Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tips for Staging a House to Sell

 

The Creative Cubby will soon have a new home, but the husband and I had to sell the old one first.  We watch a lot of HGTV and cruise around on real estate websites a lot... so we felt pretty prepared to go into the a home sale. :)  However, when we took a look around our house, we were mildly concerned.  At the time, we did not feel comfortable listing our house and having people walk through.  It was just... tooooo lived in.  So, we spent three long evenings staging our house.  It was a lot of work but it totally paid off.

14 Days on the Market = 30 Showings
House = Sold!

Taking the time to really stage your home for photographs and showings will make all the difference in the world.  Below are my tips and tricks for staging your home, with before/after photos of ours.

Staging Tip #1: Clean up the front yard and backyard.  Trim up landscaping.  Remove extra furniture.  Pull weeds. {We even removed some deteriorating tiki torches.  Just didn't look nice.}
Listing Photos
Staging Tip #2: Remove alcohol presence.  Store away bottles.  Take down the neon beer sign.  If you are including the refrigerator in the sale of the house, empty alcohol out. 
Before Staging
Listing Photo
Staging Tip #3: Consider rearranging furniture to make rooms feel more open and large. {Notice the chair that is removed from the library (we put it in the bedroom) and the chest moves to the other side of the room.}
Staging Tip #4: Declutter shelves.  Take down personal knick-knacks.  Consider storing any polarizing material.{Hide your copies of "50 Shades of Grey", ladies}
Before Staging
Listing Photos
Staging Tip #5: Tidy up even the most frequently used rooms.  Clean out paper clutter and clear off surfaces.  If you can’t move furniture to make a room look larger, clear surfaces will help expand the space.
{Obviously, my Creative Cubby is heavily used, but prospective buyers don't need to see my brainstorming and crafting clutter.  I must say, I like the cleaner room.}
Before Staging
Listing Photos
Staging Tip #6: Remove personal photos and personally identifiable items.  Think monograms, engraved pieces, anything with your name on it. {People will be more interested in who owns the home, rather than how they feel in the house.  The idea is people picture themselves living in your house.  They can't do that with your wedding photos and monogrammed pillows staring them in the face.} 
Before Staging
Listing Photos
Staging Tip #7: Set the table. {Have you ever noticed that model homes always have the table set?  You don't necessarily need to put out plates and utensils, but making the table look clean and cozy will make people feel welcomed.}
Listing Photo
Staging Tip #8:  Remove displaced items. {Sure, we love the golf clubs and want them to have a cozy home, but it may not make sense to a potential homebuyer to have them in... the guest room?  Time to move out to the garage.  Oh, and yes, the guest room may be your storage room, but please reallocate those items elsewhere... to a real storage space.  This may give the impression to potential homebuyers that the house does not have enough storage space. Baaad!}
Before Staging
Listing Photos
Staging Tip #9: Clean your kitchen.  Scrub down countertops and appliances.  Wash dishes.  Take out the trash. {We had to take down most of our pirate items from our kitchen decor and removed most of the appliances off the countertop.  Giving the kitchen a good scrub down not only made it look clean, it looked bigger and newer.}
Before Staging
Listing Photos
Staging Tip #10: Do not forget the bedroom!  Pick up clothes.  Make the bed.  Dust.  Clear off surfaces. {No one wants to see your bed all messy and disheveled.  They also don't want to see what book you're reading before bed or what you wore the day before.  Clean up after yourself.}
Before Staging
Listing Photos
Other tips...

Staging Tip #11:  Vacuum.  Mop.  Clean your floors.  Do not ignore the floors.  Clean floors always look newer and better taken care of.
Staging Tip #12:  Leave shower curtains open and close toilet lids. {Open showers make the room look longer and wider, plus it shows off the shower/tub without forcing people to awkwardly open the curtain.  And really... no one wants to see the inside of your toilet... just keep it clean.}
Staging Tip #13:   Tidy up the garage.  {People will go in.  They want to see what they are working with.}
Staging Tip #14:  Open all the window coverings to let in natural light. {When have you ever heard anyone say, "Ugh, I hate that this house has natural light"?  Never.  Show off the natural light of your house.}
Staging Tip #15:  Make the house comfortable.  If it’s hot out, leave on the a/c.  If it’s cold out, turn on the heater.  {Even if you don't normally leave them on when you leave the house, prospective buyers will feel more at home when comfortable.} 

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Best of luck to you!

16 comments:

  1. Before listing your house, make sure that your house is spotless! If you're in a hurry, throw all your trash and DE-CLUTTER! This is the most important thing of all! By the end of the day, you'll realize how much trash you've been keeping all this time. Make your house as warm and as inviting as you can. Home staging will give potential buyers the impression of what their life would be living in your house, so make it nice!

    Kristopher Washington

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  2. I agree with Kristopher that the first thing that you have to do is to de-clutter! In doing so, you will be freeing up a lot of space in your house, and from there, you can start your staging. Keep in mind that staging doesn't have to be costly. Just get creative!

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  3. You put so much work in your house. Good Job! I am currently getting my house ready for sale. I found your post on Pinterest. I am super nervous about keeping the house clean with 3 kids, but I know it will be worth all the effort.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, Amanda! I can only imagine that keeping the house clean with kids is a challenge. It was hard enough just the two of us! If you have any tips about how to keep it clean with the kiddos, please feel free to share.

      Best of luck to you in your home sale! :)

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  4. It's no wonder that your house sold fairly quickly. The way you staged your home was really appealing. I like the fact that you didn't just open up space by clearing most of your things, but you also made sure that the rooms still looked inviting. Great job!

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  5. The tips for staging the house are very interesting and beneficial to present the houses for selling houses very fast, thanks for the tips, you may also find some tips for selling here tips to sell your house

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  6. In theory, staging isn't hard or costly, but in reality, many homeowners find it difficult because it's often hard to see something objectively when we love it. home staging

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  7. We rented a storage unit when we staged our house for sale. With 4 kids, we needed to de-clutter! I worked hard to keep my house "show ready". Interestingly enough, the person that bought it showed up w/o permission and the house was a DISASTER. (dirty laundry strewn about, toys everywhere, dishes piled high) Lessons learned 1)even when the kids are REALLY excited to go to a friends house for the day, don't let them leave undies on the floor 2) don't trust Realtor's. They will use that little lock box on your door even if you say they need your permission first.

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha! I'm sorry, I can't help but laugh! We were so fortunate to move at a time without children or pets because they seem to add their own personal touches to the house that complicate the process. Renting the storage unit ahead of time is really genius though! Especially if you're moving into a large space and will want to take all of your home with you! Bravo!

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    2. Whoever the Realtor was that "let themselves in" to your house uninvited should lose their license and you could probably press charges for breaking and entering. Even when I know my clients' house is vacant and they're out of state and there's absolutely nothing in the home that could be stolen, I do not enter even my OWN clients' homes without permission. That's a big no-no! I'm sorry that you had a bad experience!

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  8. You didn't mention closets. In every closet, get rid of about 50% of the contents, display the remainder attractively, clothes by color, towels folded, cleaning products organized, pantry items organized etc. People WILL open all the closets. :-)

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  9. Appearance is very important when selling a house. You want to make sure everything looks nice and clean. I would also suggest that you move things around to make it look like there is more space.
    Jayden Eden | http://greghoneymichael.com/selling/

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  10. Those are excellent tips, Jen! I assume the sale of your previous home went smooth, considering the way you thoroughly prepared the house for it. I bet people who walked in to check your former home were impressed with the way you put things together. Thanks for sharing some wise home staging advice!

    Arlene Keller @ Scott Sauer

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  11. Thanks for all these excellent ideas, I hadn't even considered most of them before! Selling your house can be stressful so this is all a real help!

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