Before your eyes turn into dollar signs, keep in mind staging isn’t guaranteed to get you more money. But it’s an important marketing tool to help you compete at the right price, which means you can sell faster.
Helping buyers fall in love with your property takes more than running the vacuum and fluffing the pillows: It’s all about decluttering, repairing, updating, and depersonalizing.
Here are some tips on things that you can do to make your home more appealing to buyers!
· When placing anything from accent pillows and table lamps, go for symmetry, which is pleasing to the eye.
· Light it up with lamps. Chic lamps provide both added lighting and appealing decor.
Make that fireplace glow. Scrub away soot stains and replace the old screen.
· If you’re using staging furniture or buying slip covers, choose light colors for an airy, inviting feel.
· Whatever amount of furniture you have in your living room, remove a few pieces to make the room feel spacious.
· Use bright, coordinated accessories like accent pillows and throw blankets for a chic splash of color.
· Help buyers imagine their life in your home. Set the scene by displaying a board game or tea service on the coffee table, and arrange furniture in conversational groups.
· Clear everything from countertops except one or two decorative items, like a vase of flowers or bowl of fresh fruit.
· Pack up all the dishes except one attractive, matching set. Do the same with glassware, flatware, and cookware, and pare down all other cupboard and drawer items down to the minimum.
· Freshen up and modernize those cabinets with a fresh coat of paint or stain and new hardware.
· Seriously evaluate your appliances. Can they look new again with a good scrubbing? Give it the old college try or consider replacing with new models. The Real Estate Staging Association strongly recommends stainless steel. Tip: You can get the look of stainless for the cost of a cheap dinner with stainless films.
· Remove those fridge magnets and give the door and handles a good cleaning.
· Scrub dirt, grime, and stains from walls, cabinets, and backsplashes.
· Clean cabinet interiors, especially under the sink.
· Clean and organize the pantry, leaving some empty space to make it look bigger. Store items in decorative baskets and display a few jars of fancy jam and other upscale condiments.
· Empty all trash cans and move them out of sight.
· Go gender neutral in the master bedroom. Ditch those dainty, floral pillow shams or NASCAR posters.
· Pack up all but the clothes you’re wearing this season to make you closets look larger.
· Swap out the motley crew of mismatched hangers in your closet for a set of wooden ones to create a classy, boutique look.
· Put jewelry and other valuables in a safe spot.
· Consider giving extra bedrooms a new identity as a home office, sewing room, or another interesting function.
· Remove televisions or video game consoles from bedrooms to depersonalize and create a serene setting.
· Let buyers entertain the idea of entertaining. Set out some chic place settings around the table, or a few wine glasses and a decanter on the buffet.
· Strike a balance between overly formal and too casual with an attractive runner and a few fun, decorative elements — think small floral vases or short candle holders.
· It’s de-grime time: Scrub and sanitize the walls, floor, shower door — virtually every surface that comes in contact with steam.
· Spend extra time scrubbing that tile grout and re-caulk around the tub if necessary.
· If your bathroom tile is dated, try paint instead of replacing it. Start with a high-adhesion primer and either epoxy or latex paint.
· Remove clutter from the countertop, tub, and top of toilet. Clean surfaces until they gleam.
· Pack up and hide all your personal products — from medicine to razors.
· Create a luxury spa look with a fancy soap dispenser, fluffy white towels, decorative baskets, candles, plants, a white shower curtain, and a new bath mat.
· Fix leaky or running toilets and replace toilet seats.
· Remove hard water stains on faucets and shower heads. (Try vinegar!)
· Take a daring sniff of the drains. Odorous? Clean them out, and deodorize with baking soda, boiling water, or vinegar.
· Time for a new sink anyway? Try a pedestal sink to optimize precious bathroom space.
THROUGHOUT THE REST OF THE HOUSE
· Declutter! Consider it pre-packing for your move. Box up books, clothes, and personal items and place them (neatly!) in the garage or — better yet — a rented storage unit.
· Don’t forget to include memorabilia in those decluttering bins. Family photos, diplomas, and the kids’ artwork should all go.
· Keep closets, basements, and attics as empty as possible to maximize the appearance of storage space.
· Transform underused areas of the house — the alcove under the stairs or the end of a hallway — into functional spots. Add a desk to create a mini office, or a chair and small bookshelf for a reading nook.
· Swap dim lights for high-wattage bulbs.
· Check every door, drawer, and cabinet to ensure they open and close easily. Swap out any faulty — or dingy — hardware.
· Damaged or aging hardwood floors? Replace damaged boards with new wood, sand down the entire floor, and re-stain.
· Do a deep (deep, deep) clean. Hire a professional cleaning service to clean your home from top to bottom — including carpets — before viewings.