Top 5 Home Staging Tips to stay sane while you’re still living in the home.

Staging a home for sale involves creating a feeling of  a new and fresh space to appeal to buyers.  This may sound easy when you’re not living in the home, but it’s altogether a different experience while your family is still living there. Staging is especially important when preparing for listing photos, videos, and showings, to present your home at its best, and in a way that doesn’t make it seem like it’s someone else’s home. Buyers want to envision themselves in the space.

Staging can be either DIY or professionally done.  Either way, the goal is to entice buyers with staging that gives your home a fresh and welcoming feel that buyers will love.

1. Declutter

This is of utmost importance.  Having the home clean and clear of clutter will put money in your pocket.  Consider that you’re packing to move to your new home and pack away anything that isn’t essential.  Rent a storage unit or store items in a relative’s basement.  Creating space in your home will show buyers the amount of storage options.

  • Remove small appliances from the countertop
  • Organize kitchen cabinets and remove all unnecessary items
  • Clean out seasonal decorations from closets
  • Tidy and organize entry and bedroom closets
  • Remove family photos and sentimental decorations
  • Ensure cords and cables are neatly organized
  • Store your books
  • Store toys in neutral baskets with lids
  • Treat yourself to a spa day

Storing your personal items will help you in your next pursuit, to….

1. Clean. Clean. Clean

This next step a must as well.  The cleaner the home, the more confident the buyer will be that the home has been, and is, well maintained.  This will be a labor of love and takes time but is one of the best investments you can make in the sale of your home.

Once the home has been thoroughly cleaned, keep it that way. This may be hard with little ones, and fur babies, but it will have a big impact.

  • Wash windows, door glass and mirrors
  • Ensure all surfaces are clutter and dust free
  • Organize food storage
  • Clean all appliances and ensure all are in good working order
  • Keep pet supplies in one tidy spot, preferably in a low traffic area
  • Always keep the kitchen spotless and counters clean
  • Bathrooms should be clean and personal items out of sight (keep the lid down)
  • Ensure door handles and light switches are wiped
  • Floors should be swept, vacuumed and scrubbed
  • Clean and dust ceiling fans
  • Invest in a new shower curtain
  • Ensure pet odors are eliminated
  • Clean entry of shoes and coats
  • Exterior walkways should be clear and no debris in the yard
  • Ensure that the exterior of the home is fresh and welcoming
  • Grab your date and enjoy a date night out

It is important to maintain this level of cleanliness during the showing process.  Living in the home may make this a challenge, but the better you are at this, the faster your home will sell. Presentation is everything.

3. Repairs and Maintenance

Buyers want to be sure that the home is in good condition.  Anything that is not working should be fixed, prior to listing the home on the market.  This will ensure that the buyers will feel confident that the home has been well maintained and allows for a smooth inspection and no surprises at closing.

  • Clean and service air and water filter systems
  • Ensure garage door openers are in good working order
  • Ensure fireplace remotes are working and in plain sight
  • All appliances should be in working order and cleaned
  • Ensure all light fixtures are working properly with matching light bulbs
  • Remove all stick and glow in the dark decals from bedrooms
  • Ensure all door locks are working properly
  • Fix any leaking faucets
  • Replace or shampoo any stained carpets
  • Mitigate any mold in bathrooms or basement
  • Clean or Paint front door
  • Add a new house number
  • Clean rain gutters
  • Trim hedges and overgrown shrubs
  • Keep grass cut and tidy
  • Mulch flower beds and weed gardens
  • Soak in the tub and enjoy some peace and quiet

Maintenance is ongoing and during your home selling process, you can continually address any issues that may arise.

4. Updating

Investing a small amount of time and money into updating can make a big difference in your bottom line.  Renovating while staging and selling is not for the faint of heart, so keep it simple.  Freshen up rooms and décor, and remember, less is more.

  • Freshen paint colors to neutral colors that have broad appeal
  • Swap out an outdated sinks or a countertops
  • Replace outdated hardware on kitchen and bathroom cabinets
  • Update faucets and light fixtures
  • Enlist your friends to help in the fun

5. The Fun Part

When you’ve decluttered, cleaned and repaired, treat yourself and have some fun with the best part of staging.  Lights, camera, action!  This is the part just before your photographer arrives for your listing photos and everything is just perfect.  Add a few simple treats to make a great impact. Consider you are the designer for a five-star luxury suite and have fun.

  • Add a new welcome mat to your entry door
  • Choose fresh hand towels for the bathroom (don’t use these!)
  • Add a fresh fruit bowl to the kitchen counter or island
  • Add a fresh bouquet of your favorite flowers to the kitchen table
  • Add a light runner to a dark hallway
  • Enjoy a small shopping spree and treat yourself

This list may seem daunting and while you are still living in the home, but you can do it.  And when you’ve accomplished this great feat, you will reap the rewards.  Your photographer will love you, and the sale of your home will be more easily achieved for the best possible price.

Just before you go.

Just as you head out, before an agent arrives to show your home to a potential buyer, there are a few things to do to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.

  • Ensure the kitchen is spotless, remove dish soap and dishcloths from sight
  • Ensure all toilet seats are down and countertop and sinks cleaned
  • Open all window treatments
  • Turn all lights on
  • Make sure the temperature is comfortable
  • Empty the trashes
  • Stow away all toys and pet paraphernalia
  • Briefly open windows to allow for fresh air (close before you leave)
  • Ensure the home is smelling good (but not too much air freshener, buyers may interpret this a masking of an odor)

These are a few tips to help you succeed in selling and stay sane while staging your home.  It can be done.  Best of luck!

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