If you’re looking to sell your home and you want to make it stand out from the crowd, proper staging is the key!
If you don’t want to spend extra money to hire a professional staging company, here are a few tips that cost little or no money — and will likely make a huge, positive impact on potential buyers:
(1) Deep Clean
This is the most essential step in the staging process. Potentials buyers want to be “wowed,” and nothing will send them running to the next listing faster than a messy house! Take the time to deep clean your house. In addition to your normal cleaning routine, set aside time to:
- Wash the Windows – This includes all drapes, curtains, blinds, window frames, sills and glass. (Use a laundry scent booster on any linens you wash to keep the house smelling fresh!)
- Scrub the Baseboards -All too often these are neglected when the floors are washed. Move any furniture, and scrub all baseboards with a mild soap and water mixture to remove built up dirt and grime (If you have problems with lint or pet hair lurking in corners, rub a dryer sheet around the perimeter of your baseboards to help eliminate cobwebs and lint build up!)
- Clean the Floors – Make sure you (carefully!) move furniture or appliances to clean up any hidden dust, crumbs or dirt that may have accumulated over time. If you have carpet, consider renting a steam cleaner to get your carpets fresh and stain-free!
- Manicure the Exterior – Trim any unruly shrubbery, weed any flower beds or potted plants, remove / replace any dead plants, sweep any hard surfaces to remove debris and touch up any missing / faded paint on doors, window frames, shutters, etc. If you have hardware in your landscaping that doesn’t function (lights, broken bricks, rotted wood, etc.) be sure to remove or replace these items. (If it doesn’t work as intended, it’s better to not have it at all!)
(2) De-Clutter and Organize
When buyers are viewing a home they are interested in, they need to be able to envision their own items in the house. If they are having a difficult time seeing past all your stuff, they might give up and seek out a different place. Set some time aside to:
- Organize Papers – If you have stacks of papers lying around, go through them. Get rid of items that are out-dated, create a filing system for important documents (you can use a filing cabinet or use a 3-hole punch and store them in a binder)
- If You Don’t Need It, Hide It – This includes any items that take up unnecessary space such as excessive nick-knacks. Consider getting rid of items you no longer need and neatly storing the items you cherish but don’t add function to a space.
- Maximize Your Storage Space – Even if your home lacks storage space, de-cluttering will eliminate items that take up unnecessary space. Consider using plastic storage bins and neatly labeled boxes to store items. It will not only make your closets and storage areas visually appealing, but it will also make it easier to load when your home sells!
- Move & Rearrange Furniture – If you have a lot of pieces in one room, and few in other rooms, consider moving some furniture into other rooms to balance out the space equally between each room. (If you have more furniture than you need, consider putting extra pieces in storage or selling some to make a little extra cash for other staging improvements!)
(3) Eliminate Over-Personalization
As discussed above, buyers want to be able to see their own furniture and belongings in the home. If there is an over-abundance of personal photos throughout your home, consider storing them away or replacing them with generic artwork that fits the look and feel of the room. Although your friends and family may enjoy looking at pictures when they come to visit, John & Jane Buyers probably aren’t quite as interested. (Need some inspiration? Check out these simple, inexpensive ideas for wall art!)
Neutral colors are the best colors! If you have time and money, consider painting the interior rooms a warm, neutral tone. If you opt out of painting, make sure the room makes sense. Use items to decorate and accessorize that coordinate with the color scheme of the space. Even wild and eccentric colors can be toned down or played up with proper use of coordinating shades.
(4) Maintain Your Hard Work
Take time each day to keep your home “Show-Ready” at all times!
- Stay organized using the storage and de-cluttering techniques and systems you created (it only takes a few extra minutes to put things where they belong)
- Keep up with the cleaning: keep your floors vacuumed, swept and mopped, wipe off counters and faucets, make your beds daily, keep the sink dirty dish-free, consolidate trash, fold and put away laundry, dust regularly, etc. After a deep clean, it’s easier to prevent the need to repeat the deep cleaning process with some simple, daily maintenance!
- Keep your exterior managed: mow the lawn regularly, keep weeds under control and sweep off hard surfaces of debris
(5) Be an “Invisible Host/Hostess” During Showings
With some pre-planning and preparation, you can make potential buyers feel welcome and excited about viewing your home:
- Consider having fresh-baked cookies or other sweet treats set out with a simple note that says “Thank You for choosing to visit our home!”
- Give potential buyers a run-down of your favorite features about the home and neighborhood in the form of a “Fact Sheet.” Be honest and positive. Think of topics like:
What I/we will miss most about this home?
My/Our favorite thing to do around the house or in the neighborhood is
My/Our favorite feature about this house is; etc.
The agent you choose to list your home should be willing to take time to give you insight on staging your home the best way possible. If you’re looking for knowledgeable, professional, courteous real estate professionals to assist you with all aspects of selling your home, look no further than Team George Weeks!