Normally, most homeowners when they put their home on the market want their home to sell quickly and get their asking price. Prior to putting the home on the market, the homeowner needs to do some planning how to stage their home for the best results:
Curb appeal – Sometimes people do a quick drive-by of a house before they decide if they will tour the house. Therefore, it is important to have your house ready to lure potential buyers to tour the inside of the home. This can be done by power washing the side of house, driveways, and walkways. Other things that improve curb appeal are house numbers need to be easy-to-read, having blooming flowers and fresh greenery, fresh lawn that has been mowed and trimmed, clean windows, and repaint/stain house and porch/deck floors.
Inviting entry – Entryway may or may not include a porch. Make this area inviting by having a welcome mat and flowers if there is sufficient room. If there is a porch, include some porch furniture. When showing the home in the evening have the entry well lighted. Finally, make sure the front door is freshly painted.
Clean house – Need to have all areas of the house sparkling: floors, windows, counter tops, and scrubbed the grout. These are the cheapest things you can do to prepare your house for sale. This may require hiring pros if you have a large house. The key here is do not skimp.
Clutter - If you are serious about staging and selling your house, clutter must go. This may mean temporarily renting outside storage which will be worth it. Clean and clear surfaces, cupboards, closets, and floors. This gives the appearance there is more space to potential buyers.
Home style – If your home is not appealing to potential buyers, but is your style, rein in the style to make it more appealing to greater number of people. When you buy your new home, you can bring back your personal style.
Balance between clean and lived-in – Getting rid of clutter does not mean getting rid of everything. Still need to make your home appealing, such as: set your dining room table instead of leaving it bare, and having vases of cut flowers, etc. Be careful not to have oversize arrangements on either dining room table or within the house.
Floors – Give all your floors a thorough cleaning at the bare minimum. Wood floors consider refinishing if in poor shape. If that does not fit into your budget, then consider strategically placing area rugs in the room.
Furniture – Place your furniture in the room to give an open environment. Be sure to provide an easy walk-through effect which means you may need to eliminate some furniture.
Room colors - Rooms and outside of house need to have recent coat of paint. All nail holes in the house need to be covered and repainted so they are not noticeable. The house does not need to be all white, but this may be the time to experiment with some new colors such as lime green.
Master bedroom – This room should be clean, gender-neutral, free of all personal items and clutter. The bed should be made with clean linens and bedspread neatly folded. Additionally, consider having some artwork and folded blanket at the foot of the bed.
Closets – Visitors at an open house want to see the available space in a closet, therefore have the doors open. Many potential home buyers, the available space within closets can be the difference whether they move forward buying the house. Having some stuff in the closet is okay, but do not over pack the closet.
Toys - Cleanup and organize toys in a separate area. Many times, buyers looking at the house have children they do not want to see toys strewn everywhere. They are probably wanting to make a fresh start.
Extra rooms – If you have an extra room that is being use as a storage room or for a purpose other than what the room was originally intended, need to restage the room. The room needs to be staged to its original intend or how a potential buyer would use the area. This means renting or borrowing furniture that would reflect that fact. Doing this type of staging usually has good payoff.
Bathroom sink – If a bathroom has minimum space, consider installing a pedestal sink. This will make the bathroom appear to be larger.
Bathroom effects – Make sure this area looks pristine. If you have a gorgeous fluffy white bathrobe it is fine to have it hanging on a decorative door hook because this gives an attractive accent. Other details in bathroom should include having fresh bars of soap, neatly hanging fresh towels, and the garbage should always be emptied.
Explore the whole house – Place eye catching things in each major area. This will draw visitors into that area during the home tour. Some things that may draw their attention would include artwork, window seat, vase of flowers, colorful rug, and nice hanging light, etc.
Non-noticeable areas – These are areas that potential buyer may not notice when touring the home. Be sure to make sure buyers become award these areas and how each can be used. For example, an area underneath stairwell. Have a sign pointing to this area and consider adding some shelving to make it look like it is an organized area.
Pet odors – This can be a big problem. If you have animals get all rugs steam clean. Also be vigilant about vacuuming and cleaning surfaces. Recommend having all pets out of house during a tour. Finally, hide pet toys and bones during home tours.
Lifestyle - Promote a lifestyle that reflects the neighborhood based on what the neighborhood is known for. You might want to reflect a quiet cul-de-sac, a backyard with a hanging hammock, or bench in front yard or on the porch.
Condo exterior – If your condo has a small balcony, play it up with a cute café table and chairs with tablecloth and little tray of dishes or a vase of flowers. This keeps people from thinking the area is small. They may think this is a great area for breakfast.
Stage for the season – No matter what season of the year, stage for that season. If summer, the pool, and fire pit should be clean and ready to go. During the autumn and winter, might consider having a fire in the fireplace, and simmering hot cider on the stove.