Even though we’re often implored not to, judging a book by its cover is only human nature. First impressions and appearances matter, because they help us to make decisions about what might be best for us. This is important to know and understand if you’re thinking about putting your home up for sale and want to have it move quickly.
When you stage your home, you’re essentially making it visually appealing and inviting to prospective buyers. But it involves much more than simply keeping spaces clean and putting up some nice decor, and when one properly, it can even help you get the higher asking price you wanted. Staging a home that is on the market is so important to success, there are people who make a living as professional stagers.
But you don’t have to pay their high fees to stage your home for a quick sale. All you need is a little know-how and the willingness to put these tips to work for you:
Clean and Clear Out Clutter
As mentioned above, simply cleaning won’t be enough to stage your home – but it is an excellent place to start. Do a thorough clean of every room in the house, and as you go, either throw out clutter or pack it out of sight. While you may love all your little knick knacks and souvenirs, these little things are distracting for potential buyers and are also a sharp reminder that someone else is still living in the home.
Increase the Curb Appeal
If first impressions are everything, then you need to boost your home’s curb appeal when you’re staging it to sell. The exterior of your home and property will be the first thing that people see when they arrive to view the house. Maintain the lawn, repaint shutters if they are sun-faded, and pressure wash driveways and walkways. Consider planting seasonal flowers or adding mulch to areas that do not have grass. Don’t forget to wash windows and doors, and replace any worn doormats with new ones.
Remove Personal Items
Anything that is highly personal needs to be put away when buyers are viewing the home. This means things like toothbrushes, clothes, and paperwork. Make sure the front of your fridge is clean and try to pack away most family photos.
Personal items make it difficult for buyers to imagine a house as their home. You want to invite buyers to imagine the space as theirs; if they can picture themselves living in the house, they’re much more likely to want to make a faster purchasing decision.
Give Every Room a Purpose
Removing personal items doesn’t mean clearing out every room. Keep functional pieces of furniture in each room and arrange them as if someone would actually use them (in other words, don’t shove everything against the wall to make the room seem bigger). Doing this shows potential buyers how they can maximize the square footage in the house.
Take Care of Cosmetic Touch-Ups
Everything looks better when it’s fresh. Repaint trim to make it look clean and new, and be sure to paint ceilings if they are dull or stained. Eliminate brightly-colored rooms and any custom paint work that was done in the past. Have carpets steam-cleaned, clean grout and tile floors, re-caulk where needed, and wash hard surface floors as often as needed while the house is being shown.
The goal of staging a home is to make it an inviting place where potential buyers can easily envision themselves living happily. Be sure to play up the house’s best features, and if you can only do a few things to stage your home, focus on cleaning, decluttering, and taking care of the areas that people will see immediately.
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