Staging homes prior to putting them on the market to be sold is becoming a common practice. Whether the home is owner occupied or vacant, it is a huge selling point to show a home nicely decorated. The following Do’s and Don’ts will assist you in staging a home, be it yours or a clients, and avoiding mistakes that could send potential buyers elsewhere.
- Remove all personal items. This includes photos, clutter on the counter tops, toys out of sight, etc. You want the buyer to picture themselves in the space. It is hard to do when there are signs of another family living in the home.
- Repair anything that you can visually see during a walk thru that needs to be fixed. The home should look like it is ready to be lived in, not like it has already been lived in.
- Have the floors professionally cleaned. This again goes back to making the home look new. Traffic patterns and stains are an eye sore.
- Consider repainting the interior of the home. Keep the colors calming and neutral and only pick 2-3 colors max. A potential buyer will second guess the purchase if the paint is going to clash with their furnishings and style.
- Don’t forget the curb appeal. Make sure the yard looks fresh and neat. Grass cut, weeds pulled, flowers and trees pruned.
- Remove any over-sized furniture. You want the rooms to look large, the overstuffed chairs and sectional sofas will take up the space and make a room look small.
- CLEAN. Daily, make sure everything is clean, picked up, and looking like a model home. Potential buyers may want to view your home at any time. Be prepared.
- Go out and buy all new furnishings. Unless you were planning on doing this anyways and they will fit and work nicely in your new place. But realistically, this usually isn’t the case and you wouldn’t want to have to move brand new furniture anyways.
- Do major renovations. Remodeling the kitchen or bathrooms for the sake of selling a home is a costly mistake. Save the time, effort and money for your new home. Keep the renovations to a minimum. Only what is needed (worn carpet, paint, broken fixtures etc).
- Go overboard with details and style. What may be your favorite color may not work for the buyers. Your love for roosters in the kitchen quite possibly (most definitely) will not be what the next homeowner wants.
- Shove everything out of sight into a closet or guest bedroom. Closets need to show as closets, and bedrooms as bedrooms. This is the perfect time to declutter! Throw away or give away things you no longer need or want. This can be tricky. The best rule to go by is if you haven’t needed/looked at/or used it in 12 months, donate it or toss it. There will be items that this doesn’t apply to (photo albums, baby shoes, etc). These items should be in clearly marked bins and placed in storage.
- Over scent the home. A light plug in air freshener or pouch placed in the A/C vent is fine. Stick with one scent, that isn’t over powering, and don’t place it in every room. The client doesn’t want to feel like they are walking thru the perfume counters at Macy’s.