Getting ready to sell your home? Staging your home is a must to maximize the value of your home and sometimes, the solutions are free (other than your time). The National Association of Realtors found that 83% of buyers' agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.
While it may be overwhelming, you can make simple changes that will create a clean and inviting home that shows well to potential buyers. Below is a list of helpful tips and ideas on how to stage your home - many are FREE solutions.
1. Deep Clean Your Home
Curb appeal sells! The exterior is the first thing a prospective buyer sees, whether online or in person. Be sure your exterior is clean and presentable. Here are a few ideas for the exterior of your home:
- Power-Wash Everything: In addition to being therapeutic, this will easily blast away months (or years) worth of dirt and grime on your home. Be sure to power wash sidewalks, patios, exterior siding, windows, decks and fences. When you're finished you'll wish you had done it sooner! Don't have a pressure washer? These can be rented at local home improvement stores or purchased for $75 to $300.
- Landscaping: Be sure your grass is in top shape. Fill any bare holes in your grass with seed or add sod if you're short on timing. Be sure all planting beds are weeded, mulched and edged. Remove dead trees or shrubs and install new plantings (budget permitting).
- Painting, Caulking and Touching Up: Painting (inside and outside) is one of the most cost effective value boosters to your home. If your home is looking dated, has mismatched brick or faded colors, repainting your home is something you should consider. At a minimum, be sure all joints are sufficiently caulked and you've gone around with touch-up paint. If a buyer doesn't catch this, the home inspector may ding you for it later.
Once you're done with the outside of your home, let's move to the inside. Do a deep clean like you've never done before...or hire a good cleaning company to help. A deep clean should include moldings, hard-to-reach areas, dusting, grout cleaning (may need wire brush and cleaners like Soft Scrub), and carpet cleaning. Carpet cleaning companies are relatively inexpensive and work magic to bring that old looking carpet to new plus it will smell fresh.
Put all non-essential items in storage (yes, we are a storage company and can help you with that!). There is nothing worse that walking into a home for sale and seeing clutter everywhere. Remove excess furniture, as needed. While you love that accent chair, it may be cluttering up the floorplan.
While pictures and personal items are important for making a house feel like a home, a prospective buyer wants to imagine themselves living in your home and its hard to do that while staring at your family pictures. Turn heavily themed rooms into more neutral spaces.
4. Natural Light
Keep the windows open for showings and be sure that all light fixtures are working. Pro tip...be sure to check your bulbs frequently to ensure they haven't been burned out. Realtors (we love them by the way) and prospective buyers are notorious for turning on all the lights and forgetting to turn them off when they leave.
5. Add Mirrors
Easy way to bring in light and make a room feel bigger!
6. Home Improvement Projects
While you could go big and remodel a bathroom or kitchen, this isn't likely the time to do it. That said, there are a lot of smaller projects that will get you a good return on your investment, including:
- Paint: Whether you're painting certain rooms or just touching up trim, a fresh coat of paint will help. Be sure to caulk joints and patch drywall as needed before you paint. When choosing colors, play it safe and use warm neutral colors.
- Light Fixtures: Replace any dated or inoperable light fixtures. While you could spend tons, there are plenty of inexpensive light fixtures that will do wonders to updating the look of your home.
- Bathroom Vanity: Have a dated bathroom vanity? There are plenty of "off the shelf" options that you can pick up for $500 or less that will dramatically improve the look of your bathroom.
- Add Trim: If you're handy or know of a reliable carpenter, add trim as needed - whether it be baseboards, crown molding, chair-rails or wainscoting.
- Mechanical and Electrical Systems: While not a sexy project, this will likely be picked up on a home inspection. Be sure your HVAC, hot water heater and other key mechanical systems are in good working order. Don't forget to change your air filters too! Be sure your home is up to date and current with all electrical codes. A licensed electrician can do a walk through of your home to give you feedback on things that need to be fixed.
7. Add Some Color
While your wall paint should be neutral, feel free to add color with accent pillows, area rugs, plants (faux or real), vases, and art.
8. Stage Where it Counts
You will get the most bang for your effort by focusing on the key areas of your home to stage, including: exterior, kitchen, living room, master bedroom, and primary bathroom(s).
9. Smart Furniture Design
Rearrange and remove crowded furniture to create open and inviting spaces. Don't worry, that everyday recliner you've had for years that has been molded to your butt and has old snacks in every crevice will be safe in storage with us and we'd be happy to deliver it to your new home with our Valet Storage service!
10. Half Empty Closets
Buyers are always looking for storage space! Having a closet that's half empty will make the space feel bigger. Our Valet Bin Service is perfect to store seasonal or overflow clothes in secured plastic bins.
11. Always Be Ready
We know its hard but keep your house in "show condition" at all times. Buyer showings tend to be last minute and sometimes unannounced - though this is a no-no.
We hope this article has been informative and given you some tips and ideas on how to stage your home. GOOD LUCK!