Six Steps to Successful Staging of Your Home

If you want to sell your home quickly for top dollar, you may want to consider staging it or presenting your home in the best light possible to most home-buyers. While this sounds simple, many homeowners actually find this difficult, because it’s tough to be objective when it comes to things we love….and we all love our homes.

Visiting model homes is a good way to see effective staging. Builders know it’s worth their money to invest in decorating the models. They know what a difference a staged home can make to the buyers. In selling your home, you should take advantage of their experience and knowledge.

 Here are some helpful tips you may want to consider:

  1. Start Working on a Plan Now

Walk through each room and criticize it from a potential buyer’s perspective. Make a “to do list” (it’s okay if it’s long) and begin tackling each item.  Do you have major repair projects?  If so, contact a contractor now to get price estimates and figure out how much time is needed to make these repairs.

  1. Woo buyers from the curb

We have all seen potential buyers sitting low in their slow moving cars as they drive by.  They are deciding whether your home is worth a second look and if they want to come into an open house. Your front yard is their first impression, so make it a good one!  You can adding potted plants and flowers, paint the trim, mow and fertilize the yard, trim the shrubs, sweep the walkways, wash the windows, put away any toys or equipment, and clean the gutters. Don’t forget to check the front door, welcome mat, and even the address number on your curb.

  1. Make the inside sparkle and shine!

Now pretend that your boss or mother-in-law is coming over for a visit! Think super clean… resort clean.  Hire a professional if needed to thoroughly scrub the entire home. Mop, vacuum and dust floors (no dust bunnies allowed), clean baseboards, cabinets, and blinds. Kitchen and bathrooms are huge here.  Pay careful attention to odors—ask a friend to visit and give your home a “smell clearance” especially if you have pets.

  1. Out with the clutter

Buyers want to see your home, not your stuff. Depersonalize. Yes, even your wall of family photos, personal awards, and collectibles make it hard for buyers to see past your personal style. You are going to have to pack everything away eventually, so why not start now?  Hold a yard sale.  Sell, donate, or trash anything you don’t need, and pack the rest away now.  That way buyers can envision their stuff in your home.

  1. What repairs to do?

If you think the repairs are too much to make, the potential buyers will probably think the same, and will look elsewhere.  Repair squeaky doors, broken drawers, fixtures, or windows. Remember, buyers will be looking inside cabinets, so clean them out now and have them in good working order. You get a lot of bang for your buck when you put a fresh coat of neutral paint—there’s no better way to give life to an old room.

Carpets may be worth replacing if they are old and frayed.  Or you can use areas rugs to disguise dull floors as well.  New inexpensive light fixtures or hardware can also update a room.  If they are tacky, replace them!

  1. Think beyond the visual!

When a buyer comes into an open house or showing, all their senses come into play.  You can offer light refreshments (water on hot summer days is refreshing), bake cookies, or burn scented candles. Open windows and blinds to not only let in fresh air, but to brighten rooms and show off views as well.  Lighting can be the most effective way to set a mood, so use it to your advantage.  Remember to urn off TVs and relocate pets on the day of an open house, as many buyers are either afraid of allergic to animals.