November 15, 2010

Need A Quickie? Quick Tips to Staging Your House to Sell

Need A Quickie?  Quick Tips to Staging Your House to Sell

If you've even considered selling your house in today's market, you've probably already heard about staging.  Want a great example of a perfectly staged home?  Visit a few builder open houses, or better yet, take a tour through a few model homes on a manufactured home lot!  Those mobile home people can really stage a house!

Still, many people who or trying to sell, or considering selling, don't know a good staging professional or simply don't want to, or feel they can't,  afford to hire a stager to make their house the best that it can be.  Now, in my opinion, a good stager is worth their weight in gold, but if you're watching every dollar in your selling price, there are a few things that you can do yourself to get your property in better selling shape.

Get a Truthful Friend or Neighbor to help:  By that, I mean you really need a neutral set of eyes looking at your house the way a buyer may, and the person with those eyes needs to be able to tell you exactly what they see (No being "nice" here).

Clean up the Outside:  Curb appeal is the big numero Uno for staging a home.  Cut the grass, edge it, trim it, trim up the bushes and shrubs.  Clean up any debris (and dog poo).  Add some color if it's lacking.  Do the shutters need painting (the house?)?  Consider painting the front door a bold color (red and emerald green work well with alot of homes).

De-clutter:  I know you've heard this one a lot, but it's one of the hardest to do.  I'm not talking about cleaning, but actually removing stuff from the home.  Your doll collection bookshelf, your trophies, your animal heads, personal photos, and various other nick-knacks need to be put up.  You're moving anyway, so go ahead and box these things up and get them OUT!  These things distract a buyer from the house.  That's never a good thing.

Clean:  Once you de-clutter, then it's time to CLEAN!  And I mean really clean, not just tidy up.  Clean everything you can see and even those spots you can't (like under the sink) because it's likely that the buyer may look there.

Update:  Let's face it, some homes need some updating.  A fresh coat of paint works wonders for any home.  If you have light fixtures that are dated, update them.  Paneled walls?  There are various ways to make them look like sheet-rock when it's done.  Consider it.  Those little "fix-it" jobs you never got around to doing...well, now it's time to get them done.  The less work a potential buyer sees that the home needs, the higher they are willing to pay for it.  A little money spent now means more in your pocket at the closing.

Stage the Rooms:  Yes, stage it.  You may not be able to get 'showroom' quality like a pro could, but you can make each room show it's best.  A dining room needs to look like a dining room.  Likewise with the bedrooms.  You may need to tone down the living area a bit by having less furniture than you're used to having.  You can find several TV shows that focus on staging to get some ideas.  The main point is to get the buyer to picture themselves in this "dream home"

Now, I'm no professional stager, just a REALTOR® with years of selling experience.  These staging tips will make a difference, both in the amount of time it takes for your property to sell, and the selling price.


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