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  2. How Do I Prepare My Home for Selling?

How do I stage my home?

Staging your home is a very effective part of the selling process that can only add to the selling price of your home.

Staging is an important part of properly preparing your home for sale. Staging your home is an easy and effective way to attract more buyers, sell your home faster and for more money!

On average, people receive $2 in the increased sale price for every $1 they put into staging a home.

5 Golden Rules:

  • De-Personalize
      1. Buyers need to picture themselves in the house - not you. That wedding photo may mean the world to you, but to the buyer, it’s a distraction that prevents them from seeing a home for their family.
  • Maximize
      1. Declutter and maximize the space in your home. Closets packed tight with all of your clothes make a place look like it lacks closet space. Consider temporarily storing the overflow offsite.
  • Sanitize
      1. This golden rule is the easiest and cheapest way to stage your home - just clean it. A sink full of dirty dishes is as unappealing to you as it would be to a buyer. It is well worth the elbow grease to clean floors, walls, baseboards, ceiling fans, and windows.
  • Modernize
      1. Unless your home has exceptional period built-ins, most homes could benefit from some updating. If someone feels the home is dated, they will reflect that feeling with a lower offer. Consider simple changes, like swapping out gold fixtures for nickel and chrome.
  • Neutralize
    1. Color can make or break a buyer’s interest in your home. You may love that shocking red wall, but all the potential buyer sees is a great deal of painting in their future because red clashes with their style. Painting is an expensive way to change your home’s look.

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Bedroom Specific Staging

  • Closets
      • Clear closets of unnecessary clutter and organize to maximize the amount of open storage space you are showing off to potential buyers. Use boxes stacked together to hold and hide the clutter. Using matching hangers to replace free wire hangers from the dry cleaners will modernize your closets with visual impact and a more luxurious feel. 
  • Bedrooms
    • A quick and inexpensive way to improve the appeal of your bedroom is to use gender-neutral colors when touching up paint jobs and re-accessorizing to have the widest possible appeal. Color coordinate whenever possible. Walls, bedspreads, curtains, etc. should have a clear theme to their colors.
    • Dining Room
      • Set the Table!  This creates points of visual interest in a room that can easily be boring after the usual de-personalizing and decluttering. Be careful of over staging: you don’t need to set out every piece of china.
      • Create a focal point by adding a vase with fresh flowers to the center of the table, and remove any extra leaves from the table to maximize available space.

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        • Bathrooms
          • If walls are grimy, spray them using a common spray bottle filled with a mixture of one part bleach and one part water. Follow up with a fresh coat of paint.
            • Clear countertops of everything but the essentials (soap dish, hand towels, etc.) to make space look more open and larger.
          • Kitchen
            • Modernize your dated cabinets. They can be touched up for less than $200 with a new coat of wood stain, or even a good sanding and a coat of paint.
            • Replacing brass or wooden cabinet hardware with brushed silver or stainless steel is also a cost-effective way to update your cabinets.
              • Living Room
                • Lightness is a major source of living room appeal for buyers. Make sure the shades are open before buyers come through. If possible, stage the room with light-colored furniture to make space look larger.
                • In especially large and/or empty living rooms, a strategically placed plant can create a focal point that draws the eye.

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                  Bonus Items

                  Your First Impression Starts with Curb Appeal

                  Make your home look appealing from the outside to make people want to come in. Here are some inexpensive ideas to improve curb appeal.

                    • Mow the lawn, trim trees, and shrubbery.
                    • Clean any oil stains and rust from the driveway with muriatic acid. (Please read the directions and protect your skin.)
                    • Rent a high-pressure washer to clean gutters, walls, garage door, siding, and facia.
                    • If your house needs to be painted, but you can’t afford to paint the whole house, paint the front door and put out a new welcome mat.
                    • If weather permits, plant seasonal flowers and accent the landscaping with bagged pebbles or marble chips. Choose a color that complements your home.
                    • If you don’t have landscaping, try strategically placed outdoor planters with flowers.
                    • Make sure the address house number is clearly visible, either on the house itself or the mailbox.

                    Animal House?

                    Not everyone loves animals and some people are allergic to cats or dogs. Unless your property is zoned for horses, it’s probably a good idea to send your pets to an animal daycare when you’re showing your home.

                      • Make sure there are no animal smells or hair stuck on the furniture. Scented candles work better than air freshener spray.
                      • Remove dog or cat food bowls and hide the kitty litter!
                      • If you do have horses, clean the stable and tack room.