Real estate markets across the country are hot so you may be thinking of putting your home on the market. What can you do to ensure the best price? Do you know how to stage a home? That’s what real estate agents often do, and you can certainly do it too.
Here’s how to stage your home in ten steps or less.
Steps 1, 2, 3: Preparing Your Home for Sale
The first step to staging your home is to reduce clutter. This is easiest if you can move first, but most of us can’t do that. Instead, you can remove everything extra and put it in a storage unit. Storage West offers a free move-in truck for its customers.
The second step, which is a continuation of the first, is to depersonalize your home. This means toning down anything that screams personality. It might be artwork, photos, or knick-knacks. All of this can be packed up until you get to your new place. Maybe you need to get rid of seasonal decor or dying plants. If you have children, reduce their toys and gear by one-half. With those things in storage, it will be easier to keep your house clean.
The third step, which you may have expected sooner, is to clean. At this point, you should be able to see every problem area and can go to work to improve. Maybe you can use an eraser sponge to remove marks from the walls. The goal should be to leave everything looking like new.
Steps 4, 5, 6: The Scratch and Sniff Test
Of course, there are things that won’t look new, no matter what. Perhaps a rug could cover unattractive flooring. What can be repaired or covered to eliminate a problem spot? You may need to consider painting or replacing a light fixture. You don’t want to overdo it, but some small actions on your part may pay big dividends when the house sells.
What about smells? If your house is harboring any odors, the most likely culprits are your linens, curtains, and carpets. Sniff those out and either clean them or remove them.
What about light? You may need brighter bulbs or more lamps to make a room seem more welcoming. There are tricks you can try with natural lighting, such as altering your blinds or curtains. However, you should keep in mind that an unattractive outdoor view should not be revealed. It’s better to add lamps than to show off an ugly yard.
Steps 7, 8, 9: The Final Home Staging Decisions
Now take a walk through your house. If there is furniture that blocks your path in any room, it’s time to move it. If you can’t rearrange to clear the way, then you should put that extra furniture in storage until the house is sold.
At this point, you are ready to stage your home. You want to create a blank canvas. You might favor solids and stripes over prints. Surfaces should be empty or have only one object for decoration. The aesthetic is clean and inviting. You want a prospective buyer to be able to picture their belongings in place of the ones you chose.
Lastly, you can consider what you can add to the scene. You can spend a small amount of money on different towels, neutral bedspreads or curtains, or attractive potted plants. Unlike flowers, these won’t suddenly die. Healthy plants are unlikely to drop leaves that force you to run around with the mini-vac every time a prospective buyer is coming.
This video illustrates how some simple changes and some inexpensive additions can make a big difference:
Step 10: The Exterior
Once your indoor areas are set, you definitely need to look at the outside. There may be simple ways to set the scene outdoors, too. This will involve such things as potted plants and new doormats. It also means cleaning or removing old furniture and outdoor decorations. You want your buyers to have a good impression.