Staging your home is a proven way to help bring top dollar. Even in a seller’s market, it is to your advantage to have your home looking its best. Professional home stagers are the experts, but if you don’t have any room in your budget, there are still plenty of things you can do to present your house at its very best.
Here are six steps to take as you prep your home for buyers:
1. Start early. Walk through your home with the eye of a potential buyer and make note of items to address. As your real estate agent, I am also happy to do a walkthrough prior to listing to make suggestions for staging. You might also consider getting a home inspection prior to listing to find any trouble areas, then arrange for repairs you are unable or unwilling to do yourself.
2. Depersonalize, declutter and deep clean. This is the time to really get to work. Hold a yard sale or sell unneeded items online. Give your home a deep cleaning from top to bottom. Steam clean any carpet or drapes. Pack away family photos, collectibles and mementos. Clean and organize all closets. Small appliances should be put away to leave all surfaces as free of clutter as possible.
3. Don’t forget the exterior. Home staging means more than just arranging living room furniture. Your home’s exterior will be the first thing potential buyers see, so be sure it is inviting. Paint the house’s trim, tidy up the landscaping and repair any cracks in the driveway and sidewalk. Add some color with freshly potted colorful flowers and plants. Be sure to stow away garden tools, hoses and children’s toys.
4. Give extra attention to kitchens and bathrooms. It’s true that kitchens often sell a house. Make sure yours is looking its best. Freshen the look of your cabinets with updated hardware. Clear countertops and make sure any floor or wall tile is clean, including grout. Appliances should be sparkling clean. Restore caulking around the bathtub, shower and sink. Add fresh hand soaps and towels to the bath.
5. Make your home inviting to the senses. When it comes time to have a showing or open house at your home, freshly baked cookies or similarly scented candle can provide a welcoming aroma in the air. Turn off all televisions and turn on lights throughout your home. Open curtains and blinds to let in natural light. Take any pets with you and stow away their toys.
6. Highlight your home’s very best features. When staging your home, it’s important to minimize its less desirable features while also putting the focus onto its best. Does your home have beautiful floors? Remove some of your rugs to show it off. If your backyard and pool are the main attraction, be sure the areas are clean and inviting. Stage the deck, including fresh pillows and newly potted plants.
Staging your home for maximum dollar means more than just how you arrange your furniture or organize your closets. Approach staging from a whole-house perspective and you’re sure to have your home looking its absolute best for buyers.
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