Selling your house can be a tiresome process. People traipsing through the house at inconvenient times. Always having to keep the house clean. General disruption to your families schedule. Most anyone who has ever tried to sell a house will agree that the quicker you can get it sold the better!
One important aspect of making your home attractive to buyers is to make is so that the buyer can picture himself living in the home. This home staging I soften done by professionals that your real estate agent will help you hire. Staging a home can bring you a much higher selling price. A home staging professional can be hired to tour your home and direct you to make the changes that will increase your homes marketability. If you do hire a stager, always make sure the stager you hire is accredited.
Now, you may be thinking that you just redecorated so your house must be perfect, but staging a home is not redecorating it. Redecorating a home focuses on the seller and their personality. Staging focuses on the buyer. It provides the current home owner with the knowledge to rearrange the furnishings, pictures, accessories, etc. in the best possible manner to enhance the rooms function, appearance and balance.
Sellers are attached to their homes and may not realize how their treasured mementos might look like clutter to someone outside the family. Many times, sellers don’t want to pack away their family things foer viewings, and this can really affect the sale of your house. Real Estate agents will often hire a stager as part of the selling package because they may be uncomfortable disclosing to the seller that their home needs work and avoid upsetting them.
A staging professional works things from the buyers perspective in order to help the buyer see themselves and their belongings fit into the home they are viewing. They do this by rearranging the home to appeal to a broad base of purchasers. Stagers can be expensive, so if you want to go it alone please follow the tips below.
The first thing you must do is unclutter your house. You will have to try to look at your house with new eyes – many times we are so used to the clutter that we block it out! Go through each room and remove any clutter you see. Organize toys in decorative boxes that are hidden away in a storage room (perhaps a room for storage in the basement). You can always take them out again when you don’t have any booked showings. Bookcases should be neat and attractive interspersed with a few ornaments. Closets should be cleaned out so that only clothes are visible. Remove storage at top and bottom of closets. Place clothes out of season in storage.In fact, place any clutter you have found in storage as well. You have to move anyway and you will have to pack less later when you do move!
Lighting is important so make sure the rooms are well lit, provide some nice ambient lighting with lamps and avoid bright glaring fluorescent overhead lights. The foyer provides the buyer with the first impression. It should be clean, uncluttered, bright and inviting. If any rooms are dull brighten them up with higher wattage bulbs in lamps.
You want the buyer to picture themselves living in the home so you should remove all your personal photos and replace them with prints or other decorations. You want the buyer to focus on your home, not your personal life. This can be distracting.
A fresh coat of paint is mandatory. Paint your home in a neutral color but don’t make it too dull. Tans, sages, and beige are good colors. You can add some interest with colored accessories, pillows, throw rugs, candles, etc.
Bathrooms should be sparkling! Counters should be clear with no personal items visible. Tub tile grout should be clean and shower curtains and glass shower doors should be free of mildew. Hang fluffy, colorful towels on the towel rods. Put out decorative soaps in cute containers. Buy a new shower curtain and rug for the floor.
The kitchen is a key selling point in your home and must be spotless. Remove all notes, magnets, etc.off the front of the fridge. Keep counter space clean and clear of all items. Clean out under the sinks and organize the pantry and cupboards. Paint outdated cupboards with a neutral color and put new modern knobs on doors for a fresh look. Dishes on the floor for pet food should be eliminated during a showing.
Make your furniture look cozy, but don’t put too much in one room. Leave space between pieces and remove nick knacks. Your most attractive piece of furniture should be placed on the wall you see when you enter a room if possible. Put all your CD’s and videos away out of sight. Hang pictures at eye level or in geometric shaped groupings. Group accessories in odd numbers (one, three or five).Fireplace mantles should be depersonalized by removing pictures. A flower arrangement, mantle clock or piece of art would be appropriate here.
Curb appeal is important and the buyers first impression of your house will be from the outside. Garages and front and back yards should be cleaned and well trimmed. Put away any toys that are laying around in the yard. Plant flowers or shrubs in the yard for a welcoming effect. Prune any shrubs you may already have. Clean the pool if you have one. The lawn should be cut and watered to give the home a well cared for look. A coat of paint on the outside of the house may also be in order.
When someone is coming over for a showing make sure the house is spotless. Turn on the table lamps for ambient lighting. Play some soft music for ambiance. Spray a little bit of air freshener before hand to give the house a nice smell – not too much or it might look like you are covering up an odor! Try putting some vases of fresh flowers on the tables for added appeal.
Not everyone can afford a stager, but it is well worth the money and could pay for itself and then some with a higher sale price!
by Lee Dobbins
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