We have all heard it, “staging your home is a must!” when you place your property on the market. While it may seem like your presenting an impersonal, impractical vision of your home the fact of the matter is that staging works.
Studies have shown that homes that have been staged sell faster than homes that are not. A properly staged home also give your realtor® confidence when showing your home to potential buyers. If reading isn’t your thing, scroll to the bottom of this page and watch the video on staging tips from HGTV’s Jamie Lee.
Depersonalize the home
Remove family photographs, memorabilia, children’s art projects, sports gear and collectibles; anything that would distract a buyer. The purpose of the buyer’s visit is to engage with the home, to “try it on”. It is difficult for buyers to visualize themselves living in a home with too much of someone else’s personal belongings. “Less is best”.
Remove large pieces of furniture that make a room feel crowded
If necessary, rent a storage unit so you can make the rooms feel spacious. Arrange furniture so that rooms feel open and bright and walk ways are generous. Imagine what the room will look like when photographed. Will it look like a magazine photo? If not, remove more items. The buyer will most likely see the photographs first, so this is an important task.
Stage each room so that the buyer knows its purpose
For example, if you are currently using your formal dining room as an office, remove the desk and replace it with a dining table and chairs so that the buyer isn’t questioning the floor plan. Add a few decorative items that add a pop of colour and pizzazz.
De-clutter countertops, closets and cabinetry
Clean countertops and closets so that they have the bare minimum. Arrange items in the cabinets so that they are well organized. Buyers will open closets and cabinets and make a judgment about the maintenance of the home accordingly. If items are neatly arranged and orderly, they will infer that the home has been well maintained.
Go room by room and check paint on walls and baseboards
Make any necessary repairs to drywall. A thorough cleaning and a fresh coat of a neutral paint will make the room feel and smell fresh. Clean carpets and flooring so that they sparkle. Replace worn carpet if necessary.
Lighten and brighten rooms so that they look large and happy
Replace light bulbs with new ones, avoiding the low wattage energy efficient ones. Remove heavy window coverings. Clean blinds and shutters. Clean windows inside and out so that nothing obstructs the light and views from the windows. Trim trees or shrubberies that interfere with the light.
Make minor repairs
These includes things like re-caulking tub and shower, fixing dripping faucets, changing AC filters, balancing a ceiling fan, or any other repair that indicates that the property is well-maintained.
Remove any evidence of pets
This especially includes litter boxes and bedding. Pay close attention to and eliminate pet odours. Bad odours are always deal breakers.
Check the drive up curb appeal of the home
Mow the grass; weed, edge and mulch flower beds. Add some colourful perennials around the front of the home. Cut back or remove overgrown shrubbery. Trim trees. Place colourful pots of flowers by the front door. Check the exterior paint. Repaint the front door and replace old hardware. Remove toys and sports equipment. In winter months, shovel the driveway and walkways. If a home does not have curb appeal, the buyer may never come inside.
Give the home warmth and a touch of pizzazz
Spruce up the bedrooms with new bedspreads and some new pillows. Hang fresh towels in the bathrooms tied with ribbon or bows and remove toiletries. Replace worn mats and rugs. Add a large mirror over a dresser or low piece of furniture to add depth to a small room. Set the dining table with china. Check with a design professional for decorative touches that can add charm and highlight the special features of your home.