DIY staging tips for home sellers
DIY staging tips for home sellers
The buzzword today with residential estate agents is staging. Staging a home can change the ambiance of a home that appeals to homebuyers and can lead to a higher price and faster time on market. By adding small decorative elements, rearranging or deleting furniture or creating vignettes, a home can look like a professional predator for hire.
Mark Nash, author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home, has seen the best and worst of home staging as a Chicago Realtor and shares some dos and don’ts for home sellers. homes that want to try staging their home.
– Get the latest home decorating magazines. If you’re not up to speed on current decorating trends, it helps to familiarize yourself with how interior design is sold. Sectionals with inexpensive ideas that will make your home say today.
– Invite a friend or real estate agent. A second or third pair of eyes will help you highlight the best and edit out the worst in your home. Be prepared for some constructive criticism. You want to hear it before you put your home on the market, not as feedback from prospective buyers. Go room by room with a worksheet so you can take notes. Depending on how much time you have available for an update or makeover, you’ll need to prioritize and figure out what will bring you the biggest return. Do this at least two months before you put your house on the market.
-Set up a home office if you don’t have one. They are not a trend; they are must-haves for homebuyers in 2006. Many homebuyers today work from home part-time or full-time, or want a place to organize their lives and park a computer. Find an extra bedroom, closet or unused corner and turn it into a home office. Make sure there is convenient electrical, telephone and cable power.
– Focus on living spaces. These areas are where most home buyers will spend their time. Place a side table and floor lamp next to a comfortable chair as a reading nook. Move sofas and coffee tables away from the walls for a designer look. Use rugs to anchor furniture groups on bare tile and wood floors. Living quarters should have suitable table lamps. Simplify family photos and place green plants in the room. Fireplaces must always work and work in season. Place clusters of candles and clear glass bowls filled with natural potpourri on side tables and coffee tables. Large wicker baskets can organize magazines, remote controls and toys. Limit the trinkets to make room for stage materials.
– Pay attention to the kitchens. Store all towels and rags in a convenient drawer. Cut down recipe boxes, cookware barrels, excess cooking machines and cookbooks by two-thirds to open up counter space. For a quick update, install new cabinet hardware. Find a remote location for a portable dishwasher. Clean everything on the refrigerator door. Skip throw rugs scattered around the kitchen. Clean ledges to open up outside views. Organize cabinets with clear containers. If you can’t see the back wall of the cabinet, buyers will think you don’t have enough storage space. Ditto closets. Budget for storing a variety of fresh fruit in a glass bowl on the counter. Edit family bulletin boards. Remove the old curtains and install new wooden blinds on the windows.
-Spend time in sleeping and bathing areas. Often overlooked in the frenzy of getting a home on the market, these spaces can make or break a home. Buy a set that consists of a matching bed skirt, bed cover, pillow cases and matching blinds. Buy a new shower curtain and separate liner. Wash the liner frequently if mold appears. Add complete sets of towels that coordinate with your new shower curtain. Clear all cosmetics from the vanity. If you have a cabinet above the toilet, consider removing it and putting a piece of art in its place. Be sure to keep items in the “too much information” category out of your sight. If you have a large bed in a small room, you will pay to get buyers to come to this negative, so get rid of it now. Clear the dresser and nightstands of excess. Make sure the bedroom gets as much natural light as possible. Install cabinet organizers in cabinets. Remove wall and door hooks for clothes. People may be looking under your bed, no surprises please.
-Remember first impressions in records. A simple console table with a mirror on top makes a nice entrance. Make sure this space is well lit day or night. Put glue under rugs so shoppers don’t trip or slip.
You should not
-Use cheap silk flowers. Nothing distracts buyers more than silk flowers that are out of date, out of season or thrown together. Throw them away now.
-Forget to upgrade Fido’s bowl. I’ve experienced more unhealthy pet food bowls, watering stations and litter boxes than I care to remember. We know you love your pet, but prove it to home buyers.
-View windows. Shoppers today believe that less is more in window fashion. They want the most light and the least window dressing. And no layered treatments with clear panels, please.
– Use low wattage bulbs. Dark, dark rooms are not attractive to home buyers. They want to see what they can buy. Replace bulbs with the wattage recommended by the manufacturer, and especially those that are burned out. Newer low energy bulbs do not cast a flattering light on the home or people.
-Think everyone loves wallpapers. No two people have the same taste in this instant decorator. If it’s more than three years old, take it down and paint it a neutral color. And the wallpapers are out.
– Paint with binding colors. If you’ve decided you need to paint, stay away from bold or as I call them engagement colors. Engagement colors are ones that buyers either love or hate. It can be difficult for buyers to superimpose their style on them. As one client told me, “I don’t live in a magazine.”
– Think of cleaning as part of the staging. Cleaning is what you do before staging. Everything should sparkle and shine. Don’t forget the windows.
Use these DIY tips to put your home on stage at your local theater for a home sale.
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