You’ve probably heard that you need to “stage your home” when it comes time to put your house on the market. But what does that mean? Staging is simply a new-fangled way of saying you need to make your home look its best before you try to sell it.
There are some specific things you can do to showcase your home to get a quick sale at a good price. Industry surveys show that taking these extra staging steps can help your home sell up to three months sooner, and for 3 percent more.
Take these staging steps in preparing your home for the market:
Make a good first impression
The outside of the home needs curb appeal for a great first impression. Tidy the front area by raking dead leaves, mowing, weeding the beds, and removing bikes and toys to a non-visible area. Paint the front trim if needed, and plant flowers if the season allows.
Let in the light
Before the home showing, open all windows and blinds, letting in sunlight. This helps make rooms look larger and more pleasant. Make sure windows are sparkling clean.
Help potential buyers imagine living in the home
Do this by removing personal knick knacks and family photos. Remove everything from the refrigerator door, and aim for the look of a model home. Your personal items will subconsicously prevent people from imagining themselves living in the home.
Breathe the air
Make sure the home is thoroughly aired and fresh. You may want to put on a pot of coffee or put some cookies in the oven for a homey scent, but beware of using scented candles and sprays. Many people are allergic to them.
Buy a few bouquets of flowers to put throughout the home for a beautiful touch.
Add pillows to beds and couches to reinforce a feeling of comfort and relaxation.
Put away small kitchen appliances for a clean look on the countertops
This will make the kitchen appear larger. Place a bowl of shiny apples or other fruit on counters.
Don’t forget closets
Remember that people will open closets, so organize and declutter them.
Prepare for inconvenience
In order to achieve a good, fast sale, you may have to put up with some inconvenience. For the home to show best, you may need to move out some pieces of furniture to help rooms look larger. This may require the rental of a storage unit but the cost may be well worth it if it results in a higher selling price or quicker turn-around.
Above all, try to see your home from the eyes of your buyers. You are accustomed to your home and probably don’t see all its flaws anymore. Look at each room as if through the eyes of a stranger. Work to make it as appealing, homey and comfortable as you can. This week, plan to walk through every room in your house with pen and paper and make detailed notes about what staging steps you will need to take in each area. Once you have a list of things to do, make a budget to determine how much money you will need to make the necessary changes. With some effort and a little money you will be more likely to make a timely and financially beneficial sale.