How To Stage Your Home For Fast Sale
Poorly staged home
Is It Time To Sell Your Home?
The time has come to put your home on the market, hopefully for a quick sell. You do the necessary repairs, you find yourself a real estate agent you can work with and you sign the contract and you are ready to sell, right?
Not so fast! In case you haven’t noticed there are quite a few homes on the market right now and not all of them are selling quickly. These are down times for sellers in this market and many homes are sitting on the market for months without even entertaining an offer. With so many homes available for sale don’t you think it would be wise to do everything you can to make your home presentable?
Staging is one of those ways to make your home stand out in a crowded real estate market. Think in terms of what you do when you are searching for a job and you get your first job interview. You clean yourself up, put on your best “success” clothes, get a haircut, brush your teeth….in other words, you are staging yourself. Never underestimate the importance of appearance in selling a home. Just because all the repairs have been made does not mean your home is going to sell. Your home may even be priced for a quick sale and yet it will sit for months without serious offers. What you need to do….what you must do….is make your home stand out in the crowd, and staging is how you do that.
There are professional staging companies who will handle all of this for you. However, some homeowners prefer to do it themselves and for those of you who are willing to put in the time and effort this article is for you.
Staging the Outside: Have a good friend go outside with you; go stand on the curb and take a look at your home and property. Now, put yourself into the shoes of a prospective buyer. What do you see? If you were buying this house what do you see that turns you off? Is the paint chipped and peeling? Is the lawn unmowed and are the flowerbeds in need of weeding? Are the leaves spread all over the yard? Do the bushes need trimming? All of these things count when it comes to first impressions by buyers. If your home is not welcoming at first glance you may have lost a buyer before they ever walk into your home.
Staging the Porch and Entryway: Again, first impressions count! Clutter is your enemy, as are spider webs and toys left unattended. Spruce this area up because you want the prospective buyers to really want to enter that home.
Staging Livingroom and Family Room: If the house doesn’t feel warm and inviting then forget about trying to sell it. Buyers want warm fuzzies when they are in a house because they are envisioning their family in that house. Good vibes? Bad vibes? Warm colors are nice; get rid of clutter; get rid of knick knacks; start a fire in the fireplace; put pleasing scents in the house; candles are great; worn furniture needs to be removed.
Staging the Kitchen: One of the most important rooms in the house to buyers is the kitchen. Make it sparkle! Get rid of clutter; open curtains and polish chrome and stain cabinets and upgrade knobs and handles if the ones you currently have look worn. Set the table and add flowers! Buyers will envision themselves preparing meals and eating in there so it had better look inviting.
Staging the Bathroom: This is a deal-breaker so get on it! There is nothing worse than a bathroom that leaves you feeling gross. Scrub, scrub and then scrub some more. New shower curtains are a must, as is an attack on mold and stains and rust and whatever else would turn off a buyer.
Staging the Bedrooms: Comfort, comfort and more comfort. There should be lots of warm fuzzies in the bedroom. The beds should look inviting and plush and warm and capable of taking away stress. Limit furniture if possible so the bedrooms look larger. Paint walls a soft color; bedrooms are for relaxing in and not for being attacked by loud colors. Clean out those closets by limiting the clothes in them; organize the hanging clothes in the closet and get rid of knick knacks on the counters.
Have you used any of these techniques before?
The Bottom Line
Here is the bottom line about staging: Once you and your friends take a look at your house, playing the part of a buyer, and once you have made an honest appraisal of what it will take to make the home attractive, you will have taken a large step towards selling your home. Remember, the competition is stiff out there and you are your home’s greatest advocate.