Sellers, to find out the best staging tip for 2016, we’ll assume you and your REALTOR® have reviewed the obvious must do’s:
1. FIX all deferred maintenance. No buyer wants to adopt your problems. And when you're a buyer, you won't want theirs either.
2. CLEAN like you hired a professional cleaning service. Or better yet, do it. You'll be amazed when its spotless top to bottom.
3. DECLUTTER every single room, closet and countertop. Rule of thumb: anything smaller than a shoe box. Pack it up or DONATE. Its visually distracting. We want to show off your home, not your things.
4. DEPERSONALIZE. Remove documents with your name. Google yourself and see how much you can discover online. If they're interested, their agent will provide the due diligence about you.
5. REMOVE family photos. Its hard to depersonalize your space, but those memories are yours. Buyers need to imagine making their own with their family members.
If you have the budget to do so, I'd recommend you UPDATE your best ROI rooms.
Consult your REALTOR® or stager first, but your kitchen should be up to snuff with your competition. So should your master bath. Kitchens and baths sell homes.
It may be as simple as a fresh coat of PAINT or new, yet inexpensive LIGHTING, but be prepared that it could require investing in new APPLIANCES or FLOORING.
Prioritize your budget, consult a professional BEFORE investing, and make a plan.
If you're on top of these essentials, you’re ready for the final step.
My best staging tip for 2016, is to Sell a Lifestyle.
Your home should tell a story. What is like to live here? Start with why you fell in love with it.
Was it the view of the mountains, water, trees? Showcase it. Remove heavy window treatments, open the blinds and rearrange your furniture so buyers can walk right over to that window.
Large deck or patio? Lucky you, outdoor entertaining areas are one of the top five must haves for today's buyers. Be sure to play this feature up BIG.
Live where its cold? Be a bit creative. Buy an inexpensive free-standing fire pit (as cheap as $70 at Lowe's). Set up a tray with all the fixings for s'mores, a galvanized bucket with pea gravel to anchor some tall sticks, and throw a wool blanket over your adriondack chair. Buyers can easily imagine a toasty evening.
Display a chalkboard calendar with upcoming school activities and events. As a buyer, its always nice to know how you can be involved in the local community.
Garage? Highlight it with an organized peg board for tools, a workbench with task lighting.
Close to hiking trails or dog parks? Stage your mud room, or it could be your laundry room with hooks for leashes, a walking stick, hat or camelbak. Right above it, print out a city map you spray mounted on foam core board. Insert a few colorful push pins marking the local parks in your area.
Unfinished basement or attic space? Carve out a workout space with a yoga mat, stack of plush, white towels, water bottle and exercise ball. Decorate the walls with colorful travel destinations you found on the internet. Pick up frames from Goodwill. Buyers like to know there’s potential for future added value.
Every buyer who walks through your front door, wants to know. What's it like to live here? Buying a home is emotional - make an emotional connection.
My best staging tip for 2016 is to Sell a Lifestyle. Your home should illustrate and tell a wonderful story. You'll not only captivate your buyer, but inspire a higher offer as well.