Staging a home is essential in a hot real estate market – especially when the home is vacant. However, when a home is owner-occupied, there are still many things you can do to make your home look and feel perfect for when you take photos and the video, and have open houses or private showings.
When you sell a home, you need to show the home in a state that nobody lives in but believes that is how they will live if they buy your home. You’re selling a lifestyle. Remember: “Stage to sell, not to live!”
Here are some simple tips that make a huge difference!
• Clean your kitchen top to bottom – make that stainless steel shine and get rid of every last scrap of grease and grime
• Take all magnets, pictures, papers, etc., off your refrigerator
• Store any items stacked on top of refrigerators (ie, completely de-clutter)
• One item per area, meaning either a knife block or kitchen-aid, not both. This makes the countertop seem larger.
• Fill a white bowl with green apples, or lemons
• Keep counters as clear as possible other than staging/decorative items
• Hide all kitchen hand towels hanging over drawers, fridges etc.
• Set the table with plates and bowls (the bowl sitting on top of the plate), and wine glasses. A vase with flowers in the middle of the table is the perfect touch to add some colors (yellow, white, or green flowers, no red!)
You could also make a “station” if your kitchen is large enough – set up two white coffee cups with spoons in them next to your coffee maker (if your coffee maker is old and dingy, get a new one) and put a fresh coffee bag behind them. Or set up a cookbook, cutting board and some olive oil in a “cooking corner.”
Staging a kitchen is one of the quickest, easiest and one of the most important areas of the home. Everyone thinks they are or will be a chef, so give them the opportunity to feel that in your kitchen.
• No mats on the floor (show that tile/hardwood)
• No coats hanging on hooks or coat racks (make the entry feel as large as possible) – even if you have a coat rack, hide all outerwear and shoes away in a closet
• Mirrors/art are great on the wall if there is space
The easiest tip for entries is keep it clean and simple. You want people to have a feeling of openness and welcoming, not cramped and tight. This is especially important for condos and townhomes as entries can be tight. Start off by clearing everything out, and then deciding what is needed.
• De-personalize, try and put away the family photos while showings are happening. This makes it much easier for buyers to picture themselves living in the home.
• Set your heat or air conditioning to the perfect setting (summer = cool, winter = warm)
• Turn on all lights and open all blinds in the home, aside from any that are too harsh
• Turn on the fireplace, light candles etc… (if it is a hot summer night you can avoid this)
• Turn on some relaxing music before an open house or showing, at low volume (the “Chill Lounge” playlist on your TV is agent-approved!)
• Clean all windows you can access from outside (cities are dusty)
• Clean, clean and clean some more – in fact, hire a cleaner to help get your home showing-ready
Preparing a home to show for sales is plenty of work. However, it will pay off in your time on market and more importantly in your sales price. Even when the market is hot, this is integral to the marketing of your home. Odds are your home is going to sell anyways but staging and putting in the time, effort and money will most certainly help you sell your home for more.
Putting in this effort in preparing your home for sale will show pride of ownership and will rub off on potential buyers.