Staging is really one of the best ways to get your home shown, get amazing pictures on your listing, and give people a sense of what the house can really be used for. Sometimes where to start, however, is the biggest obstacle. I want to give you a few tips on staging so that you can start in each room and make a few changes so that when you are ready to list, your home will be ready as well.
#1. Start at the curb.
Most profile photos in the MLS need to be either of the front of the house or the view from the house. Most people choose the house itself so that first initial picture needs to make an amazing impression. Make sure that your grass is green, trees, bushes, and shrubs are trimmed, sidewalks, stairs, and pathways are clear and the overall sense of the outside is extremely welcoming and inviting. And it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, as a clean and cleared front curb appeal can be achieved in just about any weather.
#2. Don’t forget a good cleaning.
Sometimes a really good cleaning is all the house needs. If you take good care of your property, have it properly laid out, and don’t need to declutter, a good cleaning may be all the house needs. Many times I recommend having a professional cleaner come in at least once a week while the home is on the market. Remember, buyers can be picky and will look everywhere.
This is one of the first things you should do. Take each room one at a time and go through all of your items. Remember, you’re going to have to pack it all up anyway, so doing so now will take a lot of stress and burden off of you when the time comes to move. Go through every closet and cupboard, removing at least half of the items or even all of the items and then put things back as you go. You might want to make a pile for donations, throw some things away, or pack items up in boxes to take with you to the next house.
If your hallway is like most families, you have dozens of pictures and family memorabilia hanging on the wall. Now is the time to clear off the wall, remove any personalized items, and make the home as neutral as possible. Buyers don’t want to be distracted by family photos, your antique teacup collection, or your sports memorabilia in the man cave.
#5. Make any and all repairs.
Take a notebook through every room in the house making notes of things to repair, correct, or replace. Scuffs on the walls should be painted over, damaged doors repaired or replaced, dirty or squeaky door frames and window frames cleaned or replaced. Make sure every light switch and outlet work. Give the house a good once over for any of those small details and repairs that seem to get neglected when we live in a place for too long. If you’re unsure of what needs to be repaired, have a trusted friend look through your house with fresh eyes. They will probably see things you’ve become blind to.
#6. A good coat of paint works wonders.
Like I mentioned before, paint can cover over any scuff marks, and really give each room a fresh clean look. Stick with neutral tones and colors such as light grays, beiges, tans and warmer shades so that it fits into just about anyone’s décor.
#7. Remember the rule of three.
When staging tables, cabinetry’s, shelving, and dressers, remember the rule of three. Group items in threes with different heights and varying levels to create a clean and organized look. If there are too many items on a counter or a shelf it will look cluttered and distracting. Remove everything off of the kitchen counters and only put one or two items back with maybe a bowl of fresh fruit or a vase of fresh flowers.
#8. Set up rooms as they were meant to be.
If your dining room has now turned into the children’s playroom, it’s time to convert it back to what it was originally meant for. Put in a nice table and chairs and set the table, especially during showings or open houses. If you’ve used a bedroom as an office, make sure that office looks like a professional space that someone could come in, sit down at a desk, open their laptop, and work quietly and efficiently.
Each bathroom should be a spa-like retreat with baskets of toiletries and rolled up clean, fresh towels. Bedrooms should be an oasis of relaxation and if the bedroom is large enough, have an overstuffed chair in the corner next to a small table, lamp, book, and reading glasses.
#9. Remove all evidence of pets.
I know it’s difficult to get rid of pets during a showing, but most buyers don’t want to be distracted by pets when viewing the home. If you have a dog, clean up any areas that might indicate as such, and take the dog out with you during a showing. Cat litter boxes should be stowed in the garage and the cat in a cat carrier can go with you during a showing. If you have other pets such as reptiles or rodents, simply cover the cage with a blanket or towel during a showing. Fish tanks are fine out in the open.
#10. Keep it staged.
This is probably one of the hardest things for homeowners to do. Unless the home sells within a week or two, you might be on the market longer so it’s important to keep the house staged. Many homeowners are eager at first and create a perfectly staged home but a couple weeks in they tend to get a little bit lax on cleaning and organizing. Try the 30-minute rule.
Every house is different, so for more specifics on your home, give me a call at 248-752-3088, or contact me to find out what your home is worth.