If you’re getting your home ready to sell, STAGE IT! Staging always puts a home in its best light, showcasing its strong points and down playing its not so strong points.
I believe it’s always best to hire a staging professional. Whether someone is living in your home or if it’s vacant, a staging professional can give you the advice you need to make your home looks it’s best to the masses. You can opt to just get a Staging Consultation (very affordable) and do all the work yourself, or you can have the stager do it all for you (more affordable than you think – get an estimate). Or if your budget is non-existent here are a few tips your can do completely on your own.
1. De-clutter! If you have piles of anything, go through it and throw away what you don’t want, pack up what you can live without and keep only what you need, but put it away – out of sight.
2. Remove and pack most of your family photos. I do not believe you need to remove all of your photos. I think it’s nice to see some happy family photos, but just a small few. If you have several photos out people fell like they are intruding. They can feel uncomfortable and spend much less time in your home.
3. Remove and pack any collections you may have. Again, collections can be distracting. Either they are impressed and spend more time looking at your collection than the house or they don’t like your collection, find it distracting and just leave.
4. Deep clean your home. Nothing is a bigger turn off than a dirty home. Make sure your kitchen and bathrooms sparkle. If you’re too busy to clean, hire someone to come in and do a thorough cleaning before you put your home on the market.
5. Minimize the toys. Whether the prospective buyers have kids or not, they will not want to see toys all over the place. Go through the toys, give some away, throw some away and pack up as many as you can. People will only see toys everywhere and not your home. People without kids will only see a mess and people with kids will see that your home doesn’t have enough storage.
6. Clean and clear out your closets. Go through your clothes, throw some away, give some away and pack up whatever you don’t need now. When people open up your closets they are looking to see how much storage is in the house, and if they are jam packed people think “there isn’t enough storage in this house”.
7. Curb appeal. The front of your home is the first thing a potential buyer sees and if it’s full of debris, un-kept, needs maintenance or new plants ~ they might not even go into your home. Again, remove any clutter, toys, or personal items, fix or repair necessary items (paint, fix broken items, replace light bulbs, etc). If you have any sick plants, dead plants or just a blank dirt area – plant new easy care plants. Hire a gardener or ask for help at your local nursey. Last but not least, put out a new “Welcome” mat.
8. If your home is full of furniture, please consider getting a storage unit. Don’t take away everything, just take away extra furiture. For example, in a living area you’ll want to keep a seating arrangement (sofa, loveseat and or chairs) coffee and end table, lamps, art and a few accessories. We don’t want wall to wall furniture. We want to see some wall space. This is just another way to minimize and make your home look bigger and it’s best.
There is a theme here. De-clutter, minimize and neutralize! The goal is to make your home look its best to everyone who walks in the door. We want each person to be able to envision their stuff in the home, because that’s a sign that they are looking at the bones of the house and not your stuff … plus it’s a buying sign! They just may make an offer.
These are just a few general suggestions, but each home may have its own special needs. Do what you can on your own or hire a professional Stager to do it for you.
Lowes even has a list of things you can do to stage your home.