Sunday May 26th, 2019
Staging may be one of the most important projects to prepare your home for sale. It does not require spending a lot of money – just making the right decisions.
First impressions are important in any market but especially in the buyer’s market, that is why it is important that your home stands out from others and it is prepared the best way possible.
Potential buyers when entering the house are not just looking for a building to inhabit, they are looking to improve their lifestyle and fulfill their dreams. Staging can help them visualise their future home and be emotionally attached to it. It can also be beneficial because they see the home is well maintained, and therefore do not have to think about the costs involved with possible repairs as nowadays people are extremely busy with work, kids etc., and may not be very handy.
There are many tips on how to improve your home appearance, but I find these 7 simple steps are the most beneficial.
Make sure your home sparkles. Kitchen should be clean, all the appliances (sometimes it is worth it to buy new ones on sale or some that have been lightly used) should be polished and scrubbed inside and outside. Bathrooms sinks, showers and toilets should not have any water or soap stains. Do not forget about the mirrors and glass enclosures.
Your closets should be organized because potential buyers will check them. Messy closets give the appearance that your home does not have enough storage space.
Floors should shine and the whole home should smell fresh. If you have pets make sure to remove the odours.
A basic trick is to bake Pillsbury cookies in the oven, as these give of an inviting aroma.
Your goal is to make everything look like new, crisp and clean.
2 Remove the clutter:
Potential buyers need to visualize the room so make sure to leave the space with the right amount of furniture (go with a more minimalistic approach). Arrange furniture away from walls to make it look bigger. Make sure the furniture’s are the right size for the room. If you have too many, it’s beneficial to rent a storage and put them away for the time of the potential showings.
Remove all the family photographs, trophy’s, magnets from the fridge. All toys should be put away as well.
The less the amount of clutter in your home, the bigger it will look and the more appealing it will be to potential buyers.
3 Repurpose and define rooms:
Make sure each room has its own purpose.
Take a room that accumulates junk and transform it into a study or a craft center.
A finished basement can be an entertainment room or yoga studio.
Position the furniture into cozy, conversational groups paying attention to the traffic flow throughout the room.
4 Face lift:
Your home should be ideally in neutral colours as this appeal to larger groups of potential buyers. You might like your bright green bedroom, but it may sour buyers.
All cracks in the walls and ceilings could potentially be a concern to buyers thinking of a foundation problem, if that is not the case you are better off fixing them.
Wallpaper should be removed if it is dated, not everyone is a fan of wallpapers, it is more beneficial to just abolish it and paint the room.
If you cannot afford new kitchen cabinets, painting and adding new hardware could be beneficial.
5 Curb appeal:
Your home’s exterior is crucial for a good first impression, make sure your home's lawn is immaculate. Mow the lawn, prune the hedges, weed the garden, and remove all garbage. Windows should be spotless, and the front door should be cleaned.
Replace old and faded house numbers so buyers can see them from the curb.
A filthy exterior will make buyers think you have slacked off on interior maintenance as well. Using a simple pressure washer on your home’s sidings will make a world of difference.
Add a new door mat and flowers in pots or hanging baskets.
Open all curtains and blinds to let in natural light.
Brighten dark areas with floor and table lamps. Table lamps can give rooms a softer and cozier ambiance.
Change to higher wattage fixtures for more light.
Avoid dark-colored curtains as they make rooms dim.
7 Final touches before showing:
Make sure to air the rooms to eliminate odours.
Avoid using cheap sprays, some people are allergic to chemical products - baking soda and vinegar are great!
Try this natural recipe to deodorize a room:
Mix a teaspoon of essential oil, lavender for example, with two cups of water in a spray bottle.
Add fresh cut flowers and check for dust on surfaces.
Display a bowl with fresh fruits (green apples, or lemons look great).
Arrange for background music playing softly during showings.
If your home needs more work and you are not comfortable preparing your house for sale yourself, you can opt for a professional staging. The cost will vary greatly from one company to another, and most importantly the size of the house in addition to how long the house was on the market. Staging small condos downtown may give you the most bang for your buck, small units will be less expensive to stage but will benefit most from modern, properly arranged and sized furniture. Large house in the country will required large investment to stage, and the return may not be as great.