Staging and Condition go a long way in determining whether or not a Home sells. Bringing in a professional stager or use a Realtor® who is a trained stager. I am a trained stager and will stage your home for you.
The way you live in a home and the way you sell a home are two different things: When you live in your home, it has your personality and your things in it. When you sell a house, you want to neutralize and depersonalize it. Staging involves neutralizing and depersonalizing a house so that Buyers can envision themselves living there.
To get your home ready to sell, remember the following rules:
Rule #1: Curb Appeal is Most Important
The house should have “curb appeal”. Buyers will drive by and your Home needs to grab them and make them want to come inside. The front should be freshly landscaped with fresh mulch, and bushes should be trimmed. Trees should be trimmed and “Limbed up so that you can see the house from the street. Add potted plants and flowers at the front steps or on the front porch. Weed the garden and keep the lawn mowed. Paint anything that is peeling or a non-traditional color. Your outside front is your first chance to make a good impression.
And don’t forget the back of the house. Pressure wash and water seal the back deck. Trim bushes and trees. Mulch, clean up the leaves and keep the grass cut.
Rule #2: Get Rid of the Clutter
Your things should be put away. Kitchen and bathroom counters should be mostly empty. The things that you have on shelves may be your favorite things but fewer is better. A counter or piece of furniture should have no more than 3 items on it. You have to pack those things anyway so pack them now. Your office should be cleaned up so that there are no papers on your desk. Clean out your closets and pack as much stuff as you can now. You want your house to look like it has plenty of storage. Closets crammed full of clothes do not sell. And clean and declutter your children’s rooms too.
Rule #3: Clean Clean Clean
Your house needs to be professionally cleaned and sparkle from top to bottom. Dust, mop, vacuum everything and clean the inside of cabinets, closets, drawers. And have the windows cleaned professionally inside and outside.
Rule #4: Make the Repairs
The broken cabinet door, the leaky faucet, the torn screen, and all of the other things that you have not yet gotten around to fixing need to be fixed now. Unfinished projects will scare off potential buyers. Replace broken light fixtures and make sure that all lights are working. A burnt out light bulb make a Buyer think that there are electrical issues with a house. Hire a contractor and get all of this done quickly.
Rule #5: Paint Paint Paint
Nothing helps a home sell more than a fresh coat of paint on the outside and inside. You may love your pink Dining Room or your orange and black bedroom but most Buyers will not like it. Choose a light beige or taupe color for the walls and white trim.
If your children and pets have scrapped and messed up the walls, now if the time to paint them.
Painting adjacent rooms the same color will help make them feel larger. If your rooms are painted different colors, the colors should be complimentary and not contrasting.
Rule # 6: Don’t Forget the Floors
Replace old worn carpets and professional clean stained carpets. Consider refinishing shabby hardwood floors. An inexpensive area rug can enhance a room. Clean kitchen and bath tile floors and replace any broken tiles.
Rule #7: Eliminate Odors
If you have a pet, your home probably smells like the pet. You may not be able to smell it so ask your friend or Realtor® if your home smells. If it does, cleaning and deodorizing the carpets may help.
If you smoke, your home smells like smoke and it is a turnoff for a Buyer. The smell is in your furniture and carpet and sometimes in the walls. Ask your Realtor® for additional assistance. And please smoke outside while your home is for sale. Fabreze spray may be used before each showing if there are smells.
Rule #8: Raise the blinds and turn on all the lights for every showing..
You may like to keep the curtains drawn and blinds down for privacy but darkness does not sell a house, light sells a house and make the rooms feel larger. Curtains and blinds should be open for every showing and ALL lights should be turned on.
Many homes are improperly lighted. Increase the wattage in your lamps and fixtures to their maximum allowed wattage. Try to get 100 watts for every 50 square feet or room. Think about three types of lighting – overhead (ceiling light, chandelier), Task (pendant, under-cabinet, reading) and accent (table and floor lamps) and use all three types of lighting.
Rule #6: Every Room Needs a Purpose and Staged Rooms are Better Than Empty Rooms
If you have a room with no furniture or a room that just gathers junk, stage it so that it has a purpose and add value to a home. Most Buyers have no imagination and will not realize that a Dining Room is a Dining Room unless it has a table and chairs in it. An empty room can be an office, an exercise room, a media room, a music room, a reading area, a bedroom, etc. An area rug, a few chairs, a table and lamp and some artwork can transform a room.
Rule # 7: Get Rid of the Old Torn Furniture.
You may love your ragged Lazy-Boy but it is not going to sell your home. Throw it away or else pack it up. Most people have too much furniture in their home so get rid of what you can. Keep the furniture that looks best and that is the right scale for the room.
Rule # 8: Float the Furniture
Most people have their furniture up against the walls. But rooms will feel larger if the furniture “Floats” in the room. Reposition sofas and chairs into cozy conversational groups. This will open up the room, make traffic through it easier and make the room feel larger. And don’t be afraid to angle the furniture in a room.
Rule #9: Use Tasteful Artwork
You may love your 27 pictures of your vacation but this may be a turnoff to a buyer. A tasteful painting on a wall is much more desirable to a buyer than personal photos.
Rule #10 Don’t Forget the Bedroom and Bathrooms
The Master Bedroom should be a serene retreat with neutral bedding and soft pillows. Your child may love the 6 ft Spiderman on the wall but it does not help to sell the home. Most children’s rooms are filled with clutter. Encourage your children to pack up their things now in anticipation of the move.
Your bathrooms should feel like a spa. Put away toothbrushes, makeup etc. Use clean new rolled up towels, baskets, candles and decorative soaps. Consider having outdated tacky bathroom tile reglazed. It costs much less than replacement tile and can make your bathroom look new. Also a new raised vanity is cheap and will make your bathroom fell new. Clean your grout and recaulk around the tub and shower if needed.