From Staging to Selling
Selling your home is a bittersweet experience. On one hand, you are anticipating a new house where you will put down roots and create new memories. On the other hand, you are leaving behind a history of all that is familiar. Despite the mixed emotions, you do want your home to sell quickly. Here are some tips and tricks the professionals use to help keep the process of buying and selling moving forward.
1. Think of staging your home as pre-packing.
Packing up a house in order to move means cleaning out all the nooks and crannies and deciding what to do with the things you’ve accumulated. You will be throwing some items away, donating others to charity, and packing others for attic storage. Staging a home to sell gives you a jump start on the whole process, and when the times comes to move, you will be grateful for the progress you’ve already made, and all your energy can go toward organizing your new space and making it your own.
2. Get rid of clutter.
Even the most organized of homeowners wage the battle with clutter. This is part of being real people with real lives, and while buyers do understand that, clutter will be a deterrent for them, not a drawing factor. Stash all your paperwork in a bin and keep it in a cupboard or drawer. Clean off surfaces throughout the house so phones, keys, earrings, and school papers are tucked away and countertops and table tops are clear. Keep all remotes in a side table drawer or stored neatly in a basket. Floors should be cleared as well, so place sneakers and umbrellas in their appropriate storage places and arrange pillows on couches or chairs. Organize your cupboards even though they are “hidden,” because potential buyers will open everything to gauge how much and what kind of storage is available. Get rid of anything you don’t use and pack away anything that is used infrequently. Spacious cupboards and closets convey to buyers that your home has ample space.
3. Find the balance between de-personalizing your home and keeping it cozy.
Potential buyers need to be able to envision their own families living in your house, and too many personal items will make it harder to imagine. Pack away your personal family photos, pictures drawn by your children, and everyday items like medication or make-up. On the other hand, your house should not look austere. Warm touches like live plants, fresh fruit, or beautiful hand towels will soften the look of your home and make it feel loved and lived in.
4. Baskets are your friend.
While decluttering and organizing are a necessity in staging, the reality is that you still need to live in the house while you are trying to sell it, and not everything can be put away. Baby paraphernalia, children’s toys, and even books can be tossed into baskets. This helps cut down on the clutter while still giving you easy access to things you will need on a regular basis.
5. Cleanliness is next to godliness.
Clutter isn’t the only thing to deter potential buyers; a dirty house will also discourage them from making an offer. Some minor investments and a bit of elbow grease will go a long way toward tempting future homeowners. Power wash your porch or deck. Scrub the grout between bathroom tile. Remove the build-up of dust on your ceiling fan paddles. Wipe down the shelves of your refrigerator, the inside of your microwave, and your stovetop. Paint any room that looks dingy or any trim that is scuffed. Buyers want a house that feels move-in-ready, not one they will have to clean.
6. Highly quality photos and a well-staged home help sell a house.
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and that applies to selling your home. While a few personal items are fine for actual home tours, you want to pare your house down to the bare minimum for pictures. Floors and countertops should be clear, carpets freshly swept, toilet seats down, beds made, curtains opened, fresh towels hung, and new bars of soap unwrapped. Most real estate agents hire professionals to take pictures, and they have methods and equipment that make your home show off its best self. If this is not available to you, consider hiring your own photographer or asking a friend with a good camera to take pictures for you. Your pictures should show the flow and layout from room to room and give viewers a feel for the size and scale; don’t take pictures of stairs, furniture, or other secondary items that will automatically show up in the background of other photographs.
7. People understand that basements, attics, and garages are mostly functional.
While these areas should be clean and organized, you do not have to treat them with the same detail as the rest of the house. Arrange stored items in bins and boxes or line them up on shelves to create room for people to walk. Garden tools and vehicle-maintenance items don’t need to be hidden, just carefully hung or arranged. Again, buyers simply want a feel for how much storage space is available, and they need room to move about freely as they examine each space.
8. It’s going to feel like you are living in someone else’s home for a while.
Guess what? That’s because you are. The new owners will soon be arranging their furniture and hanging their child’s picture on the walls. You want potential buyers to be able to see themselves living in your house, so removing personal items, such as family pictures, will help them to attach while helping you to detach your emotions. Remind yourself that you will be on the flip side of things when you move into your new home.
Selling your home is a challenging process both physically and emotionally. Reminding yourself of all the good memories you’ve made and looking forward to new ones will help you embrace the process of transitioning your home into someone else’s hands. Tackling the staging process with enthusiasm and excellence will help the process move more quickly and get you ready for the new and exciting season ahead