Putting Your House on the Market Soon? Here Are 6 Ways to Begin Home Staging Now!

By
Home Stager with Arranged Smartly LLC

You've decided to put your house on the market and you're planning to do so in a month or two. Now you must decide how to prepare your home for sale. To make that task easier, here are six ways to begin the home staging process now.

1. Decide what needs to goComing Soon

  • Check each room and remove furniture and accessories that are not necessary, are visually distracting or block the views of architectural details. This includes family photos, collectibles, accent furniture or maybe even large pieces such as a buffet or TV. 
  • Look for too much pattern in a space. When your home photos get posted online, pattern can be very distracting. You can slipcover upholstered furniture, remove a busy area rug or remove pillows or other accessories that add too much visual noise.
  • How to decide? Rooms should appear as large as possible and traffic pathways should be free and clear. Take a photo if you're not sure and compare it to houses currently on the market that look appealing to you.
  • Also remove anything that has a limited personal appeal such as dated window treatments, wallpaper, decade-specific colors like mauve or teal, your collections or very taste-specific styles. 
  • When in doubt, take it out! Less is more here.

2. Decide where it will go

  • Once you have identified the things you want to remove, figure out where they will go. An end table may get moved from the family room to the living room to flesh out a sparse space. 
  • If you have storage space in the basement, excess items can go there if neatly stacked, preferably in a closet or along a wall. 
  • What if you don't have any storage space available in your house? Consider asking a family member or friend if you can store items at their home. Rent a storage space or pod. But make the phone calls now and sort this out so your home is ready to show on listing day.

3. Cull excess items from closets and storage areas

  • If you can reduce what's in your closet by one-fifth to one-third, it will make the space look larger and indicate to buyers that there is plenty of storage space. Donate apparel you haven't worn in the last year or the kids have outgrown. You'll have less to pack and unpack for the move. Box up out of season clothing that you won't need for a while.
  • This strategy applies to gadgets and dishes in the kitchen and items in other areas of the house, too. Is there something you aren't using? Pack it up or take it to a thrift shop. 
  • Do you have a graveyard of miscellaneous items you don't know what to do with? Things like electronics can be donated if working, or recycled at electronic recycling depots if not. In St. Louis, check http://www.ecyclestlouis.org/. You'll find locations where you can take electronics to be recycled and you'll help the environment.

4. Repair deferred maintenance

  • Always repair those obvious things that really need fixing. Even addressing simple issues like jiggly doorknobs makes a house feel well-maintained.

5. Paint

  • When walls or trim are dirty, marked or can't be cleaned, it's time to paint.
  • Personal color choices with limited appeal will need attention. This can mean dated hues, like mauve and teal, or colors that may not appeal to the masses, like purple or neon green.
  • Dark colors can be difficult to paint over and may make a room feel smaller. Along the same vein, dark paneling may make a room feel cave-like and dated. Consider painting these spaces in a light, neutral color that will feel brighter and larger. 
  • Choosing neutral colors like light beige or neutral green will make the house feel fresh and appeal to the widest number of buyers possible. This can offer a big impact for a small investment.

6. Make simple updates

  • Switch out light fixtures, faucets and even bathroom hardware such as towel racks, for an updated feel with a minimal investment.
  • Pay attention to metal finishes that are currently in style. In most cases this means anything but brass. 
  • Not handy? Call a handyman service. They are usually qualified for tasks such as replacing faucets and lighting and can be reasonably priced.

Make sure you apply these steps to the interior and the exterior of your house. Whatever you do to get your property ready for the market, give yourself plenty of time. This allows you to complete the tasks yourself or call in help if needed. Preparing your home for sale is like studying for a test or readying for a job interview--the investment of time now can really pay off in the future.

 

 

 

 

Cathy Brosius is the owner of Arranged Smartly, a home staging and organizing company.  Cathy and her team are working smartly for homeowners and real estate agents throughout the St. Louis region.  She has also been interviewed on KMOV's Great Day St. Louis, providing tips on staging a home for sale.


 

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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Delete Acct Desert Communities 01/29/2010 09:33 AM
  2. Rita Minion 01/30/2010 02:00 PM
  3. Sharon Tara 02/03/2010 03:59 AM
  4. Susan Laxson CRS 05/31/2010 04:37 AM
Topic:
Home Selling
Location:
Missouri Saint Louis County
Groups:
Realtors®
Stage It Forward...
Show Me Missouri
Saint Louis County, Missouri
Advice for Sellers
Tags:
home staging
preparing your house for sale
home stager
st louis
tips
recycling electronics

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Rainer
30,908
Stacie Wells
Grovetown, GA

Perfect advice! I just wish more people would follow all these steps :) Thanks for sharing!

Jan 29, 2010 09:08 AM #1
Rainer
43,337
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

Thanks, Stacie! It's important for sellers to get going and decide what to do as soon as they know they're putting their house on the market. There are so many things to do besides the thorough cleaning and final touches.

Jan 29, 2010 09:18 AM #2
Rainer
129,071
Deena Cottingham
GreenApple Staging & Images, Calgary Staging & Photography - Calgary, AB
Home Stager & Photographer

Great advice, Cathy! If you're moving, you have to deal with your stuff eventually . . . why not do it when it will pay off most?

Jan 29, 2010 09:49 AM #3
Rainer
43,337
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

Deena, it only helps the seller to start early and break up the chore of packing. Thanks for commenting!

Jan 29, 2010 11:17 AM #4
Rainer
77,107
Lin Wetzel
Outstanding Staging - Stroudsburg, PA
People Prefer OUTSTANDING Properties! tm

Cathy, this is a very good prep list for sellers. The more that is done in advance, the smoother the sale and move should be. It is when there is not enough time left before listing a home for sale to have these basics done, that the homeowner's stress level can go through the roof. Kudos to you for putting this list together for them!

~ Lin

Jan 29, 2010 01:55 PM #5
Rainer
43,337
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

I know only too well, Lin, the quick time frame for some houses. I have been called in for staging consultations just a few days before some homes go on the market. There's just not enough time to make some changes that could really make a difference. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you can use the list.

Jan 29, 2010 03:52 PM #6
Rainmaker
214,748
Rita Minion
O'Brien Realty - Solomons, MD

Hi Cathy,

Excellent list for home owner's planning on putting their home on the market for sale.  Thank you for sharing it!  Great tips & advice!

Rita

 

 

Jan 30, 2010 01:55 PM #7
Rainer
43,337
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

Thanks, Rita! I'm hoping sellers (and realtors) will find it helpful!

Jan 30, 2010 02:14 PM #8
Rainmaker
2,106,859
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Great list for anyone preparing their house for sale.  Too often people overlook closets and cabinets or they stash all their clutter in the closet.  Your advice to figure out what you are going to do with the stuff you are removing is very important.

Feb 03, 2010 03:55 AM #9
Rainer
43,337
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

I've found it's a luxury to see a homeowner with a couple of months to get their home ready for the market. But what a difference all of that planning can make. You're so right, Sharon--sellers do often overlook closet and storage areas. And of course buyers are going to look there!

Feb 03, 2010 08:09 AM #10
Rainmaker
914,166
Ann Hayden
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Chesterfield, MO
SelectAnn.com

Cathy,

That is a great list.

Thank you for sharing!!

Ann

Mar 10, 2010 01:22 AM #11
Rainer
43,337
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

Ann, thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you found the list useful.

Mar 12, 2010 08:55 AM #12
Rainmaker
914,166
Ann Hayden
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Chesterfield, MO
SelectAnn.com

Cathy,

It is always great to have another person who shares in the lists of things to do for the sellers.....  Most do not want to listen but a list from an outside party sometimes does help. 

Ann Hayden in Wildwood, MO

Mar 12, 2010 11:11 AM #13
Rainer
43,337
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

I agree, Ann. That's why it can be useful to bring in a stager--it can reinforce what the agent has already said, plus a lot of detailed tips and info. Thanks for coming back!

Mar 14, 2010 01:30 PM #14
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Rainer
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Cathy Brosius

Home Staging St. Louis region
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