Staging your house is an important part of preparing to put your house on the market; it makes your house look bigger and brighter. It is about depersonalizing & decluttering your home so that buyers can visualize themselves living there.
What we recommend:
Clean— Your home needs to sparkle! Give it a deep cleaning (perhaps hiring someone to help) so that it sparkles. This includes cleaning your windows inside and out — and consider placing screens in storage for the winter to let as much light in as possible.
Fix— anything that is broken! Chipped tiles, holes in walls, dripping faucets, running toilets, etc. Leaving these unattended leads buyers to believe you didn’t take good care of the house. Make sure to touch up the paint inside or outside (or maybe even a fresh coat of a neutral color on some walls). Are there scuff marks that need attention without repainting the entire wall? Try one of the eraser-like products that gets even crayon off walls!
Eliminate Clutter— This is the hardest recommendation of all! We are all attached to our “stuff”, but others don’t have that attachment and see it as clutter which make rooms seem smaller. Make it a point to reduce your “stuff” by at least 50% (you can store it in boxes and put it in an offsite storage shed).
De-personalize— Remove anything that potential buyers won’t be able to identify with. This includes family photo walls, political and religious items. Because buying a home is an emotional decision, you want potential buyers to make a emotional connection with your home by being able to “see” themselves in it.
Bringing your House to Market
Curb Appeal– You have only one opportunity to give a buyers the best “first impression” of your house. They usually form an opinion in the first 30 seconds of seeing your home. Therefore, consider spending a little extra time (and money) to spruce up the front (weed your flower beds, mulch and plant flowers, trim bushes, pick up leaves, repaint your front door, replace old house numbers and your mailbox, get a brand-new neutral doormat, empty the driveway, etc).
The Entrance— Make it light and bright. Replace all your old bulbs with bright compact fluorescent ones, so the first glimpse inside your home enforces the positive, uplifting feelings you fostered outside. Leave all the lights in the house on and open blinds/curtains. Make sure the coat closet is mostly empty to demonstrate that there is plenty of storage in the house.
Kitchen— Everyone says kitchens sell homes, so its important that you spend extra time to clean and de-clutter this area! Most things on the counter — and everything on the floor — must go. Clean both the inside and outside of your refrigerator (removing all your magnets, papers, etc). If your cabinet knobs are old or out-of-date, replacing them can give your cabinets an inexpensive “facelift.” If replacement isn’t an option, discover what a coat of spray paint can do to modernize your cabinets or doors! And lastly, get your cabinets and pantry neat and tidy. Move bulk purchases and extras to a storage unit. Potential buyers will be turned off by kitchens that seem to have inadequate storage space.
Bathrooms— You absolutely must get rid of any mildew/mold and soap scum! If you have shower curtains replace them with a neutral color. Remove all personal toiletry items from the countertop. Freshly launder bath mats or remove them all together. Before each open house or showing, break out a new set of high-quality, neutral towels on the towel bars and a fresh bar of soap in a dish.