Home-Staging 1

HOME-STAGING (Stage It & Sell it)

Home-staging -- What is it? Do I need to do it?

Although homes go on the market all the time, Spring tends to be a time when a lot of homes go on the market. The reasons are many and varied . . . warmer weather, job relocations, moving to another state/country, etc.

Although the jury is still out on whether the economy has recovered, if you decide to put your house on the market you will always face competition from other home owners.

But, before you decide to rip out your old kitchen and put in a $50,000 plus kitchen with granite counter tops and high end stainless appliances, check with your local Realtor who is familiar with what buyers expect in your area.

Don’t waste your money! A good Realtor can advise you on what improvements are most likely to get you a return on your investment.

The home-staging tips below will give you some ideas on things you can do for little to no cost. Implementing them will help give you a leg up on the competition.

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Home-Staging Maximize Exterior “Curb Appeal”

Before you list that house, maximize your exterior curb appeal by doing these home-staging exterior tips:
  • Keep the lawn mowed, edged and watered regularly (hire a service if need be)
  • Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds
  • Trim trees so even a tall person can comfortably walk under the lowest branches
  • Check foundations, steps, walkways, walls, patios and decks for cracks, loose or damaged wood (repair/replace if needed)
  • Inspect doors and windows for peeling paint – scrape and repaint if found
  • Clean out gutters and realign if crooked
  • Clean fireplaces and inspect chimneys (or hire a chimney sweep)
  • Repair and replace loose or damaged roof shingles
  • Repair and repaint loose siding and caulking
  • Re-seal any asphalt driveway
  • Keep garage doors closed
  • Store RV’s or older, unattractive or beat-up jalopies elsewhere while the home is for sale
  • Apply fresh coat of paint or, at least paint the front door

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Home-Staging Maximize Interior Appeal

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. What potential buyers see when they first enter your house and what they see as they walk around can either help or hinder your chances for a sale. Take these home-staging tips to heart!
  • Give every room of the house a thorough cleaning
  • Remove all clutter from every room – this will make the rooms, and the house as a whole, appear brighter, bigger and more appealing
  • You’re going to have to sort, throw away and pack when it sells – take the time to do this now
  • Rent a storage facility to put everything you’ve packed – the little extra money you spend on rent will most likely be translated into more money and/or a faster sale – people want to see the space, not your stuff
  • Hire a professional cleaning service if you will be gone for extended period of time during the sale
  • Remove anything that you don’t absolutely have to have within the next three to six months (e.g. if it’s Spring, store the Christmas decorations in your rented unit)
  • Consider holding a garage sale to get rid of some of the items you don’t intend to keep
  • Take anything that didn’t sell at the garage sale to the charity of our choice – don’t hang onto them
  • Repaint the interior walls if the walls are dingy or soiled and/or are a strong color – think neutral (you might like that cherry red wall, but potential buyers most likely won’t)
  • Repair cracks in plaster, wallboards, wallpaper, paint and tiles
  • Replace and paint any missing baseboard or other trim
  • Check for cracks, leaks and signs of dampness in attic and basement
  • Repair/replace broken or cracked windows or window panes
  • Inspect plumbing, heating, cooling and alarm systems – make necessary repairs
  • Repair dripping showers heads and faucets.
  • Sprucing up an older kitchen by repainting cabinets and replacing old hardware with newer, more up-to-date styles will make the old kitchen far more appealing (and a lot less costly than a total remodel)
  • Clean or replace worn or dirty carpets

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Home-Staging Tips For Living In The House While It’s On The Market

If you need to live in the house until it sells, here are some everyday home-staging tips to keep in mind to make your home more appealing:
  • Buy a set of showy new towels for each bathroom – put them out only when prospective buyers are on the way
  • Keep all counter tops (kitchen, bath and elsewhere) clear of clutter
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs
  • Open all drapes and window blinds – let the light in
  • Put pets in cages or take then to a family member, neighbor or friend
  • Never leave dirty dishes in the kitchen sink
  • Do not leave laundry in the washer or dryer
  • Put on soft background music
  • On cold days, light a fire in the fireplace
  • On warm days, the fireplace should be kept clean
  • If time permits, put some slice-and-bake cookies in the oven – there’s nothing like the smell of warm cookies to make prospective buyers feel at home

I know these home-staging tips sound like a lot of stuff to do, and that’s quite true! I know exactly how over-whelming the thought of doing all of these things can be. When my husband and I got married a little over three years ago, we each had homes that we had to put on the market. We had to go through this list twice! However, it was well worth the effort as we were able to sell both homes at or above market value right at a time when the economy in general, and the housing market specifically tanked.

Here's to your hard work/home-staging efforts and selling that house for more than you could have imagined!

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