Dressing your house for success is one of the best ways to sell your home quickly and profitably. Your agent can advise you, but to stage a home means to get it in tip-top shape to make potential buyers swoon. There are professional staging companies who can do the work for you.
There’s also advanced technology that will allow you to stage your house digitally (with a disclaimer). However, it’s more cost-effective to dive in and get the job done yourself. Here are the steps to staging your home.
Maintenance and Repairs
Before staging your home, make sure that all of the major elements are in excellent condition, such as the roof, heating and air, plumbing, etc.
Not only do they need to be done, but if they’re not, they could end up costing you thousands of dollars or even terminate a contract. The house will be inspected before closing, so it can’t just be pretty; it has to be in great condition, too.
If you apply a method to decluttering your home, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can take a systematic approach to simplify the process.
Focus on one room at a time. Designate a specific time block for accomplishing the task.
Take with you a bag for trash, a small box for paperwork, and another for photographs and keepsakes, which you’ll store away until your move.
You’ll also need a place to gather items that you’ll sell or donate. Don’t forget the closets; people look in those. The only belongings you should leave in the rooms are the bare essentials that you need before your move.
Consider the furniture, too. Anything that can be stored should be. Too many furnishings in a room can make it feel stuffy, small, and dark.
In the decluttering process, you minimize the contents of your home. Now it’s time to depersonalize, which means storing away your knick-knack collections, sports paraphernalia, books and magazines, family photographs, anything that makes a religious or political statement, and all the way down to the things magnetized to your refrigerator.
When potential buyers walk onto your property, they immediately begin to imagine what it’d be like to live in that space. It’s essential to give their imagination room to breathe by allowing them to envision their things in the house, not yours. You want it as bare as possible, save for a few accessories to enhance perception.
Deep Clean and Neutralize
When it comes down to it, a spick-and-span environment is the most important thing when it comes to presenting your house for sale.
And now that you’ve decluttered and depersonalized, you’ll be able to spy more things that may have been overlooked in the past.
Think about things like air vents, ceiling fans, under the sinks, doors, baseboards, handrails, behind trash cans, backsplashes, and all the other details.
Cleaning, too, is a job you can outsource and may be worth the investment.
Don’t neglect the carpets or the walls.
A fresh coat of paint refreshes a room and gives the feel of new. It’s also an excellent opportunity to neutralize the space with soft, warm colors in earth tones such as beige, light gray, or other neutral colors.
If the carpets can’t be cleaned, consider replacing them. You’ll find a substantial return on investment. When buyers see a tattered floor, they immediately begin reducing the amount they’re willing to offer. They may ask for what’s called a “carpet allowance,” which can be substantially higher than what you might pay.
Smartly accessorizing your home could increase perceived value in the buyers’ minds. The right elements can make a room feel warm and inviting, creates good energy, and makes the house feel like a home.
For example, adding a bowl of fresh fruit to the kitchen table represents nurturing. Plants in the living room give the vibe of robust growth. Flowers in vases openly on display say that there’s room to blossom. Crisp white towels and candles give your bathrooms a spa-like appeal.
Don’t Forget the Curb Appeal
Potential buyers will see the outside of your house before they see any other features. If they’re struck with a negative impression, they may have made up their mind before they ever step through the door.
On the flip side, if a buyer views the property as charming, quaint, or having the wow factor, they become excited about what they’ll see next.
Make sure the yards are free of weeds, debris, toys, or unnecessary lawn furniture. If you have grass, it should be mowed, and bushes or hedges should be neatly manicured.
And Consider bathing your home’s exterior with the use of a power-washer.
Simple Staging Upgrades that Could Add Value to Your Home
You can make some inexpensive investments that will aid in the staging of your house for sale and improve both the perceived value and actual value of your home.
Here are some examples:
- Replace window screens
- Replace doorknobs and locks
- Replace socket covers and light switch plates
- Recalk bathrooms, kitchens, and windows
- Update knobs and handles on drawers and cabinets
The reason these items add perceived value is that they make the house look shiny and new and also well maintained. When the buyer walks through your property, they won’t see an endless list of fixer-upper tasks and dollar signs but a move-in ready home.
The way these upgrades can improve the actual value of your home is through the appraiser. Appraisers typically assess home values in $500 increments. Those little projects can bring an ROI in the hundreds.
Appraisers also investigate how well the house has weathered and aged. When the small details are tended to, it creates an ideal overall picture.
Your real estate agent has extensive knowledge about staging houses for sale. Schedule a walk-through with your agent, who will point out both major and minor improvements.
When you take the time and energy to focus on staging your house for sale, you can sell it faster and for a higher price.
Have Questions? Ask Nancy Puder & Associates!
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Nancy Puder & Associates a call today at (805) 710-2415 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.