Selling your house is an exciting opportunity to cash in on your investment and move forward in your journey. But before you can list your property with a healthy price tag, you’ve got to get your home in its best condition for showings. Repairing, cleaning, painting, and small fix-it projects are all aspects of getting your house dressed for success, and this is called staging.
Staging your property, both inside and out, is one of the most critical elements in your home-selling process. Not only are you trying to woo potential buyers, but you’re also trying to simplify and expedite the processes of appraisals and inspections.
Taking care of the property’s structure and major systems (such as roofing, heating and air) are functioning properly could save you time, money, and a lot of potential frustration along the way.
In fact, if you and a buyer have agreed on terms and something significant is found to be faulty during the inspection, the buyer can either negotiate for a better price, require you to make repairs before closing, or even terminate the contract.
Househunters want to find a gem that’s move-in ready. When their first impression is fresh, clean, and crisp, they’re more inclined to make an offer than when they look around and see a list of tasks and projects to bring the property up to their standards.
And some of these tips and tricks are super simple, inexpensive quick-fix projects that can be done to increase your home’s value and help it sell fast.
Start Staging by Removing Clutter
The best place to start when preparing your house for showings is decluttering. Not only does decluttering kick off the staging process, but it also simplifies your upcoming move. Use this time to gather items for a yard sale and a separate collection for donations.
Consider dedicating one box for important documents, another for photographs, and a third for sentimental memorabilia. Sort through toys, clothes, linens, dishes, and all your otherworldly possessions. If you’re taking it with you on your move, pack it with tender loving care and store it away safely.
Removing clutter also applies to furniture. An abundance of bulky furniture can make a room feel small and stuffy. Store away any extra pieces of furniture such as china cabinets and armoires, and arrange the remaining pieces into open conversational areas.
Depersonalize Your Property
Keeping with the theme of packing for your upcoming move as a part of staging your house for sale, it’s time to tuck away your personal effects such as sports memorabilia, political statements, religious items, artwork from little ones, and personal photographs such as family portraits.
When potential buyers enter your home, they want to envision themselves living in the space, making memories of their own, and arranging the house to their aesthetics and taste.
That’s hard for a person to do when they’re overwhelmed by your personalization of the property. Furthermore, you don’t want your personal beliefs to conflict with a buyer’s belief or that difference of opinion could cost you the deal.
Give Your House a Dose of Elbow Grease: The Deep Clean of Staging
Presenting a clean home is paramount when preparing to list your property. During day-to-day life, it can be difficult to spot some of the wear and tear, but this is the time to find it.
Of course you’ll want to bleach the sinks and clean the toilets, but go beyond that to baseboards, sweeping off air vents, dusting ceiling fans, washing windows and wiping windowsills, and honing in on every nook and cranny.
Pay particular attention to the windows ensuring that they’re free of streaks. For the best impression, your window coverings should be open during showings to allow in the most possible light.
Kitchens and bathrooms are by far the most important rooms in the house when staging because these are the rooms used most by household members. In the bathrooms, fresh white towels and a few spa-like accessories like plants and candles can make a bathroom feel refreshing.
Tip: Don’t forget under the sinks! Not only should you remove any cleaning supplies or personal toiletries, but you’ll also want to check for wet spots which may suggest a leak. A leak under the sink could also create a musty smell that may be offensive to guests during a walkthrough.
Repair, Update, and Refresh
Your house is now free of clutter, personal effects packed, and deep-cleaned. Now you can look around and eye-spy what’s dingy, in disarray, or needs repaired.
Pay attention to the little details like running toilets, dripping faucets, rusty fixtures, or anything that may serve as a warning sign to those looking for their dream house.
A fresh coat of paint goes a long way in winning over buyers. Choose a soft, warm, neutral palette to give your walls a burst of fresh energy. Shampoo the carpets – or, if necessary, replace them.
There are little things, too, that you can do to increase your home’s value, attract the right buyers, and help you sell more quickly.
For example, replace the screens on the windows as well as light switch and socket plate covers. Even updating rusty latches on gates, squeaky doors, and tightening doorknobs can all make a difference in the bottom line.
Accents and Accessories when Staging Your Home for Sale
You don’t have to be an interior designer to make your house look like a model home for showings.
Just like white towels and candles can make a bathroom more attractive, fresh flowers, plants, and bowls of fruit can add a vibrant, colorful splash of life to any room or entryway. Flourishing, thriving plants send a message that, “love grows here.”
Add artwork to the walls like abstract paintings or fine art photography.
Don’t Forget the Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is your home’s first chance to make a lasting impression on buyers. From the moment their eyes meet your property, you want them to feel enamored, charmed, and “in love” with the house. This is much easier to accomplish when you’ve prepared the outside of your home for this occasion.
Remove any trash, toys, debris, or lawn furniture. Pull any weeds, mow the lawn, trim the hedges, paint the fence, pot some flowers, and sweep the walkways. If possible, power-wash the outside of the structures so they, too, look fresh and clean.
With a fresh power-wash, new screens, clean windows, and a tidied yard, your house is ready to welcome a new buyer home.
Related: Practicing good seller’s etiquette
Talk with your real estate agent at length about how to prepare your house for sale through staging. Your agent has extensive experience in advising clients on their home’s needs prior to listing. His or her expert eye is trained to hone in on imperfections, just as a buyer might do.
When you go to an important meeting, event, or interview, you dress your best to look nice for the occasion. This is the same principle you’re applying to your house before you list it for sale. By staging your property properly, you can attract the right buyers, garner the best price, and sell your home fast.