Staging your home for sale is a sure way to maximize on your property sale value while decreasing the overall time on market to sell. Understanding the process will help you prepare.
Staging, a common real estate industry term, refers to making your home look great! Staging your home for sale is a sure way to maximize on your property sale value while decreasing the overall time on market to sell. Staging can be broken down into three parts. Declutter, clean, and repair. Let us look at each stage in more detail and what you can do to make your sale or your client’s sale a real success.
Stage 1: Declutter
When it comes to staging less is more! Keep in mind that you are selling a house not the contents that are in it. Your personal contents should serve as placeholders, creating a clean image for your potential buyer of how they can occupy their new home. Here are some simple ideas that you can do to declutter your space.
Remove clutter from all kitchen and bathroom counter tops. Counters with fewer items appear to have more space. Do not forget about the magnets on the fridge!
If you have a lot of nick knacks or pictures on the walls, start to pack them away. The walls may seem bare, but this allows a potential buyer to use their imagination and see their own belonging on the wall or in the home. After all you are moving, get a head start.
Remove any safety hazards. The extension cord you have almost tripped over so many times may trip a visitor.
Remove valuables and fragile items. You break it, you buy it will not work during your showings. As for valuables, most people are incredibly honest but why put temptation in their way.
Remove bulky or large furniture. Your Lazy Boy chair may be a place of heaven, but your buyer will not care to try. Oversized furniture pieces which can include sofas, chairs, and tables, tend to make your home feel smaller. Open the space and store in your unfinished basement or garage.
Pets are typically the most challenging aspect of this stage. We love them, yet, our visitors may use them as a negotiation tactic. They may tell you they are allergic to animals and need to have all the carpets replaced and the home professionally cleaned. If possible, during showings, take your pet to safe place for a short period of time.
Stage 2: Clean
Of all 3 stages, this stage is the most important. Representing a simple investment of time that often yields a very high rate of return. Consider the following to help improve your bottom line and investment.
Steam clean all carpeting. Not only will it improve the look of your carpets but also eliminate any nasty odors. Be sure to use an industrial carpet cleaner, which you can rent at most hardware retailers or even grocery stores. Although, we do not endorse any one brand, our personal favorite is the rug doctor, rents at around 30 bucks per day and performs exceptionally well.
Clean all surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen, especially the exterior of all cabinetry. Ensure that sinks, faucets and toilets work according to order.
Vacuum and dust all other rooms.
Clean all mirrors and windows.
Wipe down fingerprints and minor stains from all interior walls using a damp cloth. For stubborn stains dip a damp cloth into dry baking soda and gently remove the stain.
Clean all baseboards.
Clean exterior surfaces, such as porches, driveways, and steps.
Tidy the yard, cut the grass, and weed the garden/rake the leaves.
Stage 3: Repair
Unless you are flipping homes for a living or earn your dollars as a contractor, when it comes to major repairs or renovations prior to selling your home, we recommend that you stick to the basics. Even the highest return on investment renos, such as kitchens and bathrooms will only yield a fraction in return. Here are some things you can do to ensure the highest rate of return.
Paint, paint, and paint! If there is one larger improvement that you should do, it is painting. Not only will it freshen up the look of your home but, give you the opportunity to select more neutral colors. So, unless your paint is fresh and still in style, we recommend that you freshen up your walls!
Fix doors that stick or squeak and be sure all door handles work.
Replace any exterior and interior burnt out lightbulbs.
Fix any broken window screens, it is better to remove them then if there are visible holes!
Paint your baseboards. It is amazing how much cleaner your home will look.
Paint your front door! This is the very first thing your buyer will see when they come to your home.
If you have an asphalt driveway with visible wear, now would be a great time to seal it. While that fresh look will also hold for weeks if not months.