Thoughtfully and carefully staging your house is an essential step to selling it quickly in today’s less-than-robust real estate market.
“Buyers are busier than ever these days, so they want homes that are move-in ready,” says one seasoned Realtor. “Buyers aren’t interested in fixer-uppers unless the prices have been dramatically reduced.”
Most Realtors suggest several relatively inexpensive steps that home sellers can take to make their homes stand out. Chief among those steps is cleaning your home from top to bottom and removing the clutter. After all, you may be completely enamored with the large display of ceramic cats displayed throughout your home, but your precious collection is likely to deter several potential buyers.
In addition to making sure your home is sparkling clean, here are other valuable tips to consider when staging your home for sale:
Depersonalize your home- by removing most family photos and large collections. Prospective buyers want to envision how their own belongings will fit into the home. Remember that the way you stage your house is not necessarily the way you regularly live in it.
Clear out the clutter-and boxes from your basement or garage. If necessary, paint the walls and/or floors in your basement.
Consider removing some of the furniture- from your living room and other areas. Less furniture will make your home appear larger. Display only a few carefully selected and tasteful decorative items in each room.
Remove all items from the door of your refrigerator. This including photos, notes and magnets. Your important reminders and memories look like clutter to potential buyers.
Clear off the collectables and decorative items- from the tops of your cupboards, counters and tables.
Rent a storage unit- for a short amount of time if necessary. Or, perhaps a friend or family member will let you borrow some garage or basement space for your extra items while your house is on the market.
Clean out closets and cabinet drawers- to assure potential buyers that your house has ample storage space.
During the holidays, decorate sparingly- and keep living décor, such as pumpkins, gourds, trees or poinsettias, fresh.
Consider repainting walls a neutral color, If you’ve used a bold color palette on them. Consider tan, off-white, or beige. Remove wallpaper.
Saturate your home with natural light- by cleaning your windows inside and outside. Dust and wash your screens, and remove heavy draperies and replace them with lightly colored or sheer panels. If you already have light-colored window coverings, make sure they are freshly laundered or dry-cleaned. For showings, pull up shades and pull back draperies.
Have your carpets professionally cleaned- and your wood floors buffed. If old carpet is covering hardwood floors, remove it. If your carpet needs to be replaced, go ahead and do it versus offering a carpeting allowance because buyers want to just move into their new home without having a lot of extra work to do.
Eliminate all odors- from pets and smoking.
Finally, ask your realtor for additional tips on staging your home for a fast and efficient sale. This is what they do for a living, and they know what works best for your type of home and the area you live in. And don’t neglect to ask your realtor what potential buyers are saying about your home after they tour it. That information may help you fine-tune your staging efforts. By working together, you and your realtor can properly prepare your home for sale and change the “For Sale” sign to “SOLD!”