By Leslie Fischer
You’re putting your home or condo on the market, and you want it to really stand out to potential buyers. This is where home staging becomes a vital part of the process. Staging a property is beneficial to both the buyer and seller. The buyer doesn’t have to pump thousands of dollars into repairs or major upgrades; the seller reaps the benefit of selling the property faster.
Staged properties can boost the selling price and the number of offers. Hiring professional stagers can be costly, and in some cases, unnecessary. If you’re tackling the task yourself, don’t forget the details that make a difference.
It takes a buyer only a few seconds to decide whether they even want to look at the property, so first impressions matter. Mow the grass, and make sure seasonal flower beds are neat and tidy. The last thing they want is a yard that requires a lot of maintenance. Hardscaping is trendy and can add to the value of the home. It also means less mowing for the new owner.
- Basic maintenance is essential. Chipped and dull paint is an automatic turn-off. Give the trim a fresh coat.
- Fix screens that have holes in them or doors that don’t latch or close all the way.
- Take a hard look at your front door. Is it appealing? Front doors command the most attention from those pulling up to the house. Either replace or paint the door.
- Remove debris from the yard. Few things turn off a buyer more than seeing the yard littered with toys, lawn tools, or tattered furniture.
- Repair any cracks in the foundation and inspect the caulking.
Declutter and Clean
- When the buyer walks through the front door, they need to imagine themselves living there. Get rid of all clutter taking up space. That includes clearing out closets and packing up personal belongings. Put those items in storage until the property is sold.
- Before a showing, scrub the interior from top to bottom. Dust the blinds, clean your stove, and the inside of your refrigerator. A clean house suggests the current owner has taken good care of the property.
- Brighten up the house. Open the blinds and curtains and let the sunlight in. Turn on all the lights to make your home more cheerful.
- Patch any holes, nicks, or scratches on the walls.
- Remove personal photographs from the walls. Either leave the walls bare or stage professional pictures that will help enhance the room.
- Remove all items from kitchen and bathroom counters.
- Bold colors can distract, so paint the walls neutral colors such as gray, white, or tan.
The Right Smell Sells
The odor inside the home is a small detail some people overlook. The deep cleaning of the house should remove any offensive odors. While you might be unable to detect any odors, have a neighbor stop by to give you a second opinion.
- Remove all litter boxes and pet food and water bowls.
- Use a diffuser with essential oils to help the home smell welcoming or light a candle. The smell should be subtle and not overpowering. Even better? Bake some cookies just before a showing to add a pleasant aroma.
- Place a vase of fresh flowers on a table in the living room or in the kitchen. The scent is pleasant, and it will make your home feel welcoming.
Staging the Rooms
Don’t hesitate to rearrange the furniture.
- The living room should appear spacious and modern.
- Include a few small accessories such as still paintings, rugs, trendy lamps, or plants.
- Bring dining rooms to life with tablescapes. A tablescape is chic and elegant and will impress potential buyers.
Staging your home makes it feel inviting and move-in ready. This is one time you want to sweat the small stuff!
Leslie Fischer describes herself as a “slow-motion vagabond.” She finds a place she wants to live, buys a fixer-upper, flips it, and gets out the atlas again. She writes about real estate and DIY issues.