Re-orient your mind-set from Selling Your Home…
…to creating an environment that says to the Prospective Buyer that your home is clearly meant to be their new home.
You may not have the budget to stage an entire house, so address the most important rooms and views. How does your house look from the outside? Is the entryway/foyer inviting? Kitchens and bathrooms are very important to everyone. What do yours look like? The living room and master bedroom are key rooms as well.
Your want to present your home as “good to go”. No buyer wants to be faced with necessary repairs and upgrades that have to be done the minute after they move in.
Whatever needs repair, do it now.
- If the carpet is worn and stained, put in a new one. If the rooms need painting, do so.
- Kitchens and bathrooms are on the top of list of most important rooms. it’s worth it to replace counter tops and/or the floors if they are well past their prime.
- Don’t think in terms of leaving the purchase of a new water heater to the next owner. You’ll be asked to reduce the selling price significantly to accommodate their purchase. In truth, it will be cheaper for you replace it yourself rather than give a price reduction.
Remember that your prospective buyer won’t see how great your house will look once that ugly old wallpaper is removed. They will only remember the ugly old wallpaper, and be inclined to move-on to the next prospect.
Always remember, you are selling your space, not your good taste.
One of the most difficult aspects of staging a house for sale is putting away everything that says “You”. Think of the experience of staying the night in a fine hotel. The rooms are beautiful, comfortable, but impersonal. Put away the family photos, the kid’s drawings, bowling trophies, toys, exercise equipment, vacation souvenirs, etc. If the present décor is theme oriented, take out all the theme references possible. You might feel you are now living in a model home, but take heart. It’s only temporary and there is a valuable reward at the end!
While it may be true that an empty room appears bigger than a furnished one, it’s a proven fact that empty houses stay on the market longer than either unstaged or staged homes. One reason is that without any furniture the potential buyer has no frame of reference with regard to how that room might be used, or whether their own sofa or bed will actually fit. Another reason is emotional. An empty house seems cold, and even a little abandoned: “vacant” in the worst sense of the word.
A balance has to be struck. While a completely empty room won’t serve you, perceived size matters.
This means you should take out about one third of your belongings, including the furniture.
Leave just enough to be comfortable, but not enough to say “planted for the long haul”. In a sense, you want to give people the impression that you are packing up, ready to go and ready for them to move in.
This applies to closets too. Take out half of what’s in the closets and clear the floor so buyers can see how big the closets are.
Clear all surfaces and counters. In the kitchen, put away the small appliances and any bric-a-brac. In the bathrooms, put away everything personal except perhaps a small plant for decoration. Coffee tables tend to be catch-alls. Be rigorous and disciplined. Leave only a few carefully chosen accessories anywhere.
One man’s beloved collection is another man’s clutter. Don’t take it personally. Just pack it up. That goes for the extra books, plants, and any other “lots” of accessories.
Get everything extraneous off the floor in every area. This means stacks of old newspapers and the dog food bag too.
Room service – Clean beyond “spring cleaning” kind of clean: Shampoo the carpets. Wipe off the ceiling fan blades as well as the kitchen exhaust hood and vents. Take out the fireplace ashes and remove any soot. Don’t forget to wash the windows. Every surface should get the “once over”.
The way your house smells is critical too. Don’t cook fish or smoke inside the house while it’s on the market. Mold, and pet smells are big turn-offs because the buyer worries that the house will always smell like that. Remove the odors at their source. Don’t just disguise them.
(Home Staging Five Part Series)
Photo – www.HGTV.com website