Want to make your home look really impressive to buyers…and boost the amount you can get for it? You need to stage your home. What this means is preparing a home for sale with quick, easy updates and touches that make your house look more attractive to buyers. There are proven ways to stage a home—and these are the pro tricks you need!
How to stage a home:
Start with curb appeal. Staging a home starts with curb appeal—how your home’s exterior looks when potential buyers pull up to the curb. Make a list of items that need attention, and tackle them. It might help to have a friend cast his eye on your place, so you get some objectivity (after all, you’re used to your home’s appearance). If the house needs a paint job, paint it. If shutters are missing or crooked, replace or repair them. Make sure the lawn is mowed, the weeds gone, the shrubbery well trimmed. If your lawn is in bad shape, laying down sod is probably worth the investment. Add pots of flowers to the front stoop to make the doorway look even more welcoming. Make sure the windows are sparkling clean. Get rid of any clutter on the porch, and if there’s no bench or swing there, consider adding one so people can see themselves sitting there.
Now, stage the entryway. After the exterior of your home, the next thing to make an impression on potential homebuyers is the entryway. Keeps yours free of clutter (store stuff in the attic or garage if necessary) and sparkling clean. Oh, and put out a new welcome mat—worth the $20 you’ll spend!
Next, stage the living room/family room. These are where families spend the most time, so you want prospective buyers to see themselves hanging there, comfortably, with their families. Clear away the family pictures—buyers need to be able to picture themselves there, not you. If your room is an unusual color, repaint it to a neutral. This doesn’t have to mean beige; soft shades of brown, green and blue can all work. Consider buying some new pillows to spruce up an old couch, or get a slipcover. Once again, store away clutter from the fireplace mantle and everywhere else, and neaten up bookshelves. You can also rent furniture (just Google it).
Time to stage the kitchen! Kitchens can often make or break a sale, so you want to stage your kitchen to be as attractive as possible. Store away knicknacks and put away unused appliances on countertops (like the coffee pot), so they look even more large. Neaten up the insides of cabinets. Turn the lights on and open the curtains to let in light. If your kitchen cabinets are from the prehistoric era, you might want to resurface them, which is less expensive than buying new ones and can make a kitchen look amazingly better. If they’re in decent shape, simply adding new knobs and drawer handles can amp up their appearance. Same goes for light fixtures and kitchen faucets—they’re relatively inexpensive to replace, and new ones can make a great impression. Give the walls here and in the dining room a fresh coat of paint. Oh, and make sure your kitchen is immaculate.
Ready to stage your bathroom? After kitchens, bathrooms are the part of homes that carry the most resale value. To spiff up yours, think about replacing dated shower curtains, light fixtures, spigots and handles. Put out high-quality, plush towels and a fresh flower arrangement. And clean like a maniac! If you have a shower door you might want to remove it, haul it outside and scrub it down. If your bathroom is tiny, and there’s an under-sink cabinet, consider ripping out the whole shebang, and replacing it with a pedestal sink. They’re attractive and they’ll instantly make your bathroom look bigger.
Last, stage your bedroom. If yours is painted in an off color or the paint job’s dated, refresh it with a neutral color. Keep furniture to a minimum; store extra pieces that add clutter. Pack away most of your clothes—you want the closets to seem huge! If your bedding’s worn, pick up some new and luxe-looking kind. And again, remove personal items like photos and knickknacks.
Keep your home neutral, comfy-looking, and spacious and you’ll appeal to buyers—and maybe even get a bidding war going!