Selling a home is everything but easy, and in order to get the best offer, many people are hiring professional stagers. These guys and gals cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the size of the home.
Not everyone can afford that and some of us don’t want to pay for this service. Yes, we are that cheap, and we believe we can do a great job staging our homes ourselves. We may not be professionals, but we are fast learners. In case you missed it, I’m talking about the Wallet Weekly crew.
So we’ve scattered the Interwebs for the best staging advice, and here’s what we’ve found to be helpful. Here are…
7 Things to Know to Stage Your Home Like a Pro
The essential first step is to get rid of all the things your home doesn’t need to function properly. What you do NOT want to show to potential buyers is how your home could look like if it was owned by a hard-core hoarder. Instead, you want to have it more on the simple side with a few details highlighted here and there (more on that later). For start, organize closets, and arrange all catchall areas such as pantry and basement. Throw away, sell or just move stuff you won’t want on display.
Related to the previous point, you’ll want your home to scream cleanliness — cause a clean home is a well cared-for home. Make sure to polish windows, toilets, carpets and so on. Dust anything that’s standing still, and take good care of details. At the end of the day, you’ll want to accomplish the “fresh” look and feel, cause that’s how any in-demand property looks like.
3. Remove odors
This is especially import for those of you with dogs, cats or any other animal. Yes, you love your pet, but potential buyers could find that smell annoying, and could thus decide to look elsewhere for their new home. And the same applies to cooking odors, which too, can break the sale. Open the windows and turn on a few fans to clear it all out. Do NOT rely on scented candles and air fresheners — they won’t “get the job done.”
We’ve already mentioned you’ll want to make your home look fresh. Well, nothing adds that look like the newly painted walls. Stick with neutral wall colors, or if you feel like it, experiment with shades of cream and white, soft greens and blues, which could add a subtle glow to any room. For kitchens and bathrooms, however, go for easy-clean semi-gloss paint.
5. Depersonalize, but…
Stagers aim to make homes they’re selling appealing to the widest audience possible. In that sense, they will make sure that all (personal) photos have been removed from the home. And the same goes for any other items that look like they mean something to their owners, while the rest of the world just don’t care. If you haven’t removed them during the “decluttering stage,” now it’s time to do so. However, you will want to keep a few details — you are not selling a hotel room, but a home. It’s a delicate balance, but you’ll figure it out.
6. Outside matters, too
You’re almost done setting the stage inside the house, now turn your attention to the outside. You may want to leave an afternoon or a few days to make your house look great from the street level. Repair and replace the things that don’t work, add new layer of paint where needed, and power-wash it all. And if you have a yard, make sure it look lovely, too. If your yard is big enough, make it look like it’s made for BBQ parties — that’s what buyers want a yard for.
Once you did it all, it’s time to add a few details all around the place. You may need to buy some new things to get that fancy look people find in home decor magazines. We are talking about things like plush accent pillows, tailored bed skirts, window treatments and bathroom linens. Also, see if you can get some nice looking, but inexpensive statue for the living room. These sort of details are what buyers end-up remembering after seeing your house. And you want them to remember it as their next home.
Selling a house is not easy, and you may need help. If you have some ideas and are talented for design, why not try to stage the home for yourself? It is important to take your time, however; chances are, you’re not doing nor you are going to do this often, and you’ll have to “learn on the job.”
Set a week for your staging project and thoroughly go through each of the steps outlined in this article. For your hard work, you just might land a top-dollar offer for your home. Good luck! 😉
Finally, you may also want to check out this guide: Sell Your House In Just 7 Days (without a real estate agent).