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Staging your home

In today's real estate market, to make the sale, it is more essential than ever to stage; to transform the property from a living environment to a desirable, highly marketable product.  The real estate market is tough and you need an edge on the competition. Staging is that edge.


Staging is more than just cleaning up, de-cluttering, and making any necessary repairs. It is about the presentation of your property. The goal of staging is to display the potential of each room or space to prospective buyers and create positive first impressions: to engage them and appeal to their emotions. You want them to envision themselves here and imaging how their furnishings would work or how they would decorate.
Here's How:


Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.

  • Say to yourself, "This is not my home; it is a house -- a product to be sold much like a box of cereal on the grocery store shelf.
  • Say goodbye to every room.
  • Don't look backwards -- look toward the future.


De-Personalize.

Pack up some of those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can't see past personal artifacts, and you don't want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can't do that if yours are there! You don't want to make any buyer ask, "I wonder what kind of people live in this home?" You want buyers to say, "I can see myself living here."


De-Clutter!

People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it. The most important principle is not to overcrowd the room or space. You want the areas to look as large as possible. Balance is the proportional use and placement of furnishings in a space. A balanced room creates harmony. An unbalanced can cause the wrong reaction in prospective buyers and they may not even realize why. Lighting controls how space is seen. Make sure your lighting in each room is adjusted to optimize the presentation.

  • If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
  • Remove all books from bookcases.
  • Pack up those knickknacks.
  • Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
  • Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
  • Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.


Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.

Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means:

  • Alphabetize contains (Just kidding).
  • Organize the kitchen as best as possible, clear counter tops, make it neat.
  • Don't empty out the bedroom cupboards just yet, it might be a nice idea to take things out to show how much space there is, rather show how much can go in without cluttering


Rent a Storage Unit.

Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don't want buyers scratching their heads and saying, "What is this room used for?"


Remove/Replace Favorite Items.

If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won't want it. Once you tell a buyer she can't have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.  


Make Minor Repairs

  • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
  • Patch holes in walls.
  • Fix leaky faucets.
  • Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
  • Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.
  • Replace burned-out light bulbs.


Make the House Sparkle!


  • Wash windows inside and out.
  • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
  • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
  • Vacuum daily.
  • Wax floors.
  • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
  • Replace worn rugs.
  • Hang up fresh towels.
  • Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.



Scrutinize.


  • Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
  • Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
  • Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.
  • Does it look like nobody lives in this house? You're almost finished.
 

Check Sidewalk Appeal.

If a buyer won't get out of their car because they doesn't like the exterior of your home, you'll never get them inside.
         
  • Mow the lawn.
  • Paint faded window trim.
  • Trim your bushes.
  • Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.
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