Hey, yall! It’s that time of year. The school year has come to an end and houses are listing and selling as folks are preparing for a summer move. Have you ever shopped for a new home? In 2013, my husband and I were on the verge of a move to Louisville, KY. I was searching on-line for a new home for our family. I couldn’t just drive by and check the houses out because I was shopping from a different state. I had to rely on the pictures provided by the listing Realtor. I am pretty good at being able to look past peeling wallpaper, outdated fixtures, stained carpet, and less than desirable paint colors, but let me tell you, there were a few houses that I could not wrap my mind around. Why would a Realtor post pics of what seemed to be a teenage boy’s bedroom and not take the hot chick posters off the wall first? Or why would we need to post pictures of the closets when they were clearly not photo ready. And, though the pictures were super entertaining, was it really necessary to keep all the bowling and wet t-shirt contest trophies out for display during the photo shoot? The truth is, how we live in our home and how we sell our home are two different animals. A good Realtor knows this and will guide their clients accordingly, but sometimes it’s easier to have a mediator of sorts. Someone to tell the homeowner to remove this, paint that or add this, can take a few degrees of heat off the Realtor and help them focus on getting the home SOLD!
Staging Consults are a service we offer at Unique Painting. I walk through the home with the Listing Agent and the Homeowner and we analyze each room, discussing what we can do to improve the overall aesthetics to make it more attractive to potential buyers. We even take a look at the porch and landscaping as curb appeal is also extremely important. A well-kept exterior will bring people indoors, after all. So, what do you do if your Listing Agent doesn’t offer Staging as a service or you’re fresh out of Staging contacts? You continue reading, that’s what you do! I’m going to list a few things to keep in mind when you’re preparing your home for the market. Let’s consider this post a condensed Staging 101 course.
1. Check Your Curb Appeal
When you come home each day do you like what you see? If you don’t, chances are buyers won’t either. If the outside looks well groomed, buyers will assume the inside will follow suit. Here’s a list of action items to help get your exterior in tip top shape: Clean windows/ Sweep porch/ Add some potted plants, hanging baskets, or bushes/ Pull weeds/Remove all expired landscaping/ Trim existing bushes/ Add grass seed or even sod if necessary/Add fresh mulch/ Consider power washing your home, driveway, and sidewalks/Add a welcome mat/ Remove lawn ornaments and decor.
2. Secure Or Rent A Storage Unit
Things are about to get serious and you will need a place to store all the items that are not necessary in your staged home. This is also a great time to purge. Why pack and move items you’re only going to get rid of at your next home? Donate!
Your house needs to sparkle. Can we agree that clean is also a feeling? Kitchens and Bathrooms are two rooms that buyers want to be and feel clean. In other parts of the house, you could consider having your carpets cleaned/ wiping down windows, blinds, and baseboards.
Remove pics, pack away seasonal clothing, clean all closets leaving only the essentials, remove all extra dishes from kitchen leaving only enough place settings for each person in your family. 1 plate, 1 bowl, 1 glass…, Remove about half of the furniture in your home. It may feel empty and strange, but spaciousness is the goal.
5. When showing your home, make sure it is as light as possible.
Open all blinds, pull back curtains, open doors. Turn on every light in the house. Check your light fixtures; are they dusty, dingy, outdated? Give the fixtures a good cleaning and consider updating the ones that are outdated.
6. Top 3 Rooms to Stage
Living Room– The Living Room should be a place to relax. It also showcases the personality of the home. Add pillows/ Fresh flowers/ Remove family photos
Kitchen– The kitchen is the heart of the home. This is an area that buyers want to feel clean, fresh, and updated. Deep cleaning the kitchen is a must!! Here are some other items that will make your kitchen show ready: Give cabinets a fresh coat of paint or stain/Update hardware/ Make your appliances shine or consider purchasing new appliances/ Remove magnets and drawings from refrigerator/ Clear countertops and area above cabinets/ Add a bowl of fresh fruit or a vase of fresh flowers/ Clean and organize pantry/ Make sure trash cans are emptied.
Master Bedroom– Think, NOT pink. The Master Bedroom is a room that needs to appear as neutral as possible, meaning either a man or woman could imagine themselves utilizing the space. A simple bedspread with symmetrically placed pillows is all that’s needed on the bed/ Clear unnecessary items from night stands tops/ Put away all loose clothing.
7. Neutral Paint
My advice is to try not to break up main floor rooms with different paint colors. Your home will appear more spacious if all the rooms flow together. Add pillows and throws, and other accessories of bright hip colors to make the rooms pop but keep the paint color neutral.
Detachment is important in selling a home. Yes, it’s your home, a home that has been the backdrop to so many memories for your family. It’s also a house, a house that is about to become a home to another family. The goal with staging is to create a space that others can imagine themselves in while showcasing all the fine points the house has to offer. If you’re still having trouble with staging either as a homeowner or Realtor, give us a shout. (816-500-7759).