Before you put your house on the market, it’s imperative that you spend a little time prepping it for potential buyers. If you’ve been taking good care of your house and spent money on renovations, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not dedicating some time to staging your house to sell. Here are eight tips to help stage your home to sell!
Deep Clean (Then Clean Some More)
The very first, and cheapest, thing you should do is: clean. Clean like you’ve never cleaned before. Clean like the in-laws, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa and your favorite celebrity are coming over for tea. Rent a carpet shampooer to deep clean those carpets. Wipe any dinginess from your walls, floor trim, window frames or door frames. Scrub grout to a glistening white. Dust ceiling fans, blinds, lamps—everything—until you get every hidden corner from floor to ceiling. You must obliterate set-in dirt and grime in your house. Kitchens and bathrooms, especially, must be spotless. To help avoid imminent feelings of being overwhelmed, take it room by room, day by day. Then, do your best to maintain this level of cleanliness throughout the duration of your house’s time on the market.
Stacks of magazines and mail, piles of shoes by the door, overstuffed closets — have all got to go. Literally. And it can’t just get shoved into cabinets or closets. You actually have to get rid of your junk and establish some organization. For that which you cannot throw away, spring for some cheap fixes in the form of under-the-bed storage, aesthetically appealing storage boxes for closet shelves or cabinets, and desk organizers for mail and papers. Alleviate packed closets by going through some clothes and donating or selling what you don’t wear anymore. Tidy up kitchen cabinets and drawers. Invest in some shelves or hooks for hanging up tools in garages or sheds. The more junk you get rid of, the better you display the amount of storage your house actually has.
Spring for Small Updates
Now that your house is clean and organized, it’s time to do some updating. Probably the quickest, easiest and most affordable way to make an impact is with paint. Opt for neutrals and soothing, earth tone colors. You don’t have to totally abstain from color either. Deep blues and greens can add warmth, without turning off buyers like wilder colors will. You can transform a kitchen by laying down new linoleum if your current floors are looking worse for the wear. While you’re in the kitchen, you can also bring a dated kitchen back into modernity with new hardware and/or by resurfacing cabinets and drawers. If you can afford it, buying a few stainless steel appliances will definitely help to catch the eye of buyers too.
You’re almost done with the heavy lifting for the inside of your house — except for this step. Now comes the time to take a good, hard look at your furniture and decide what can go and what can stay. We naturally accumulate more and more stuff over the years, and furniture is no exception. Oftentimes, sellers are guilty of having way too much furniture, which will make any house feel cramped and cluttered. So, if your house too closely resembles an obstacle course compiled of bulky couches and chairs, it might be time to either sell a few of pieces or move them to storage.
Or, it might just be time to do some rearranging. Instead of having all of your furniture pushed up against walls or crammed into corners, create a little breathing room. Check out this quick guide for arranging furniture to help you open up your space.
Add Floral Notes & Decorative Touches
Here’s an easy step! Now that your house is clean, open and clutter-free, you can do a little bit of redecorating. But you’ve already decorated your house, you’re thinking. And while you may absolutely love it, it’s important to create a space that’s gender neutral, minimalist and feels fresh—like a blank canvas for buyers. For instance, in the master bedroom, replace a decked-out floral duvet with something that’s sans-pattern and neutral. Stage your dining room table, coffee tables and bookcases with small decorative flourishes, like fresh flowers, pretty bookends, leather bound books, bud vases, little glass or wooden knick knacks. Hang a few decorative mirrors to create space, and swap out heavy curtains with light sheers to let in more natural light.
Create Curb Appeal
Consider the inside of your house done. Check! Now for that curb appeal. Naturally, make sure your lawn, shrubs and trees are neat and tidy, mowed and trimmed, respectively. Pressure wash and seal any decks, fences and patios. Try out a bright, new color on the front door for an instantly more inviting entrance. Add a few, low-maintenance perennials to garden beds and set out potted plants of friendly flowers like mums, daisies, or pansies (for hanging planters). Replace or paint antiquated-looking outdoor light fixtures. Hang a pretty, seasonal wreath or flag and maybe upgrade a beat-up mailbox.
Set the Scene
Here’s where the “staging” part of home staging really comes into play. You want to showcase your home and show buyers the lounging and entertaining potential of your house. For instance, don’t leave your patios or porches barren. Add some charming tables and chairs to help buyers envision themselves enjoying what could potentially be their next backyard gathering. Play into the season too. Is it cold out? Create cozy-looking nooks in your home with plush throws and oversized pillows. Around these parts, we’re lucky enough to have pretty divine weather during spring and fall, so try adding a hammock to the backyard to show buyers how they can enjoy the beautiful climate. On the other hand, we are also susceptible to some blistering summers, so create shady sanctuaries outside with an awning or an umbrella to go with that table and chairs you just added to your patio.
Get a Second Opinion
One of the biggest barriers that you’re likely to face when trying to stage your home is your own bias. So, throughout this entire process enlist the help of friends, family or your listing agent to lend some suggestions about the current decor and appearance of your home. Rest assured, they’ll have opinions on the best way to arrange your furniture and can help add an objective eye during de-junking. Of course, you could always hire a stager for some professional help. Stagers are also helpful if you’ve already moved out of your house and need someone to maintain the house or add some tasteful furniture to keep the place from looking too empty. If you’re working with an agent, they’ll probably have a few preferred stagers that they can recommend.
With a little bit of effort, you can really dress up your house and make it that much more enticing to sellers. Need a helping hand? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1-800-533-1840.