Whether you live on the Emerald Coast of Florida or the Mountains in New Hampshire, staging a home to sell is the same. The objective of staging a home is to show the prospective purchaser how they would love to live in your home. And, to do that, you must make it as appealing as possible to the stranger viewing it.
Needless to say, the first thing you must do is make sure all necessary repairs are performed. From touching up scratches on the wall with a little paint, to fixing the dripping faucet or re-calking the bath tile, just make sure they are done properly.
Next, depersonalize. Sounds cold, I know, but someone coming to look at your home to possibly make it their home has to be able to visualize themselves in it. They do not need to see your family portraits all over the house as it will distract them. Take those treasures down and place an inexpensive piece of artwork in their place.
This is probably one of the most important things to do when staging a home. Your collectibles are treasures to you but may be clutter to someone else. Keep counter surfaces clear of clutter and keep it simple. A canister or one coffee maker is fine but kitchen appliances and sets of canisters can make clutter. Place your food processors and blenders out of sight. The bathroom counters also should remain clear of clutter. Place tooth brushes and combs/brushes in drawers and if you do not have a drawer, invest in an inexpensive basket to place them in. It will keep the counter and area looking organized and neat.
Clear Kitchen cabinets. If you are anything like me, I love dishes and have plenty of them. More than the average person or family needs! Make your dishes stack neatly and as free of piling as possible. Food pantries should be neatly. You want them to appear like there is plenty of room.
Make sure all toys are picked up and placed in a container or designated location. Even the children’s rooms’ should not be cluttered with toys and “stuff”.
Bedrooms: Definitely want to have the beds made. Try not to place a bed in front of a window, if possible. It will darken the room and make any room less appealing.
Closets should be neatly organized. If clothes are on the floor or hanging haphazardly, it will not be a good sight for the prospective buyer. You want the closets to look big, so make sure “stuff” isn’t piled in there…you don’t want anything falling out of the closet when the buyer opens the door!
Living rooms, dining rooms and family rooms. These all tend to have too much furniture in them and sometimes is even hard to walk through or around the room. Make sure there is a clear path through each of these rooms and remove any excess furniture. Less is more, most of the time. You may want to seek the help of an Interior Designer to help you stage your home. They can walk into a room, start moving even the smallest of items and the room will look totally different! Stay tuned for a video interview with my good friend, and amazing Interior Designer, JC Croom. He will have some great tips for you!
Patios should be swept clean and if there is a pool, make sure the water is crystal clear and the tile is clean. The lawn should be mowed and manicured and flower beds weeded. Remember, curb appeal is ultimate in enticing someone into your home to see what a great place you have. If it is unappealing outside, it is difficult to convince someone to go inside.
Here is a secret I have used many times when showing a home… Take a pot of water and place cinnamon and cloves in the water. Bring to a boil and simmer for one half hour before showing the home. It will smell like you are baking an apple pie! Talk about a welcoming aroma that makes people immediately feel at home!