When a real estate agent suggests staging your home, it means exactly what it sounds like – you’re setting the stage to show your home at its best advantage, in order to sell quickly and at the best possible price.
Potential buyers want to look at your house and begin to imagine what it will be like to live there, to picture their family and their possessions in this setting. So, here are a few of the things you’re going to have to do (or hire a professional to do for you):
First, you’re going to have to remove everything from the home that suggests you live there. Remember, you are not a part of the picture your potential buyer is creating in his or her mind. You need to put away any family photos, toys, pet dishes, sports memorabilia, etc.
You may not notice the odor your beloved dog leaves in your house, but a potential buyer will. Before a showing, you might want to consider burning some scented candles. Take out the garbage. Pour some baking soda down the garbage disposal. And please, please, if you’ve been in the habit of smoking indoors, stop.
Clutter is distracting, and makes your home look smaller. Keep the knickknacks to a minimum.
If you have a spare bedroom that you’re just using for storage, convert it to its intended purpose. If you have a finished basement, it could be a rec room. A large alcove could become a home office. The main thing is to make sure that a buyer can see every part of the house as potential usable space.
It should go without saying that no one wants to see your bathtub ring or cooking stains from last night’s meal. If something is dirty, and you think it won’t be noticed, you are very much mistaken.
The above are things that you can do without too much effort. There are other measures you can take that will cost a bit, but will add dramatically to the value of your home. They are as follows:
Get Rid of Your Wallpaper and Your Custom Paint
Taste in wallpaper is highly individualized. A potential buyer is not likely to share your taste. Get rid of the wallpaper and paint the walls. Please, please, do not paint over the wallpaper.
Cover any bright paint with neutral colors.
Walls, Ceilings and Floors
If there are cracks in the walls or ceilings, fix them. Then consider your flooring. If you have carpet, get rid of it. The most popular choice today is hardwood, so if you can possibly afford to replace linoleum or carpet with hardwood, do it. Ceramic is best for the bathroom, but if it’s cost-prohibitive, go with vinyl.
Put fresh flowers here and there, and if weather permits, open the windows and doors to let in the fresh air.
This is where you make your first impression, so make sure the lawn is mowed, trees and shrubs are pruned, and flowerbeds are weed-free. Wash the windows, and sweep the walk. The same rule applies to outdoor clutter as it does to the interior of your house – eliminate it.
Now the stage is set, and you’re ready to show your home!