Putting your Home at Centre Stage
So you’ve decided to list your home. Maybe you’re downsizing and don’t need as much room as you did. Or your family has outgrown its space. Perhaps you’re moving because of a job transfer, or simply because you need a change.
Whatever the reason, selling your home is a big step – and as with all major life decisions, proper preparation is crucial. This is where home staging comes in.
“Staging” a residence means getting it ready to display to prospective purchasers. The reason for staging is to make a home as visually pleasing as possible in order to attract offers to purchase. The end goal: a fast sale for a good price.
There’s a distinction to be made here. Staging a home is not the same as decorating a home. To understand the difference, take a moment to read this article by Charlotte Skiba of Charlotte Interiors.
So how does a seller go about preparing a home for market? Here’s a checklist to help get the process started:
- Clean your home from top to bottom, including windows, carpets and baseboards. Consider hiring a professional cleaner such as Lynn King to lend a hand – an entire residence is a big task!
- Have chimney and furnace professionally cleaned and inspected.
- Clean the air. Stale cigarette smoke is a potential deal breaker. Ditto for the smells that our furry family members can create. This helpful article sets out the house showing rules on pets.
- Pack what you need, purge what you don’t, using the 50% rule in closets.
- Clean out cupboards, cabinets, shelves and drawers, leaving lots of space – the 50% rule applies here too. By the way, Prep Home Staging‘s blog offers some fresh ideas on how to style a bookcase.
- Edit your furniture and small appliances in each room. Remember, less is more – you want to create a feeling of space, so keep only what’s necessary and makes sense based on the intended function of each room. Many professional stagers such as WOW Home Staging carry an inventory of furniture and accessories for rent if you need to supplement what you’ve already got.
- Consider a storage locker rental if you have an overflow of items that you absolutely cannot part with, especially if your plans include moving to more spacious accommodations.
COMPLETE SMALL REPAIRS AND TOUCH-UPS:
- Re-caulk bathrooms.
- Repair leaky faucets.
- Oil squeaky hinges.
- Repair or replace anything cracked or chipped (ceramic, glass, stone, brick).
- Thinking about removing or replacing worn carpeting? Now’s the time!
- Neutralize your home’s interior palette. The spicy red that you adore may be a turn-off to a potential buyer with more conservative tastes.
- Upgrade dated light fixtures and window treatments.
- Add to accentuate only when necessary, according to Joanne Abrahams of Rave Review Home Staging & Redesign.
- Paint! One coat goes a long way. Staged for Upsell offers these tips on painting your home so it sells.
ARRANGE THE FURNITURE:
- Arrange the furniture so that visitors experience a feeling of air and flow within each space and between rooms.
- Create sight lines that draw the eye to features you want noticed.
- Ensure each room offers the visitor an attractive scene that they can picture themselves in.
- Use accessories sparingly, to create atmosphere. Here too, less is more!
- Take a minute to read Revive Home Staging‘s excellent blog on arranging furniture to its maximum effect.
BOOST CURB APPEAL:
- Mow lawn/shovel walks, steps and driveway.
- Trim shrubbery.
- Weed and mulch all plant beds.
- Consider landscaping with fresh gardens.
- Add pots of flowers, if and where appropriate.
- More paint! Tip: A bright, freshly painted front door is very welcoming (especially a RED one!)
LOOK IT OVER:
- Inspect your property with an objective eye – maybe ask a friend to do it.
- An experienced REALTOR® can also give you valuable feedback in this area.
- This may be a good time to enlist the services of a professional Home Stager who will apply their expertise to ensure your home puts its best face forward.
Major life changes are always stressful and believe it or not, strategic home staging can help you feel more in control of the entire home selling process. Just take it one step at a time and don’t be afraid to enlist outside help. Organizer Andrea Josey (Happy 2 Organize) illustrates this point in her blog posting, “Preparing to Downsize or Move“.
Remember, you have 30 seconds to make a first impression – and so does your home.
*Opening Image: 7285 Highway 329, East River Point, Lunenburg County