Staging your home for sale is the same concept as dressing yourself for an important meeting — a job interview, first date, family gathering, etc. The goal of staging is to get your home in such outstanding condition that potential buyers are wooed and romanced by the possibilities arising within their imaginations. Keep in mind; you’re going to present the first impression to a buyer, much like a first date. You’re hoping to make such an impact that the first date turns into a long-term commitment. However, when a buyer pulls up to view a home that is in disarray or disrepair, they feel hesitation and fear expensive projects as opposed to the peace-of-mind that comes with move-in-ready. Staging is creating a move-in-ready environment for buyers.
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Declutter Your Home
Staging is not only for the benefit of the buyer and a quick sale at a competitive price, but it’s also for you, the seller. Staging time is your opportunity to begin clearing away your belongings, packing what you can, and preparing for your upcoming move.
Decluttering is the hardest part for a few reasons. The first reason decluttering is complicated is because it’s the first step in a long journey, so it’s clouded with a feeling of being overwhelmed. The second reason decluttering is difficult is because you’re looking at an entire house, and belongings of multiple people. More overwhelming stress. But it doesn’t have to be extraordinarily complicated.
Get a few large plastic totes or something comparable. Label your storage units: Pack, Sell, Donate. Also bring along a trash bag, a photo box, and an accordion-style file box for important documents.
Focus on one room – just one – at a time, and complete that room before moving to the next. You might, for example, commit to one room each day of the weekends and a goal of completion within two weeks.
Neutralize the Decor
Neutralizing refers to two things, the first of which is depersonalizing. We overlook depersonalizing in the decluttering process because we don’t envision our sacred belongings as clutter. What’s sacred? Our collectibles, photos of family and friends, books, movies, magazines, or any items that may reflect personal belief systems about politics, religion, or other controversial issues.
The idea is for buyers to walk into a move-in-ready space where they can imagine putting all of their belongings. However, when they enter your home, a home still heavily imbued with your aesthetics, the buyer may feel more like a guest in yours. Furthermore, because we are a diversified society, you may accidentally rule out a buyer based on personal conflict. When you effectively neutralize a room, you see a well put together space but nothing reflective of the personality of anyone living in that space.
The second thing neutralizing refers to is loud or busy patterns, colors, or fabrics. For example, a kitchen adorned with red checkered all paper and a rooster-patterned chair rail may be ideal for a country-loving homeowner, but not so ideal for a different kind of personality. Keep walls, carpets, curtains, and accessories in soft, warm, natural tones that appeal to all.
Repair and Replace
If anything is broken, fix it. Don’t put it off. Keep the focus of move-in-ready and project-free for buyers, and understand that any problems with the home will be revealed during a home inspection and could create problems or even nullify your transaction. You’ll increase the value of your property as well, and you can use receipts as selling points when showing the home.
Clean it As You Mean It
Cleanliness sells. You can either do the heavy-lifting yourself, or you can outsource the task to a cleaning company. However you choose to do it, your house should sparkle and shine from top to bottom.
Don’t forget the outside! The outside of your property is a buyer’s first impression, so you want to charm them with a well-manicured lawn, trimmed hedges, fresh flowers, and a clean exterior. The way a buyer feels when seeing the outside of your house for sale will follow that buyer through the home.
Staging your home for sale doesn’t need to be difficult. In fact, staging a house can be simple when approached with a systematic concept. Declutter, neutralize, repair and replace, clean, and decorate to show your house in such a positive light that buyers can’t help but to submit an offer you can’t refuse.