Home Staging Tips
The purpose of staging is to make your home more appealing to potential buyers. Greater interest equals a faster sale and a higher price. Most potential buyers have a difficult time imagining the house if it were clean, uncluttered, and had nice carpet. You want to make it easy for buyers to visualize themselves and their belongings in the home.
Hiring a professional stager is your best bet unless you have what it takes to do it yourself. Some real estate agents often will even include a staging service if you list with them.
To Do List
Make a list of everything that needs to be done in each room. Try to view it from the perspective of a potential buyer. It might help to bring in people from the outside to get more objective opinions. Here’s some work that might need to be done:
- clean windows, light fixtures, woodwork, and doors
- repaint or touch up walls; use a neutral color such as white or beige
- replace burned out light bulbs
- repair leaky faucet and anything else that needs fixing. If buyers are concerned about having to put more money into the house, that could be enough to turn them away.
- clean out closets, kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, pantry, and other spaces. The more spacious these areas are, the better. Storage space is highly valued.
- eliminate clutter in entryways, hallways, and stairways. clean, ovens, microwaves, and stoves.
- washer, dryer, and refrigerator should all be in good condition. Even if you plan on taking them with, they could be a turnoff to buyers if they’re unsightly. Buyers might also wonder what else is in bad shape. Consider replacing them if need be.
- clean soiled or matted carpet, or have it replaced. If you do buy new carpet, it doesn’t have to be expensive. The buyer may want something different anyway. The objective is to make it look nice so at least they don’t feel like it has to go right away.
- consider refacing or getting new kitchen counter tops and cabinets if they’re very out-dated. The less work a potential buyer feels like has to be done, the better. If you aren’t sure what to do, consult your real estate agent.
- get rid of any mold or mildew on carpet or in the basement.
- cut the grass, eliminate weeds, rake leaves, trim shrubs. The property should look clean and organized.
- consider repainting the house if need be; make necessary repairs. If any mold or mildew exists, power wash it off.
- power wash the driveway or sidewalk for a cleaner look.
- garage should be clean, decluttered, and organized neatly. Get rid of anything that isn’t being used. Vacuuming will help a lot. The more space, the better.
Write down anything that you want to take with you. As long as something is attached to the house, it’s part of the sale unless you specify otherwise.
It’s best not to list appliances such as the refrigerator, washer, and dryer as a part of the sale. If the buyer wants them, then you’ll have a decision to make. As long as you’re getting a good deal, this shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Don’t expect a higher offer however just because they’re included.
Figure out who will do what work. What can you or your family do, and what will have to be done by a professional?
This is a huge theme when preparing your house for a sale. Less clutter equals more space, which adds greatly to the appeal of your home. Also, this is a great opportunity to get rid of a bunch of stuff that you no longer want or use anymore.
The less stuff you have, the less that has to be packed. This ultimately means saving time and money. My rule is simply this: if I have no plans for a particular item in the future, or I don’t love it, then it goes. Decide what should be thrown out, and what can be given away.
Make a list of stuff to:
- throw away
- pack in advance
Thrift stores such as Goodwill and Salvation Army are good places to donate. There are likely places in your area as well that will take old furniture and appliances.
Consignment shops are an option for things that are still in good condition and have value. Any monetary return you get is a bonus that can help pay your moving expenses. Craigslist and Ebay are other options for selling items that are a bit more pricey.
When showing your house, clear off tables and desks. Remove any magnets or items posted on the refrigerator. The less there is, the easier it will be for buyers to picture their things in the house. Get rid of any furniture that you no longer want. This will create more space.
You can pack all the small items that you plan on taking with. They can be stored in boxes and placed in the basement. If you have a lot of stuff, then ask a friend if they can hold some of it to their house.