People usually decide within 2 minutes whether they like your house. The first impression is often the lasting impression so staging your home to show its best is a great idea. …A good rule is to do the cosmetic things, which will improve your chances of selling, but avoid making major changes unless they will increase the value of your home more than the cost of the improvement.
Staging on a Budget- the 3 C’s
- Clear clutter- Clutter eats equity. Clear off counters and tabletops, stash magazines, newspapers,paperwork and pill bottles.
- Clean everything- Scour from top to bottom and don’t forget the outside including sidewalks,porches, lanais and the yard.
- Color- Light colors make a room look larger; dark colors make rooms look smaller. Save bright colors for accents like bedspreads, towels, area rugs and artwork. Use taupe on the walls and white crown molding and base boards and beige carpets throughout. On the home’s exterior, don’t use more than three colors.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE IMPORTANT:
The first thing your prospective buyer will see is your landscaping and your front door. Be sure your yard is well manicured and free of debris and make sure your front entry is immaculate.
WHAT YOU SHOW IS WHAT YOU GET:
Why try to tell a prospect how your home could look… when you can show him by following the staging tips. It will pay dividends in the end.
LET THE SUNSHINE IN:
Open those window treatments all the way so the prospect can see how bright and cheerful your home is.
- Clear all unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the house. Keep decorative objects on the furniture restricted to groups of one, three or five items.
- Clear all unnecessary objects from the kitchen countertops. Clear refrigerator fronts of messages, pictures, magnets… Remove refrigerator odors by washing the inside of the fridge with a baking soda and water solution. Boil lemon juice in your microwave and add it to your dishwasher to eliminate bad smells. Put lemon rinds down the disposal. Clean the ventilating hood. Be sure kitchen appliances and countertops are sparkling clean.
- In the bathroom, remove any unnecessary items from the countertops, tubs, shower stalls and commode tops. Keep only your most essential cosmetics & perfumes in one small group on the counter. Repair any damaged or discolored caulk or grout. Polish the faucets. Remove all stains. Bathrooms sell homes- make them sparkle. Coordinate towels and hang decoratively like in a model.
- Rearrange or remove some of the furniture if necessary. As owners, many times we have too muchfurniture in a room. This is wonderful for our own personal enjoyment, but when it comes to selling, we need to thin out as much as possible to make rooms appear larger. Fluff and flip removable furniture cushions.
- Make the beds better. Rotate and flip mattress. Fluff comforter. Buy attractive new bedspread.
- Consider your wall hangings- remove, rearrange, patch and paint as needed.
- Review the inside of the house room by room, and paint any room needing paint; check for any stains in ceilings or around windows and repair leaks and repaint; especially look for soil and marks at light switches, trim and corners; clean carpets that need it and replace if in bad condition; make the floors shine.
- Make any room look brighter with clean blinds and windows. Mix a solution of one part white vinegar and eight parts water, plus a drop or two of liquid dishwashing liquid, for a green window cleaner. Spray on and wipe off with newspaper to avoid streaks. Washing on a cloudy day also reduces streaking.
- Clean or replace air conditioner filters. Clean ceiling fans.
- Replace burnt out light bulbs. Use brighter light bulbs.
- Fix any leaky faucets and polish them to shine.
- Little things mean a lot- be sure that your doors don’t stick or have loose knobs. Check your windows and cabinet doors as well. Fix those minor flaws. Lubricate squeaky doors.
- Remove unnecessary articles in your Laundry Room to make as cheerful and functional looking aspossible.
- Make your closets look bigger by having them well-organized. Dispose of excess items you are notgoing to move.
- If you need room to store extra possessions, use the garage or rent a storage unit. Dispose of items you are not going to move. It is okay for closets and garage to be full if necessary. Neatly pack up and stow items you are going to move.
- Leave on certain lights during the day. During showings, turn on all lights and lamps.
- Have soft background music on during the day for all showings.
- Keep pets out of sight as pet lovers will be distracted and pet dislikers might be turned off. Many people are even allergic to pets. BE SURE THERE ARE NO PET SMELLS!
- A comfortable temperature is very important to a good showing. DO NOT use a humidistat.
- BE SURE THE FRONT DOOR KEY WORKS EASILY!
- Go around the perimeter of the house and move all garbage cans, extra items, etc…into the garage.
- Check gutters and/or fascia for dry rot. Make sure they are clean.
- Keep a well manicured lawn and neatly trimmed shrubs. Consider planting flowers near the front door. Be sure all sprinkler heads are functioning properly.
- An extra shot of fertilizer, in season, will make your lawn look lush and green.
- Weed and then mulch all planting areas.
- Clear patios or decks of miscellaneous items leaving only limited decorative items …
- Check condition of the house paint- especially the front door and the trim. Clean and paint the house exterior as needed. A solution of 50% water and 50% chlorine bleach will remove mold and mildew.
- Paint or clean your mailbox as needed.
- “CURB APPEAL REALLY WORKS.”
Try to look at your house “THROUGH THE BUYER’S EYES” as though you’ve never seen it before. Any time or money spent on these items will bring you back more money in return, and hopefully a faster sale.