Home staging is the act of grooming or preparing a home to make it more attractive to potential buyers, thereby raising the value of the home. People have always "staged" their homes before selling them to command better prices, but in the 1990s, staging became a profession for those skilled in the art of preparing homes for sale, creating light, neutral environments with as much space as possible.
Below are some tips on how to stage your home before a potential buyer inspects it. Imagine seeing your own home for the first time. What does it look like? How does it smell? What is impressive? Can it be enhanced or more visible? What is less impressive?
Mend everything broken, paint over ugly marks, or put up new wallpaper. Little things that bug you are also likely to irritate a potential buyer.
Everything should be tidy and clean. No clutter! Remove personal items, such as photographs and Post-it notes. The bathroom and kitchen must give a fresh impression. If you utilize a commercial janitorial service to clean the windows, floors, and house, you'll get a better deal and faster service.
Remove everything from kitchen counters and clean them thoroughly. They should be shiny and totally empty. Keep everything off the counters for all showings unless its aesthetically useful. Put away coffee makers and toasters after breakfast if you're showing the house that day. You want to minimize clutter in order to maximize the spacious feeling. Buyers want space and spacious counters. The same principle applies to kitchen cabinets. Buyers will look in the cabinets if they are at all interested in your home. They are looking for space in there, too. Remove everything from the cabinets that you can do without while your home is listed. Pack these items away. Clean the cabinets and organize them.
Do not leave your personal grooming items out on the counter or on shelves. Curling irons, makeup, shaving supplies, etc. must be put out of sight. There are two reasons for this:
- to reduce clutter and create space
- to minimize the appearance of any personal items throughout the home. You want buyers to be able to imagine themselves living there, and it really helps to have a clean slate
Buy a new shower curtain and towels unless yours are fairly new already.
If possible, remove furniture and all other household goods that might contribute to a cluttered appearance. This gives a more spacious impression. Don't stack these things in the attic, basement, or garage since that still portrays clutter and distracts potential buyers. Hire a moving company to remove your furniture or do it yourself. Store it at rental storage facility.
Fresh plants give a fresh impression. But keep the importance of space in mind. Don't overdo it.
A well-lit home gives a fresher impression than does a dark one. Pull up the blinds and pull the curtains aside to showcase the clean windows and let the sun in. Some well placed lamps may brighten up the room.
But lighting doesn't have to mean electrical lighting. Effective use of natural light can instantly make a room feel warmer and more inviting. Light or shimmering fabrics work well to help amplify natural light as do mirrors and light or bright artwork.
Mirrors are also very effective in making smaller spaces seem larger. By placing a large mirror on one wall or by placing two similarly sized mirrors on opposite walls, existing light will be bounced around the room opening up the space and the room feel instantly larger.
Using light in these ways can make your efforts pay off by making your existing space seem much larger and brighter.
Mow the lawn and sweep the terrace (or balcony).
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