptical about what you’re trying to cover up. Pay particular attention to pet areas. You may not smell them, but visitors to the home will.
DECLUTTER: Other than cleaning, this is probably the most important thing you can do to get a home ready for showing. No one will appreciate your knick-knacks and clutter. Kitchen and bathroom counters should be as clear as possible, closets should be neat, and exterior areas around the home should be free of debris. Clutter distracts buyers from your home’s features and makes it seem like the home has less space. Remove unnecessary furniture to make your rooms look more spacious.
DEPERSONALIZE: Potential buyers are not interested in your children, family, pets, etc. They need to be able to envision themselves in your home, and they cannot do that with your personal items all around. Clear your refrigerator of pictures and magnets.
REMOVE ODORS: Have someone who doesn’t live with you walk throughout your house and ask them to be honest about whether or not they smell any odors. If any are found, don’t just cover them up with candles and air fresheners – clean to remove. Pay particular attention to pet and kid areas. As a last resort, use essential oils – a little peppermint oil will make your home smell fresh, but don’t overdo it.
LIGHTING: Take advantage of your home’s natural light by opening up curtains and blinds. Turn on all the lights for showings, including lamps and inside walk-in closets. Replace all burned out bulbs. It may even be necessary to replace worn out fixtures. Besides making your home look brighter and more cheerful, no one will have to search for light switches. Be sure the glass light fixtures are dust-free and lamp shades are in good shape.
EXTERIOR: Make sure your home has a nice curb appeal. This will create the first impression for the buyer. A nicely cut lawn with blooming flowers is very inviting. Rake leaves and trim hedges, if necessary. Remove fake items such as plastic birds, flowers, etc. that may not appeal to others. Wash your windows and check them from the inside, as well. If needed, power wash the outside. Lay out new doormats for exterior doors. If you have a pool, make sure it’s clean and clear. If you have outdoor furniture, make sure it’s clean, dust-free, and nicely arranged.
FINAL TOUCHES: Hang new plush towels in the bathrooms and kitchen. Set out a few potted plants. Before an open house, put fresh flowers in vases.
It is not necessary to spend a lot of money staging your home. Mostly it just takes a bit of elbow grease and will be well-worth the effort.