I was recently asked to give some tips on staging your home to sell for HGTV.com. A link to the article:
Staging Secrets: Top 10 Ways To Wow Potential Buyers At Every Showing
Learn from realtors how to prepare your home for resale. Start with these 10 simple and smart tips.
Staging sells houses. If you can't hire a stager, there are several ways you can stay ahead of the curve and catch potential buyers the moment they step in your house. Broker Rob Howard has learned the importance of preparing for showings, and here are his top 10 tips.
1. Nothing Personal But Remove the Photos:
People can be very photogenic, but many clients are distracted by portraits of the sellers, and miss out on key selling points of the home. As an amateur photographer, I love displaying my work, but if I'm selling my house, art will be displayed without people in it. No matter how nice the display, personal photos are just that: too personal.
2. Accentuate the Positive:
My clients usually know what they like best about their home. It's usually what they saw that made them want to buy, or it's something that they added to make the home particularly special. Whether it is a staircase, a great view from the kitchen sink, a pergola or a three-car garage, do something to make the buyers linger in that magic space.
3. Smells Like Home:
I've heard of many real estate agents bringing in a toaster oven to bake cookies or fresh bread. One colleague joked about keeping an Easy-Bake oven in the trunk of her car. I usually opt for a few plug-in air fresheners. I like using vanilla in the kitchen, fresh scents in the laundry, apple cinnamon in the living room and such. Specific aromas add a theme to the tour, even when it's not an open house.
4. Ditch the Kitsch and Hide Your Opinions:
My favorite example of unnecessary and unwelcome kitsch is the pink pig sitting on the fridge door asking if you're eating again. It oinks when your potential buyer opens the refrigerator. This and other comical quips are great fun when you're living in your home, not when you're trying to sell it. Especially avoid politically-charged material that expresses strong opinions. You don't want a potential buyer to dislike you for your beliefs, so remove all questionable material out of sight.
5. Clean Up Your Act:
If you are selling your house, cleaning is a no-brainer. And clutter is a killer. Get a head start on packing, and begin boxing up extras that are taking up space on your mantel, table surfaces, etc. Clutter makes a house look smaller, and if you have a small house, it makes it feel claustrophobic. Not advantageous to a quick or profitable sale.
(Five more tips at the website!)
Rob Howard is a real estate agent and broker in Knoxville, Tennessee and has been buying, selling and renting homes for more than 10 years. He advocates the well-executed open house: If it's well-priced and beautiful, it will sell itself! For more real estate tips, visit www.robsellsknoxville.com.