Tips for Sellers - Staging the Home for Sale

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Real Living GreatWest

Continuing with advice for sellers, this article covers the staging process. Staging a home is when you make the interior as neutral and welcoming as possible. Remember from last week, first impressions are everything. There are two ways you can tackle staging your home. You can do it yourself or hire a professional. Both have their advantages. If you are going to be living in the house while it is on the market, I recommend doing the staging yourself. It shouldn't take more than a weekend and can also make the moving process easier.

If you already moved and the house is empty, hire a professional. They can be a great asset in the presentation of your home. You do have another option if you already moved. You can leave the house empty. I don't recommend this. Although it's a good way to save money, it is hard for buyers to imagine what an empty house will look like with furniture in it. Every staging pro will have their own concepts and you should use similar discretion as you would when hiring a Real Estate. (insert hyperlink)

When staging a home yourself, there are 3 steps to address. The first is the removal of personal items. Next is organizing the storage and living space. And lastly is cleaning. The purpose of removing most of your personal items is to allow prospective buyers to imagine their stuff all over the place. The home should look like a blank slate.

The items you want to address are personal awards and photos. You should take most if not all of your pictures, diplomas, and/or awards off the walls. It is ok to leave some artwork, but it should be neutral. If you have kids, pack up most of their toys and put them away. Not all buyers have kids and toys also tend to add clutter. This goes for any collections you may have.

After you are done removing your personal items, you can start organizing your space. It is a good idea to get rid of extra furniture from the living and family rooms. This includes pool tables, sculptures, mounted animals, and religious figures. It's best for rooms to look clean, simple, and organized. This gives buyers the best opportunity to visualize how the house will look when they move in. When it comes to the bathrooms, it is best if there is uniformity. It is a good idea to create some form or simple theme. At the least, each bathroom should have matching towels and floor mats. The bathrooms should also be free of unnecessary items and appliances.

Finally there is cleaning. All your previous efforts are pointless if the buyers walk in to a dirty house. Carpets need to be vacuumed and possibly steam cleaned; depending on their condition. Tile and laminate should be mopped and hardwood floors should be waxed. Remember, spending some money upfront can be very beneficial for both your selling price and the time spent on the market. Also, if your home needs it, touch up the interior paint. This can make a huge difference.

Comments (3)

Kimberly A Norgard
Devlin McNiff Halstead Real Estate - East Hampton, NY

I'm sure people will find this very helpful.

Feb 11, 2011 07:05 AM
Patrick Henry
PMZ - Stockton, CA

Good points. You want the house looking like somebody lives there but no signs of who they are and what they do. It sounds funny but it is true.

Feb 12, 2011 02:29 AM
Sami T. Siddiqui
Real Living GreatWest - Sacramento, CA

Thank you both!

Feb 18, 2011 09:46 AM