For many people looking to buy a new home, the first step is to sell the home you are in now. If you are already looking for homes for sale, you should spend some time getting your existing home ready to sell fast. If you are planning to sell your home quickly, here are some very important and helpful tips to staging your home.
Clean The House
The first step to staging a home is to clean. A proper deep clean, not just a light dusting here and there. No buyer wants to purchase a dirty home. If you have the money to spare, hire a professional cleaning service to come in. You’ll want to scrub down those bathroom sinks and toilets, clean the kitchen counters and sink, deep clean the carpets or hardwood floors, and wipe all the doorknobs and fixtures.
Once the house has been deep cleaned, make sure to tidy up every time there is a showing. Empty all of the trash cans, wipe all of the windows and counters, and don’t leave dishes in the kitchen sink.
If you have pets, it is best to take them out of the home while it is for sale, if possible. If you don’t have anywhere to bring them, then take extra care to make sure that the smells aren’t lingering. It is best to hide any evidence of the pet—hide the litter boxes and chew toys.
Declutter The House
Buyers want big, spacious homes. One way to make your house look bigger is for it to have less stuff. Declutter everything. If you need to, rent a storage unit or borrow a kind family members’ garage for a while.
Start with the closets, cabinets, and pantry. Take out all of the things that you don’t use on a day to day basis. Buyers are going to snoop and look in your closets, and really, you want them to. But make sure that they are clutter free so as to accentuate the storage space in the home.
Also take most or all of the things off of tables and counters. The more stuff piled on top, the small the thing looks. You don’t need your toaster, slow cooker, and all of your spices on your counter. Show the buyer that you have counter space, and that you have the proper storage space to keep things off of the counter.
If you have lots of big, bulky furniture, consider putting some of it in storage. They buyers want to know they can make that room an office, but a huge president’s desk and 5 bookshelves full of books might be too much.
Depersonalize The House
It is a good idea to hide personal objects, like family pictures, large art pieces, eccentric furniture pieces, or religious items. The idea of staging your home is to allow the potential buyer to visualize themselves living there—and that can be hard when you have a gallery wall of family photos in the living room or an alter to a demi-god in the spare bedroom.
One easy way to know exactly what you should remove is….”anything with eyes”. So, any pictures (that have eyes) remove them. Any figurines, statues or anything else in your home that “has eyes” — go ahead and pack those up.
Anything you leave out should be in pristine condition. For example, half empty shampoo bottles and that robe you bought your freshman year of college should probably be put away, but those clean and fresh new towels and a pretty (and new) bar of soap can stay.
Make sure not to clear your home of everything. You want to show the buyer that it is a home, without being too in-your-face about it. Instead of a huge bulky centerpiece on the dining table, replace it with a tasteful vase of flowers. Rather than a kitchen full of gadgets, have a bowl of fresh fruit on the counters. Picture what they put in home magazines—not too extravagant, but still pretty.
Minor Repairs and Upgrades
Sometimes cleaning things just doesn’t quite do it. A fresh coat of paint or refinished hardwood floors might do the trick! You don’t need to remodel your entire home, but a few small upgrades here and there can give the appearance of ‘new.’
Change out the old hardware or doorknobs, update that 1980s light fixture, and even replace the kitchen appliances. Just a few small changes can bring high returns for sellers. Spending a little money beforehand can make you some more in the long run. And who wants their house on the market for months?
Don’t forget to even upgrade some of the things that won’t be staying in the house, like sheets, drapes, and towels. Buyers often overlook the fact that they don’t get to keep these items, but the fresh and new look makes the rest of the house feel new, too.
It’s the first thing a buyer sees when they pull up to the house, and can be the determining factor in whether or not they go in. Freshen things up by pressure washing the house and driveway, or repainting the shutters on the windows. Make sure the grass is mowed, and even liven the flower beds by planting new flowers and adding fresh mulch.
You could even take it a step further and hang some new house numbers and get a fancy mailbox. If you have room on the porch, add some chairs—make it inviting!
And don’t forget about the backyard, if you have one. Show the potential buyers that your backyard is a nice place for a grill and table, or a hammock to relax. What kind of vibe should you aim for? Charming. Make the buyers want to spend time there, so they want to buy your house.
Arrange and Rearrange
Rearrange your furniture. Symmetrical arrangements are always visually appealing. Take all of the furniture off of the walls, as it opens the space up and makes it look bigger. In the living room, arrange things so that they’re conversational and inviting. Don’t be afraid to move artwork or furniture to another room where it might work better.
Make sure that the house flows. Show buyers exactly what a room can be used for. That one room that you pile all of your random stuff in? Turn it in to something useful, like a small office or a spare bedroom. Every room should have a clearly defined purpose. No bedroom/office/playroom/home gyms allowed.
Make sure the house is clean, use what you have, and arrange each room so as to show off the true potential of your home, and it will sell in no time!
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