Staging a home means putting its best foot…er…curb, forward. Think about how things are set up on stage for a play. Each item is precisely placed based on how the actors must move about. The idea is to create a good flow so the action comes off smoothly with no one bumping into anyone else, unless the script calls for it. Staging a home means giving all the areas within a good flow, and not having unnecessary bits that clutter up the place. Each home has its own script, so to speak.
Start With the Curb
The first thing a prospective buyer sees when he drives or walks up to your home is its curb appeal. Is it nicely landscaped, are the bushes trimmed and is the grass cut? Does the outside need a coat of paint? What about those fancy doorknobs or knockers? Are they nice and shiny or tarnished? It may sound like a broken record but first impressions do mean a lot.
Do You Have Too Much Stuff?
You may adore the drawings done by your children years ago in grade school but posting them all on the fridge might not be the best idea if you’re trying to sell. Neither is having an unending supply of nick-knacks invading every nook and cranny. You don’t have to get rid of your treasures, just rent a storage locker or box them up and put them in the garage if they don’t take up too much room. An uncluttered house looks more spacious.
Get Everything Squeaky Clean
After you’ve cleared out all the unnecessary things give the entire home a good cleaning. If you don’t have the time or inclination it’s well worth it to hire a cleaning service. Pay extra attention to the kitchen and bathroom, these can either make or break the deal.
We’ve already touched on this in the too much stuff tip, but this is a bit more specific. When potential buyers enter a home you want them to envision themselves in that home. Family photos and such discourage such thinking. Put a few art prints on the wall, a decorative vase or two on tables and leave it at that. The same goes with the color of your walls. Some folks like to use two or more colors per room. Others like to use colors to suit their personality like bold blues and eye-popping yellows. That’s fine while you’re living in the home but all that color can be distracting to a potential buyer. Try and repaint your home using neutral colors or warm earth tones.
Focal Points and Function
Decide on a focal point for each room and place your furniture so that it enhances that spot. Fireplaces are natural focal points so arranging the sofa and chairs to face it makes the most sense. If you have a three bedroom home and you use one of those rooms as an office you might want to change it back to a bedroom for selling purposes. A family that can see three bedrooms may be more apt to buy your home.
Lights, Windows and Flooring
Update your light fixtures but don’t go too gaudy. You may love that chandelier you found with the gazillion crystals but it may put a potential buyer off. Besides, you’re moving, why don’t you put it in your new place? The right window treatments also help to sell your home. Decorative side panel drapes with sheers across large windows works well. So do well made blinds. Don’t forget the flooring. If you have hardwood floors in questionable shape you might want to sand and refinish them. Carpets that have seen better days should be replaced with something neutral. Make sure the laminate, tiles or linoleum in kitchens and bathrooms are clean and in good shape.