Home Staging Tips That Sell Homes

when it comes time to sell your house, these staging tips will help.Every home seller wants to ensure they get top dollar for their home and get those offers rolling in quickly. Properly preparing or “home staging” before you place it on the market can help get that sold sign up quickly. It’s imperative these steps be taken before you list your house because the first few weeks the house is on the market are the most critical.

Clean thoroughly – This is the one time when you need your house to be spotless – both inside and outside. Potential buyers will be turned off by dishes in the sink, a smelly litter box or dusty furniture. Professionally clean your carpets. This will help remove smells that linger. Remember, you want to create a lasting impression – a positive one.

Clean your windows, wipe down floor molding, clean counter tops, replace moldy or aged caulking and even clean your garage. If this seems like too much work, hire a housecleaning service to help. You should also consider having them return weekly while the house is on the market. Prepare yourself and your family for the challenge of keeping your home spotless for the next several weeks. Reward your children for helping and keeping their rooms clean. Home staging may not be very sexy, but it has teeth!

Remove clutter – To ensure your house looks as big and roomy as possible you will need to remove clutter and excess furniture. Tackle one room at time. Work through every closet, drawer and cabinet of every room. Sort items into three groupings: things you must leave in the room because it is a necessity, things you need to keep but can keep in storage and things that can be thrown away. Your goal as you de-clutter is to make your home look as spacious as possible. Keep in mind that potential buyers will look into closets, cabinets and even drawers as they walk through your home. Here’s a great eBook that covers everything you need to know about de-cluttering your home (and your life).

Remove excess furniture – Leave only those furniture items that are necessary and those items that reflect the purpose of the room. If furniture impedes a pathway, move it to storage. Rent a storage facility so your excess clutter and furniture can be taken offsite. This is not the time to save a few dollars and store everything in the garage. You need to remove clutter from the garage as well so it looks as spacious as the rest of your de-cluttered home.

Neutral Colors – While you might love that bright pink or red bedroom, many potential buyers will be turned off by bold paint and carpet colors. Most buyers walk through a house and try to visualize how it will look with their furniture in the home. They may find this difficult to do if the color scheme clashes with their items. Think neutral and warm to appeal to the widest audience. Repaint, strip wallpaper or remove paneling that does not fit this neutral definition. Carpet that is not neutral in color or is highly worn should be replaced. You can replace with an inexpensive carpet, but carpet should be replaced if it distracts from neutrality or is worn to a point of hurting the value of the home. Once the walls and carpeting are neutral colors, you can add back some color and style with accents and accessories.

Accentuate Key Features – Take advantage of unique or key features of your home. If you have beautiful hardwood floors, don’t hide them with a large area rug. Removing the rug and polishing the hardwood floor will show off this key element of your home. For fireplaces, be sure to thoroughly clean the inside of the fireplace and spruce up the mantel with some small topiaries or other decorative accents. Take advantage of other key features of your home and accentuate them so they become a key focal point of the room.

Curb Appeal – After tackling the inside of your home, you need to clean up the outside as well. First impressions are lasting. Potential buyers will gain their first impression of your home as they drive up for a showing. You want positive curb appeal. Paint the exterior of your home and window trim if needed. Trim your bushes and trees. Mow and edge your yard weekly while the house is on the market. Remove leaves and weeds from your flowerbeds. Adding fresh flowers and new mulch will help turn on the charm.

Prepare for the Showings – After you have staged your house and listed in on the market, be ready for the showings and take steps to enhance the experience for the potential buyers. Be careful of what you cook. Having fish for lunch may sound appetizing, but the smell could linger into your unplanned evening showing. Strategically place air fresheners throughout the house, but use them in moderation.

You should plan to leave the house for every showing. Walk each room just before you leave and pick up any stray items the kids may have left behind. Be sure to take your pets with you. A barking dog can be a significant turn off for a potential buyer. Empty all trash cans and turn on all lights before you leave. Be patient and hang in there. Showings can be a significant interruption and the effort it takes to keep your house spotless may seem overwhelming. In the end, it will be worth the effort and will help you find the right buyer early in the process.

If you follow these suggestions wholeheartedly, you may have second thoughts about selling your home now that it looks so appealing. As you look around your clean and uncluttered home, you may recall that this is probably what it looked like when you first bought it. Ironically, that is the intent of proper staging. Potential buyers should now see your home the same way you did when it first appealed to you.
Article by Kristi Cole.

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