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10 Tips to Stage your Home like a Professional

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When you are trying to sell your home, any edge that you can get over your competition is a plus! It is a home buyers market out there, and if your home has the slightest reason for a buyer to be turned away, you just lost a potential sale.  Home staging is about marketing your home appealing to buyers and showing your home off in its best light. Here are 10 tips stagers use to give your home an extra boost over your competition.

1.) Make all surfaces clean: While this seems like a ‘no-brainer’, often times it is not.  Depending on your family a weekly thorough cleaning is necessary when your home is on the market.  Although a trick stagers use is to always have glass cleaner, wood polish, etc… on hand at a moment’s notice.  Don’t assume that all surfaces are clean. Before a showing go through your home and run your finger across all surfaces that buyers will see immediately and clean them.

2.) Assure mirrors and windows are streak free: Reflection of light makes any room feel brighter, cleaner and more inviting. In bathrooms and bedrooms assure your mirrors are streak free and clean.  Similarly with all the windows in your home. Clean them inside and out, if possible.  The more light and views you can bring into your home the better.

3.) Put away dirty dishes: In the morning time, often the family is running around trying to get out of the house on time.  The last thing you are thinking about is cleaning out the sink of breakfast dishes or putting away your juice glass.  If your home is available to be shown to Realtors while you’re away, you should leave your home in ‘show ready’ condition at all times. If you are in desperate time crunch, place dirty dishes in a cool oven and close the door. Most home buyers will not look here when looking at the kitchen; just don’t forget to take them out when you come home.

4.) Leave the home smelling good: The average person may not be able to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies when they’re having a showing.  Especially if a Realtor will show your home with little advance warning.  Have spray neutralizers, and fabric fresheners’ to lightly spray throughout the home.  Avoid using overly perfume ridden sprays that may turn off buyers or interfere with a buyer’s sensitivity to allergens.

5.) Clean up your closets: One of the top areas that buyers are looking for is storage.  Don’t assume that your closets are the place to throw all your clothes and overflow items.  If a home buyer can’t see how much space they would be acquiring in your closet, it is time to purge, pack, or sell belongings.

6.) Each room needs to have a purpose: One trick professionals use is to make a clean sweep through your home in determining an intended use for each space.  Therefore, toys in the living room need to be placed in a children’s room or a playroom. While a kitchen table that has office papers all over it will need to move papers to an office/den area or store out of sight.

7.) Set the mood: Home staging professionals will tell you that home buyers like to feel welcomed into the home immediately.  To make them feel at home, plan for light jazz or classical music in the background.  A light beverage or snack offered when they arrive is a touch to make home buyers take a harder look at your home.

8.) Look at your front entry daily: Unlike the rest of your home that you walk through several times a day, we forget about our front door. Daily, make sure leaves and debris haven’t collected on the ground or there aren’t  any bugs in the front entry. All of these can be an instant deterrent to a future home buyer.

9.) Leave the house when home buyers look at your home: Unless you are selling your home ‘By Owner’, it is best to leave your home so the home buyer can feel comfortable browsing through your home.  If you are selling your home by owner, give the family space to look freely.  Even going outside for 10-15 minutes while they look around will make your buyers feel more comfortable, and that is the key when appealing to future home buyers.

10.) Clean up bathroom counters: Once again, the morning time is the prime culprit of family members leaving personal toiletries and belongings out.  Put all toiletries away and only leave 1 or 2 small decorative items on the counter. A trick from the pros is having a small basket located under your bathroom sink that you can put all toiletries items in after each use. This way it is quick to clean up every day.

Use these tips when expecting a showing for your home.  If you do have the time, clean and organize before you get the phone call from the Realtor! The more you can accomplish before perspective buyers come, the better.

Freshome reader’s do you have any tips you use when trying to sell your home to perspective buyers?  Realtors and home stagers share your thoughts too, we’d love to hear?

5 comments

  • ros ros October 26, 2010 at 14:28 PM Login to Reply →

    declutter! less is more!

    often i see clutter lying around when visiting homes. it’ll be good to have less personal things lying around so that potential owners can imagine how their own furniture or personal things can looked in those spaces.

    a fresh coat of paint doesn’t hurt either.

  • Sheila Zeller October 26, 2010 at 18:02 PM Login to Reply →

    Closets:
    -Make sure all wire hangers are disposed of
    -Replace bowed rods and shelves
    -Install plastic sleeve cover over marked-up rods for visual aesthetic
    -Free up floor space and shelf space to showcase storage potential
    -Ensure closet door opens/glides easily
    Storage sells, so showcase what you’ve got!

  • Angela October 26, 2010 at 18:02 PM Login to Reply →

    I know this may sound silly, but I read that the color yellow evokes a buying emotion… so, before we listed our house, I made sure there were touches of yellow in every room. In this market, it sure can’t hurt!

  • Carolina October 27, 2010 at 00:22 AM Login to Reply →

    For ‘freshening’ a home try either putting a dab of vanilla extract on a small baking sheet and leave in warm oven, OR put cinnamon sticks and cloves (plus maybe a bit of dried orange peel) in a small pot on the stove and let simmer. I always had chocolate chip cookie dough in the fridge, and baked a half-dozen each morning to leave out for potential buyers as well as a thermos pot of fresh coffee and a few mugs, plus sugar and creamer. Don’t forget spoons. I left a note telling them to help themselves to cookies and coffee. You could also leave a variety of tea bags and a thermos of hot water, plus sugar, honey etc. (Our house sold for full asking price in less than 2 weeks, with multiple offers!) Our Realtor LOVED us for making her job easier.

  • Carolina October 27, 2010 at 00:29 AM Login to Reply →

    BTW: Our Realtor quickly put the used mugs and spoons in the dishwasher when people were done. She also would bake a few more cookies if needed, and set out more clean mugs, etc. It was a ‘joint effort’. She would also add a bit more vanilla to the cookie sheet if needed. (Make certain to put foil on the cookie sheet so it’s easy to clean when you get home!)