If you’re planning to list your home for sale this Spring, you should start working on basic staging of your home now. Typically, you’ll see double the return on your home staging investment; for minimal time, effort, and money, you can help contribute to the final selling price of your home.
Step 1: Take a walking tour of your home, room by room. Have a pen and notebook in hand, and take note of to-do’s to bring each room up to speed. Consider the condition of paint, flooring, window treatments, lighting, and decor.
Step 2: De-Personalize. Remove personal photos or memorabilia from most or all rooms. Your family photos may prevent Buyers from picturing themselves in your home.
Step 3: De-Clutter. Pare down anything and everything on walls and flat surfaces to a minimum. Allow for breathing space by removing some of your furnishings; store them in the garage, or if you won’t be taking them with to your next home, donate or sell extra furnishings. Pare down what is in your closets — bedroom, linen, pantries, and any other storage spots, to give an impression of plenty of storage and spaciousness. Invest in decent hangers and take the time to space things out in an attractive way. Closets matter to Buyers, and yours should present well.
Step 4: De-Scent. Pay special attention to any areas with odor concerns. If you use strong spices in the kitchen, have a cat litter box or dog odors, have musty smells in the basement or any bathrooms — take care of those issues now. Don’t cover them up with perfume, clean areas of concern, use scent-tackling air filters, and buy a bottle of unscented Febreze for every floor of your home. If you’d like to add a pleasant, homey scent to your space, consider baking a tablespoon or two of liquid vanilla in an oven safe dish for a few minutes every few days. Your home will smell like fresh baked goods, and you won’t overwhelm anyone with cloying florals.
Step 5: Clean. Beyond vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning mirrors and other glass, have all carpets cleaned, clean your windows and window tracks (or hire a pro if you aren’t up for it), and scrub all baseboards and other molding, stair rails, doors, door handles, and light switches. ‘Sort of clean’ won’t cut it for a top-dollar sale of your home, and if you aren’t prepared to make it shine, hire a cleaning service with a good reputation. (I’m happy to provide a referral for cleaning and other service pros.)
Step 6: Update. Neutralize the decor in your home as much as possible. You may not be able to invest in khaki or gray bed linens and draperies for every space, but if your home is inspired by bold neon colors from the 1980’s, consider going a different direction when you go on the market. Pack up your fun, wild style for your next home, and pick up a few towels, draperies, and blankets in neutrals with broad appeal.
If hardware such as cabinet pulls or knobs, towel bars, and light fixtures are dated, these are places worth investing in something with updated appeal, like nickel or stainless steel over brass.
If lighting in any area of your home is inadequate, invest in attractive lamps. You can take them with you when you move, and they’ll help brighten and lighten your home while it’s on the market.
One example of a great choice in this area is to purchase plush new towels in a neutral shade. Don’t use them — keep them out in the bathroom looking fresh and new, and save their use for your new home. This can give your bathrooms a clean, spa-like feel — and you’ll have lovely new towels to look forward to in your new home.
Step 7: Step outside. First impressions really matter, and even in times of inclement weather, there is probably something you can do to improve the landscaping and curb appeal of your home. At minimum purchase a new welcome mat for outside the door, keep walks shoveled and free of debris, and if seasonally appropriate, trim trees, bushes, and hedges into an attractive, well-kept shape. Freshen painted trim, and if your exterior lighting is dated or unattractive, spend a few bucks picking up something tasteful to replace it. Refill rock beds or areas with wood chips, keep up with weeds, and once the weather warms up, spend a few dollars for potted blooms to welcome visitors.
Staging doesn’t have to be complicated or fussy, and if you start now, you can have your home in great shape for a listing in the next month or two, and you have even longer to prepare if you’re thinking of listing this Summer.
Reach out to let me know how I can help you prepare for a successful, top dollar home sale.