If you want to sell your home fast and for the most money the market will pay, it needs to be “staged” properly. Staging a home is more than just moving around some furniture. Here’s the step-by-step process for staging the INSIDE and OUTSIDE of your home:
STEP #1: Assess Your Current Situation.
Identify what improvements need to be made for a speedy sale. To assess the inside of your home, jot down a list of rooms that need to be cleared out and freshened up. Then create a second list for the outside of your home. Start by looking at these two areas on the outside: Take a walk across the street from the home. Examine the curb appeal of the home. Make notes of items that are unsatisfactory from a buyer’s perspective.
Get into your car and start driving away from your home. Look back and make notes about what looks good, and what needs improvement.
STEP #2: Eliminate Clutter.
The key to making a home attractive to a buyer is getting rid of clutter. Make counters clear, get rid of pictures on the wall and tables, store excess furniture if necessary, put books in boxes. You’ll be doing this for your move – you may just need to do some of it a little early.
Here’s a checklist to get started:
Clear away kitchen and bathroom counters. These are areas where you need to show the most space and neatness. Put appliances and things away.
Re-arrange furniture so rooms look larger. Store old furniture or cluttered items in another location -- at least while the home is for sale.
Get rid of as many “personal” things as you can. Buyers have a hard time visualizing “their” new home with personal belongings everywhere. Try to make the home look neutral, so someone wouldn't know anyone specific lives there.
Get all the clutter out of the yard…
Put hoses away, store garbage cans, put away the sprinkler and kids toys. The neater the area looks, the better the first impression.
STEP #3: Spruce the Home Up Before Showing.
Make improvements to the home, but only where it will make the biggest difference to the sales price. Getting the biggest bang for your buck usually means getting a fresh coat of paint on strategic walls and areas. New paint is an inexpensive way to show a home in its best condition. Do this:
Check the paint condition of the INTERIOR of a home by removing pictures off walls. It will probably need painting. Remember to get inside painting done first, before any cleaning.
Check the paint condition of the entire EXTERIOR of the home. If it's pealing or worn, the buyer will notice it immediately. Don't devalue your home by trying to sell it in poor paint condition. Pay particular attention to the front door, mailbox, garage doors, and walkway areas. These are where the buyers will be walking and noticing problems.
Also consider the following items to attract buyers with quality offers:
Professional Cleaning. Get a professional firm in to CLEAN the entire home. Floors, ceilings, windows, fireplace, carpet, drapes -- everything! Also, check for ODORS. If you have a pet, your home probably needs to have carpets cleaned or deodorized. Any odors make a home less attractive.
Home Inspection. Check for termites and functional obsolescence. Many homeowners actually have their home inspected prior to putting it on the market. It makes a good impression to the buyers when you have your own inspection completed by an independent company. It will also save embarrassing situations with buyers who discover problems.
Landscaping. The landscaping should
look immaculate. Make sure the lawn is groomed, flower beds are clean, leaves are removed, and weeds are pulled. Check the bushes and trees for grooming also.
STEP #4: Show the Home In the Best Light.
Always turn on the LIGHTS when showing. Make sure you turn on all lights around the home before a buyer gets there, including…
These include: the mailbox light, front door, entry (especially if the entry is dark), and dark hallways. Make your home alive, by being inviting and bright. Bright homes sell better than dark homes.
Leave all front area curtains and drapes open. Have you ever seen model homes? The drapes are always open at night, and the lights are on. Why? Because it shows the home better. Also, when you keep drapes open during the day, people touring through the home will experience more natural light.