As a stager, I love to educate clients about the staging process and how to see their homes through buyers' eyes. Selling a house can be a stressful time and my goal for my clients is to help them diminish this stress be creating a staging plan. This creative challenge and process is a true passion of mine and one I look forward to sharing with you.
If you are serious about selling and you hope to get top dollar, don’t put off staging. Start now and create a game plan. There are few steps to keep in mind:
Staging is not just decluttering and depersonalizing. These are, however, important first steps. Go through each room and begin packing all of your unused items but don’t remove personality and create a sterile environment. Instead, focus on removing the clutter that you’ve been meaning to get to for weeks, months, or even years.
Finish (or start) all of those household projects. Save yourself a lot of stress and start a to-do list and work a little on it each week. It makes those tasks so much more manageable. Trying to finish all of these tasks, plus deep cleaning & packing, makes for a very stressful time if all left until the end. Most importantly, don’t assume that the buyers won’t care and can finish these tasks. You have the opportunity to complete them now so they don’t become price erosions in the future.
Dissociate yourself from your home. Let you home become an investment and not an emotional attachment. If you are too attached, don’t sell. If you have to sell, remind yourself that a staged home and lived in home are not the same thing. It’s not about buyers seeing your memories. It’s about buyers seeing the possibility to create their own memories.
Look at the competition. Get on-line at any of the various house selling websites and see what’s for sale in your market and what’s sold. Study the photography. Why? Over 95% of buyers shop on-line first. You’ll be able to quickly see the difference in a staged home and lived-in home.
Follow These 3 Basic Steps Before Listing Your House
There are numerous must do lists to follow while considering whether or not to put your house on the market. However, one thing is certain, the following three steps can’t be skipped if you want to a see a sale pending sign in your yard and receive a top dollar offer for your house.
Stage Your Property
Find a Great Realtor
Price it Right
Stage Your Property
Unless your house looks like a Southern Living Magazine photo, don’t ignore the staging step. Now is the time to finish all of the unfinished projects that have accumulated around the house. It’s also time to fix anything and everything that’s broken. Cleaning and decluttering are next. Ever thought about renting a storage unit? Now is the time. Clear out and begin packing everything you don’t use, even empty out half of the contents of your closets. Pack up all of your favorite collections. Your favorite sports memorabilia may not be your prospective buyer’s favorite. Clean up the yard and add lots of spring color. You only get one chance to make a first impression!
Find a Great Realtor
Don’t be afraid to interview several agents. This is the sale of your largest asset so you want to make sure you are in good hands. Look at their on-line profiles and check out how their other listings appear. An on-line presence is key since most home buyers shop on-line first. Also, look at their reviews. What are others saying about them? Ask for recommendations. Who sold your best friend’s house or your neighbor’s house? Most importantly, find someone you can trust, someone who will actively market your property, and someone who is credible in your market.
Price it Right
How do you price your house? First, don’t be tempted to start incredibly high, and second, don’t price it based on emotion. Use popular real estate sites such as Realtor.com, Zillow, or Trulia to see what other homes in your neighborhood have sold for–not what they are currently listed for–and you’ll have a better idea of your home’s current value. This is also where a valuable agent comes in handy. A good agent will provide a competitive market analysis. Work with your agent to decide how much room you should leave for negotiations, but don’t overreach because an overpriced house will sit on the market and as it sits, the price will drop.
Whether you are preparing your house to sell or a realtor meeting with a client, these quick and easy occupied staging tips will get you started in the right direction:
Always clear off the front of the fridge. Often times the main message hub for the home, just clearing it off before listing photos and quickly stowing all notes prior to a listing appointment makes a kitchen look instantly larger and more open.
Try adding white accessories (such as flowers and towels) to add a bit of sparkle to any listing photo.
Want to make a space look bigger? Move out all small area rugs. These rugs create both distractions in listing photos and make a space feel smaller. The more continuous floor one sees, the larger the space will appear.
Clear out and pack up half of the contents of the closets. Buyers want to see space, not closet contents.
Dark leather sofas create black holes in listing photos. Brighten up any dark sofa with light accent pillows and throws.
Removing over-sized furniture pieces will instantly add square footage to any space.
To make a bathroom look bigger, put away all toiletries.
Open all window treatments to make a room brighter and appear more open prior to both listing photos and appointments.
Be sure to remove all trashcans from sight and close all toilet lids prior to listing photos. The house will instantly appear cleaner on-line.
Leave out only lifestyle items in the kitchen and clear away all stacks of paper. Watch your counter space grow.
What a joy and privilege to work on the room that welcomes a new baby home. This was a complete redesign project turning big sister’s room into a baby boy nursery, while utilizing many of the homeowner’s existing pieces. At mom’s request, we kept the existing wall color and searched throughout the home for the most masculine area rug to fit the space.
It was fun to upcycle an old dresser to create the ideal changing spot. Barn wood and metal pipe fittings created the additional storage that was needed. An old nightstand became the accent table to a rocking chair that’s a wonderful example of a hand-me-down. The only items purchased for this nursery were some of the wall hangings, baskets for storage, and a few whimsical accessories.
This sweet room proves that it doesn’t require a big budget to create a well organized and functional nursery.