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2010-08-12 15:18:46

12 Tips for Staging Your Home to Sell

You’ve put on your charm and worked hard to make your home’s exterior look picture perfect! It’s time to take it to the next step. Create a little story or theme that flows from outside to the walls within. Here are some helpful hints that you could consider while staging your home to sell.

  1. Packing: Put away everything that you don’t use regularly. To that list add personal mementos, collector’s items and souvenirs. If it distinctly reveals your personality, it’s time to tuck it away in the storage.
  2. Interior: Some people recommend leaving the house empty so that people can imagine their own lives in those open spaces. Don’t spend too much money. Make it as minimalistic as possible. Invariably, people would want to bring furniture and pieces that compliment their own style. 
    However, you could also decorate some areas – like the living room or master bedroom.
  3. Flooring: Whether carpet or wood, make sure to look critically at the condition of your floors. Look for evenness in color tone and texture. Shampoo the carpet or apply wax to hard surfaces if needed to make the floor look clean.
  4. Painting: Chipped, faded walls could devalue your home. A couple coats of fresh paint will do wonders to a living space! Avoid dark shades; they tend to make the room look smaller. If you want to add color, look at using neutral shades with one accented wall. Also, pay special attention to the ceilings. A nice white ceiling can make your space look a lot bigger.
  5. Cleaning Areas: You don’t want anyone thinking “you missed a spot.” People often forget to clean underneath furniture, behind household appliances, ceiling-fan blades, light fixtures, and the skirting around walls. Double check to make sure yours are dusted, scrubbed, brushed, washed, or vacuumed as needed.
  6. Lights & Windows: Take a second glance at fixtures, bulbs, and window dressings. Uniformity is key! Look for bright bulbs and replace all with the same kind. If a room has more than one window, it’s nicer to use the same window treatments everywhere. If people come in during the day, keep window treatments open to bring in natural light and make the room feel more airy. If it’s later in the day, put all the lights on to brighten up the space.
  7. Mirrors: Another trick to give the illusion of space is to add mirrors. While you don’t want the room to look like a clothing store dressing room, with good judgment, this tactic works well.
  8. Countertops: Over time, cooking and baking can create sticky layers of dirt and grime on your kitchen countertops. Use a good de-greaser while cleaning the kitchen. Don’t forget to look for debris under the stove.
  9. Kitchen: Upgrading your kitchen can bring great return on investment. If you have the resources, put in stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, the works! Your house is bound to sell for much more. Even if you decide to let it stay as is, make sure that your kitchen is spotless. De-clutter, leaving cabinetry spaces empty. Keep the area dry and avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink.
  10. Bathroom: A dirty bathroom leaves a permanent impression! Do you want THAT to serve as the reference point for your home? It is an area of personal hygiene and you want to be doubly sure you present it well. Keep it extremely clean. Check the bathtub and shower panels for grime and leaks. Include fresh towels, a clean shower curtain, nice warm bathroom rugs, and an air freshener.
  11. Fragrance: A home with a pleasant fragrance is always more inviting. Don’t use any strong, headache-inducing fragrances. Aromatherapy candles or a mild fresh fragrance could do the trick. Also, not everyone who walks into your home is a pet-lover. If you have pets in the house, pay special attention to the carpet and other areas that might reek of pet odor.
  12. Presentation: Leave a basket of baked cookies, some snacks and a beverage for visitors. Extra touches go a long way in making the home-buying experience positively memorable. Even if people who come to your house don’t end up buying it, your hospitality and presentation can generate a lot of word of mouth!

In addition, it’s important to know that buyers like to explore houses on their own. If you are comfortable with the Realtor or visiting prospect, leave the house so that the potential buyers can explore the house to their satisfaction.

Don’t look at this whole process as one big chore. Be creative and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make your home look nice and shiny.

Express Homebuyers buys homes in Baltimore and Southern Maryland; the Metro Washington DC area; and Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Northern Virginia. Since our inception in 2003, Express Homebuyers has helped more than 300 families sell their house quickly. During all these years we have gained extensive experience dealing with all types of situations. It doesn't matter what situation you are currently facing, our Homebuying Specialists have the necessary knowledge and experience to help you!

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