Top 10 Rules to Stage Your Home For Sale
1. Grab them at the curb.
Potential buyers are doing drive-bys before deciding whether to request a showing.Make these folks fall in love with your home from the street by adding potted plants and flowers, power-washing patios and walkways, weeding the flower beds and mowing the lawn. It’s your first chance to make a good impression, so you’ve got to make it count.
2. Make it sparkle.
Pretend that your in-laws are coming for a visit. Think hotel clean. Mop, dust, vacuum, wash windows, baseboards, air vents, ceiling fans – until it sparkles! If you don’t have the time to clean, then have it done professionally. We’ll be glad to recommend a great cleaning service. Remember that people will look in your cabinets, under your sinks and in your closets. Also, pay attention to odors. You might even consider consulting a neutral nose by having a friend come by for a smell test.
3. Pay attention to color and light.
You may love hot pink in the living room, but too-bright colors turn buyers off. Neutralize strong colors for the broadest appeal. A neutral home appears larger and has less chance of offending someone. Also, open up blinds and draperies to make sure there’s sufficient natural light throughout the home. Remember, lighting is the most effective way to set a mood.
Excessive personal items like photos, collections, personal awards, electronics and collectibles will make it difficult for buyers to see past your personal style and may deter a sale. Taking yourself out of the picture makes it easier for buyers to imagine themselves, and their stuff, in the space.
5. Consider removing furnishings.
Think about removing worn or outdated furnishings and get rid of extra pieces that tighten spaces. If a couch or chair makes you turn your body as you walk by, or just makes a passage look small, get rid of it. Everybody wants more space. Also, when it comes to the kitchen, it’s best to clear the counters leaving only one appliance to be seen.
6. Think sanctuary.
When it comes to the master bedroom and bathroom - think 5-star hotel. It should be a place for rest and relaxation. Clear away all personal items like shampoo, soaps, toothbrushes and even magazines.
7. Make repairs.
Make your home a high-maintenance zone. Repair squeaky doors, chipped or smudged paint as well as broken fixtures and fittings you’ve neglected. Anytime buyers see a lot of “little” maintenance items to be done, it begins to add up as a lot of “to-do’s” in their mind. And they’ll wonder how well you took care of the home. As you're making these repairs, you might consider renewing the look of the home by replacing old or outdated light fixtures, door hardware, light switches and outlets. A little can go a long way in making a home look updated.
8. Apply a fresh coat of paint.
It’s the best bang for your buck that will quickly refresh a dull, dated room. Slap a fresh, neutral color on the space. This will also make the home feel newer, cleaner and fresher.
9. Don’t forget the floors.
Get rid of worn carpets, and consider refinishing shabby hardwood floors. An inexpensive new area rug is a quick fix and can disguise the look of old floors (*just don't try to hide stains or tears that a buyer won't find until after closing - that's a 'no-no'). Remember, if a buyer sees that the flooring needs to be replaced, they will usually estimate the cost of replacement as three times higher what it actually will cost – then take that off of the price they’ll offer you on your home.
Few things deter buyers more than a cluttered home. They need to see your home, not your stuff. When they see rooms or garages filled with extra furniture, accessories, boxes and clutter, they will view this home as having potential storage issues and move on to the next home. So pack up everything not used on a daily/ weekly basis and store it off site if possible.