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Set the Stage – 10 Tips for Staging Your Home

Make your first impression memorable and welcoming.

Make your first impression memorable and welcoming.

When you place your home on the market, you want to sell it quickly and garner the highest amount possible. To do so, you need to be sure your property is at its most appealing to stand out to the homebuyers who come in for a tour. Staging is preparing your home so it is presented in its very best state, highlighting its strengths and downplaying its weaknesses.

Here are 10 helpful tips for effectively staging your home. Follow these and your property will stand out from the rest and get the attention you seek:

1. Rent a storage unit—Your home will show better without excess furniture blocking walkways or gathering areas. If you began your packing process, boxes and empty bookshelves would be better of stored away instead of sitting in the way of a touring homebuyer. Be sure to leave just enough furnishings to showcase each room’s purpose and maximize the feelings of space.
2. Remove your personals—When touring your home, you want your potential buyer to imagine their own photos and personal effects decorating the walls and shelves. Pack up your photographs, heirlooms and collections to avoid creating a distraction.

Eliminating clutter and careful furniture arrangement help make rooms more attractive and spacious.

Eliminating clutter and careful furniture arrangement help make rooms more attractive and spacious.

3. Eliminate the clutter—You would be surprised by how much clutter you accumulate after many years. If it doesn’t help the overall décor of your home, you probably don’t need it. Pack up your knickknacks, donate your ill-fitting clothes and remove the extra gadgets or appliances from your kitchen counters.
4. Hit the kitchen—The kitchen of your home is a key area. Since kitchens have a lot to do with resale value, you want to be sure to impress the buyer. Spend extra time removing the clutter, clean thoroughly, retouch any faded or damaged paint, replace the knobs on the cabinetry. People spend a significant amount of time in the kitchen. You should spend the extra time there to ensure it is up to par.
5. Bedrooms and bathrooms—The bedrooms of a home need to be focused on comfort.  Neutral, comfortable and spacious are a must when staging your bedrooms. Work on painting, furniture arrangement and lighting. Bathrooms need to be clean and bright, with an emphasis on function. Update any worn fixtures, add fresh flowers for appearance and aroma, scrub the bathtub and floors clean.
6. Send in Mr. Fixit—Make the minor repairs throughout your property to show it at its best. Replace cracked tiles, fix leaky faucets and patch any holes in the walls. These repairs are cheap yet very effective.

A well-kept, clean outside area makes a significant difference in overall property appearance.

A well-kept, clean outside area makes a significant difference in overall property appearance.

7. Don’t forget Mr. Clean—Make your home sparkle, both inside and out. Wash the windows, pressure wash the exterior and sidewalks, clean out any cobwebs or dust bunnies. Be sure to eliminate any odors that may be lingering. Your buyer expects a new purchase to be ready for occupancy.
8. Music—When showing your home, soft background music can help create a soothing, relaxing environment. A buyer at ease will associate your home with comfort.
9. Maximize your curb appeal—The very first view of your home is of the outside. If a buyer doesn’t like the exterior of your home, chances are they may not even make it inside. Keep the sidewalks cleared, mow the lawn regularly, touch up faded window trim, prune the bushes and overgrowth on the property. Yellow flowers help evoke a buying emotion.
10. Scrutinize—Look at your house through a buyer’s eyes. Is your home welcoming? Does it impact you in any way? Is the furniture arranged neatly?

At the risk of sounding too cliché, you only have one chance to make a great first impression. Make the initial impact of your property place it above the rest. Set the stage for your home to shine, and you’ll be happy with the results.

  • User Gravatar Laurie Lamoureux
    September 29th, 2009

    Great post, John! May I add in addition to Mr. Fixit and Mr. Clean that if you are pressed for time, you can also find Ms. Move Manager for packing (boxes and packing materials included), unpacking and making arrangements to get your things in/out of storage. Ask your Realtor for a recommendation or search online using “packing” or “unpacking” and your city.

    Laurie Lamoureux, Chief Box Opener
    Out of the Box Unpacking and Organizing
    Bellevue/Seattle, WA

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