Staging your house is one of the most important aspects for successfully selling your home. Staging a house means to dress it for success, to pretty it up for showing, and to initiate that ooh la la love affair with curb appeal. There are professional staging companies you can hire if you’re not up for the job, but if you’re an enthusiastic do-it-your-selfer, here’s what you need to know about staging your home in three (not so simple) steps.
Step One: Make Everything Sparkle
Clean sells. Period. Potential buyers want to walk into your space and feel like its shiny and new. It should not only look good, but should smell good. Put on your cleaning gloves, bust out the bleach, and go to town on a cleaning frenzy. Look up – air vents and corners can be traps for dust and webs. These are easily cleared with a broom. Look down. Dust bunnies and webs get caught in corners, and floorboards may be covered in layers of dust and dirt. Look in. People are going to open cabinets, cupboards, and closets. Look under. Under the sinks are an important part of staging a house to make sure they’re clean, dry, and free of leaks or mold. When you think you’re all finished cleaning, clean some more.
Step Two: Replace and Repair
If you can’t clean it, replace it. This is especially true with kitchen appliances, bathroom toilets, and other areas that might be disturbing to potential buyers. Your return on investment will be clear when the house sells. When buyers see old, dirty, beat up appliances, they see dollar signs, projects, and time they’d rather not invest. But when they see shiny and new, they think “move-in-ready” and they begin imagining what their life could be like in that space. If you can’t clean your carpets, or if they’re damaged, replace them. You’ll see more reward from potential buyers with fresh and clean than you will with a carpet allowance. Walls should be in warm, soft, neutral colors, so a fresh coat of paint goes a long way in gussying up old Bessy for new owners. Your house will undergo appraisals and inspections, so if something’s broken, fix it. This goes for roofing, electrical, plumbing, heating and air, or any other major systems of the house. Be pro-active, not reactive when it comes to preparing your house for buyers.
Step Three: Declutter and Depersonalize
Declutter doesn’t imply that you’re a pack rat. What it does imply is that by this point, you pretty much know you’re moving. Anything you know you’re not going to be using between now and the time you move should be donated, sold, or packed away for future use. Old toys. Off-season clothes. Collectibles. Crayon drawings from your refrigerator. It’s time to sort out that junk drawer and make peace with the Tupperware containers whose lids have gone missing. Brave the closets, the basement, and the attic. Go through every nook and cranny and pack away or get rid of as much as you possibly can. You should be left with the bare bones of living, a sacrifice well worth it in the long run. Not only will your house sell faster, but it’ll be tons easier for you to move with the preliminary work out of the way.
Depersonalize means to remove photos, books, religious items, or anything that may cause potential buyers to feel like they’re in your home instead of in the home of their own future. This is not the time to make a political statement by having an autographed portrait of your favorite politician sitting on the end table next to the t.v. set.
Kitchens and bathrooms are of particular importance, as is the curb appeal since that’s the first impression a buyer has of your house. Clear counter-tops. Clean around toilets. Mow the lawn. And perhaps the hardest part of all… keep it that way until moving day.
You can add lively pops of color and warm inviting aromas by including potted flowers, fresh baked goods, a burning candle. You want buyers to feel like they’re right at home.
Need more tips on staging your home, or just want to learn more about the home selling process? Call Adrian Garza-Delgado today at 210-595-9492.