Simply put, staging is dressing your home up for potential buyers by creating a ‘Moment in Time’ where they can see themselves in your home.
It can be hard for buyers to see themselves in an empty house. It can be just as hard to see themselves in your house with all of your things still out on display.
The goal of staging is to declutter and depersonalize your home, so that when that potential buyers walks in, they can get a sense of how they would live in your home without being overwhelmed by too much stuff.
Most of us are living in our home while it is on the market, and so fully staging it may not be realistic at first. Here are some things you can do if you’re in this situation:
- Paint the Front Door – A freshly painted front door sets the stage for potential buyers as they enter the home. It gives the impression of a new start.
- Declutter the Floors – Even the floors of the closets. Clutter can make a room seem smaller than it actually is. When you’re first preparing your home for sale, remove everything but the most essential items from each room, and store them in a place that prospective buyers won’t look.
- Remove your framed photos of friends and family – De-personalize your home as much as possible. Envision a staged home, and try to make yours look as much as possible like what you envision.
- Clean up to shiny perfection and make sure your home smells clean every night before you go to bed. Putting a little Lysol in water in the kitchen sink before a showing will give the home a fresh clean smell. Roasting almonds in the oven before a showing is also a nice touch. It fills the kitchen with the aroma of baking, and brings to mind family gatherings and holiday cheer.
- Organize your pantry, line or clean the shelves, and straighten the laundry room. Keep your groceries to a bare minimum, and take out your trash before you leave the house every day.
- Make sure you have a good choice of paint colors throughout your home. (NOT just white) Warm colors and accent walls will make your home feel more inviting than clean white everywhere.
- Straighten bookcases and dust between the books. Straighten closets and hang each item neatly.
- Toys. Leave some of your children’s favorites out along with their books. Make the beds everyday. Try to think every room as a stage, and set them up with the buyer’s viewpoint in mind. What would you think if you walked in this room?
- Bathrooms should be spotless – No toys in bathtubs, or towels on the floor. Clean and smelling fresh toilets are key! Buy air fresheners for each bathroom, and make sure they smell nice each day before you leave the house.
- Yard. Make sure yard is always manicured as this is the first thing a prospective buyer will see. For some reason, homes having yellow or red flowers in pots or near the front porch seem to sell faster. The outside appearance is the gate of approval or disapproval.
- Create a good patio space for entertaining. Make sure the space is clean and fresh, with clean furniture and fresh flowers. Stage the patio in the same way that you stage a living room, make it feel inviting!
Another helpful hint:
Buy a plastic laundry hamper for each room. Anytime you’re getting ready to leave for the day or you get a call requesting a viewing, put all of the items on the floor into the hampers, and take the hampers with you as you walk out the door.
So, IS Your Home Ready for Sale?
It’s best to get an impartial opinion on this, either from a good Realtor® or someone with a knowledge of interior design. The fact that you’ve lived in your home makes it hard for you to be an objective critic of how a first-time buyer will experience it.
Home staging is a part of my service to sellers.
I offer free home-staging consultations to prospective home sellers. If you want to get an honest, expert opinion, feel free to give me a call or shoot me message: