Here’s a great article written by Re/Max of Boulder’s own Haley Robinson. Enjoy!
Staging will highlight the strengths and downplay the weaknesses of you home and, if done right, will appeal to the greatest number of buyers.
Here are just a few hints on how to stage your home for sale.
Declutter and Clean
This is the absolute most important thing you can do to stage your home. Depending on how you live, I tell my clients to remove 50% of whatever is in view when you walk into a room. That’s books on the book shelves, art, things on counters, bedside tables, office desks, etc. Take those things and pack them in boxes or find it a new home in a cabinet or drawer.
Cleaning seems like an obvious one but I always reiterate it with my clients. When someone comes for a showing, there shouldn’t be baskets of laundry, food sitting out, unmade beds or really any proof that you were just there in the home. Also, organizing all cabinets, closets, and drawers, as people usually want to look inside. It should be in show ready condition for every showing, which can be difficult and stressful especially if you have kids and/or pets.
It also includes a deep clean. Dusting is very important as well as washed cabinets in the kitchen and all bathrooms, washed walls, clean toilets and showers, washed baseboards, and so on.
When there is a showing in your house, the clients walk in and immediately they ask themselves, “Can I see myself living in this home?” And it’s 10 times harder for them to answer “yes” if they are staring at your family portrait over the fireplace or the kid’s drawings on the fridge. Depersonalizing your home will make room for the idea of someone else living there.
It’s not only framed family pictures but also fridge magnets, wall hangings, large art pieces, magazines, calendars, mail piles, and so on. This can also include political and/or religious objects. While it’s not my job to snuff out a clients personal beliefs, I encourage neutrality as much as the client is willing do.
This can sometimes be emotional for the homeowner. I try to prepare my clients that they may find themselves upset or sad during this step. It’s really the first step in saying good bye to your current home and, for some, it can be difficult.
This kind of falls into the depersonalization as well. That lovely floral wall paper, that bold rug, that bright bed comforter may be what you love most but to a potential buyer, it’s all they can see. They don’t see the great light coming in through the extra large double paned windows, all they see is the shade of green that the room is painted and how much they hate the color green. They don’t notice the open floor plan, all they see is the stuffed moose head. These are extreme examples but you get my point.
Getting your home neutral is important for visual people so they can actually see the home and it’s great potential. This may require repainting a room, changing the décor or even adding items like a lamp for extra light or a neutral rug to help brighten a dark wood floor.
This is my least favorite but most important topic to cover. We like to think of most people as good and honest but there are some jerks out there. Desperate and/or bad people come to open houses and showings, so with that in mind, certain steps need to be taken.
All expensive items, like jewelry, cash, etc, need to be put in a safe, inaccessible place. This also goes for any prescription drugs. I have personally caught someone elbow deep in a drawer containing prescription meds. The owners didn’t lock them up and it gave this person the opportunity to try and steal from them. Most important, all firearms need to be locked, put away with the ammo elsewhere, and preferably taken out of the home to another location. This can also include other weapons/art like bows, spears and the like.
Lastly, for fun, here are some actual, honest-to-goodness photos of homes for sale pulled from the MLS from around the country. Names and cities have been changed to protect the innocent…