If you’re getting ready to sell your home, you should take a tour — a tour of your own home, that is. I’m not talking about walking around like you normally do. I want you to pretend you’re a prospective buyer and see your home with new eyes. Ask your realtor or a good friend to inspect with you. Here’s what you’re looking for.
- Start at the curb. Begin outside and check the paint on your mailbox and the beds along your walkway. Could you plant some flowers to brighten up the approach to your home?
- Climb the front steps. How do the steps and handrails look? A front porch with fresh stain or paint makes a clean entrance. Arrange furniture in ways that look inviting. Imagine you have your best friend there. Could you two sit and have an enjoyable chat? Creating spaces that call to visitors is key to staging.
- Open the front door. Are the door and frame free from scratches and dirt? Could you hang a wreath? Don’t forget to check the locks and replace dingy door handles or knockers.
- Examine your entryway. What do you see first when you open the front door? If it’s clutter, get rid of it. If you can make the area brighter by removing heavy drapes or shades, take them down. Strive for a light, airy, welcoming feel that makes visitors say “ahh.”
- Consider rooms from doorways. Make sure your furniture in each room is arranged to encourage visitors to come in. If a big recliner’s back is near the doorway, people are less likely to enter. Make it inviting! Add flowers and set furniture up in conversational seating like you did on the front porch.
- Rethink bookshelves. While we all treasure our books, full bookcases can be a bit unsightly. Pack most of them up, keeping just a few out. Add a few sit-arounds to the shelves instead, or leave an open book with a pair of glasses over it. Show prospective buyers activities they can do in your home, like read in a cozy nook or enjoy a cup of tea by the fire.
- Minimalize your kitchen. Clear off the appliances, bread basket and other clutter. The emptier your counters are during showings, the larger the space will seem. Visitors will imagine where their items will go!
- Create space in the garage. While you may typically use your garage for storage, clean it out when staging. Show buyers that a car can actually fit in there. Use peg boards to keep tools neat, and rent a storage unit for the clutter you won’t need for a couple of months.
- Make your bathroom shine. Just like in the kitchen, remove as much as you can from counters. Add a plant or a small grouping of three items in the corner. Replace spotted and worn faucets and pick out bright, airy colors for rugs, shower curtains and towels.
- Build a backyard escape. Consider fresh mulching for beds, and trim back bushes. Arrange furniture in inviting ways — maybe have seating circled around a fire pit or place two chairs under a perfect tree.
Thought it’s a lot of work, staging is an art that can elicit big payoffs. Here’s something you should know: if you list with me, I’ll stage your home for free using your furniture. This saves you thousands of dollars and hours of labor. Give me a call to get started today!