The first impression is everything, and that holds steady in all sectors of life: a first date, a job interview, or staging your home for potential buyers. Properly prepping and staging your home can have a huge impact on the amount of time it takes to sell and the amount of money you can sell it for.
“Staging your home for walkthroughs is crucial,” says Mary Lynn Stone, President of Century 21 New Millennium. “You want to be sure to make the best possible use of spacing possible. When staging your home, you’re doing more than making an appealing setting for buyers; you are aiming to show the way in which a space can best be utilized.”
One of the most important rules of staging your own home, according to Stone, is disassociation. “Try and remove yourself from the familiarity of your house and look at it with fresh perspective,” recommends Stone. That old hutch in the living room that has been in your family for generations is special to you, but to a potential buyer, it may look shabby and decrease the overall appeal of the room.
Another key part of staging is depersonalizing. Remove your photos from the walls and any visible personal mementos. When buyers walk into a room, they should be picturing themselves living there, not you.
“When it comes to staging, less most certainly is more,” says Stone. “Create as much clean, clear open space as possible so that your rooms look spacious and organized.” Take any furniture that is not necessary out of rooms, which will allow them to look bigger and showcase their full potential. Leave just enough so that it is obvious what the room was used for. Remove knick-knacks and de-clutter any cabinets, closets and drawers that potential buyers will likely open. Clear the appliances from kitchen counters, the books off the bookshelves and leave tables clutter free. On staging days, place simple items like fresh-cut flowers on a few open surfaces to create an inviting atmosphere.
When staging your home, it is essential to pay attention to details. “Aside from the obvious surface cleaning, try and make any minor repairs that will affect the visual appeal of your property,” suggests Stone. Fill in holes or cracks in the wall, re-caulk the bathtub or replace that cracked windowpane you’ve been neglecting.
“And don’t forget curb appeal,” Stone cautions. Give the garage a fresh coat of paint, keep the grass freshly cut and replace those missing planks in the backyard fence. “You want buyers to leave with the impression everything was clean and well-maintained. You don’t want that leaky faucet or loose front step giving them the notion that the property hasn’t been properly cared for.”
Once your house is adequately staged, take that perfect setting into the digital world, adds Stone. “Most potential home buyers are also searching on the Internet. Make sure that your listing photos are as visually appealing as the real deal.”
Real Estate is Great at Century 21 New Millennium!