How do you make your home stage-ready if you’re still living in the home? Depending on your home’s current condition, it can be a large and overwhelming job so you’ll want to stay organized, take it slow, and work step-by-step. Here are the top 10 tips we give our homeowners when preparing their home to be staged:
1. Remove all personal toiletries and cosmetics from bathroom vanities, tubs and showers. If you still need access to these items, line shelves with baskets while hiding your belongings from view. Also, place used bath towels in the dryer as a quick hide-away during this marketing period.
2. Remove all personal, political and religious pictures, symbols, awards, trophies, plaques and books. Consider renting a portable storage unit. Storage pods also do double-duty since once the home is sold, you can have it shipped to your new address instead of reloading it into your moving truck.
3. Pare down or empty all storage areas, closets and bookshelves (1/3 empty, please). For all closet and storage area top shelves, place any items that will be stored in that area into decorative baskets.
4. Check grout and caulk in bathrooms, and grout in the foyer and kitchen. This is sometimes easily overlooked since you look past your grout everyday. If it makes you cringe, it will definitely make potential homeowners cringe…and they’ll start wondering if the home has really been taken care of over the years.
5. Have all carpets professionally cleaned. Believe it or not, homes may have certain “smells” to them, which you may not be aware of, living there everyday. Professionally cleaned carpets not only make help remove smells, but make the carpet look much newer.
6. Have all windows professionally cleaned, inside and out. Remove screens if not in violation of your Association rules and store them during the marketing period. The extra shine on the window will help accentuate more natural light, which is always a perk to potential home-buyers.
7. Clean all light fixtures and make sure there are working bulbs in fixtures. Lights should be on during showings and there is nothing more noticeable than smeary fixtures and/or dark rooms when viewing a home. Make sure the lights are on to provide a nice, bright energy to the home.
8. Paint with our recommended colors and touch-up paint where necessary prior to staging day. This may be one of the cheapest updates that can be done to a house, and one of the most visible. The amount of money and time invested into this small project can pay off dividends when it comes time to sell.
9. Remove wall art from walls and patch holes where necessary. Non-personalized artwork may be relocated and rehung by Staged Interior throughout the unit on the day of staging. Personalized artwork or photos should be placed into storage. Any pieces not used by Staged Interior will be removed to onsite storage or left out for you to place into off-site storage.
10. Clean thoroughly with special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. Arrange for periodic cleanings throughout the marketing period, especially within the kitchens and bathrooms. Those are two areas that are most appealing to potential home-buyers so make sure they look clean!
Even though this has been your home and you are used to it showing a certain way, really look at it through a buyer’s eyes. If you can’t be objective with your own space, bring someone over that can be honest and tell it to you straight. You can also create a short checklist to make sure these tips are fulfilled each time you leave the house for a showing. Today’s buyers are looking for move-in ready properties; putting a little more time, effort, and money, into preparing your home may help lead to quicker sales at a higher sales price!