Staging and Selling Go Hand-In-Hand
Written by Jo-Ann Reilly CRS, SRES, ABR, Real Estate Associate, Real Estate Broker, Coldwell Banker Realty
Many home seller’s ask the question “where do I start this process?” If you lived in the home for a very long time and haven’t started de-cluttering, this can be very overwhelming and stressful. The letting-go process for those downsizing is emotional and hard to do.
Curb appeal is so important and drives traffic to the home. This is the first impression for a buyer and creates an emotion before they enter the home. Adding color with plants and trimming bushes and trees will help with return on investment. Power washing the house and walkways, cleaning gutters, getting rid of moss and mold and have the lawn manicured is inviting too many buyers. If you are selling in the summer, think about having the driveway sealed which will show well in the pictures.
Buyer’s like to see less in the home to visualize their color choices and furniture. It helps to have the carpets removed and hardwood floors visible, remove curtains to bring in the natural light and create an open space in the living room and dining areas. Remember when an agent shows the home, typically there are at least 2 buyers at the showing. It is important to keep the areas clear, therefore, this will create a safe environment and an open flow.
Additional Staging tips:
- Front porch cleaned.
- Add planters and window boxes.
- Hang a wreath on the front door.
- Arrange patio furniture sets to create outdoor space.
- Style your dining room table with flowers.
- Wash the windows.
- Repaint or stain the front porch and deck.
- Welcome doormat.
- Keep your porch lights on at night for potential buyers driving by.
- Add solar lights along walkway for a nice added touch.
- Clean the grout and caulking in bathroom.
- Make sure all the light bulbs are not too dim and working.
- Keep the temperature cool.
- Keep pool area clean and organized.
- Fix broken screens.
- Clean closets to be sure items are secured.
- Keep laundry tidy.
- Be free of pet odors.
- Smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide detector on every floor.
- House alarm—Monitor this with showings and be sure it is off.
- A/C filters cleaned.
- Wash blinds and curtains.
- Dust furniture and lamp shades.
- Shampoo the carpets.
- Clean fireplaces and chimneys.
- Fix any roof leak and paint ceilings if necessary.
- Remove mold in damp areas.
- Fix any water leaks in the faucets or toilet bowls.
- Secure toilet bowls if they are loose.
- Fix door lock if sticks.
- Remove old decorations/lights.
- Depersonalize the space and remove family pictures.
- Patch and repair—don’t show buyers neglect of the home.
- Remove cob-webs.
- Hide personal keepsakes.
- Mulch the flower beds.
- Secure loose gutters.
- Add new bathroom towels.
- Pack away knick knacks and breakables.
- Don’t leave i-Pads and chargers around.
Kitchen—Have counters free of mail and any clutter. Do a deep cleaning and only have a toaster and coffee maker on the counter. Put everything out of sight and show the space. Organize the pantry closet, clean drawers and remove any items that will prevent the drawer from closing. Don’t have cupboards overstuffed which will give a sense of minimal storage. Stack the cookbooks neatly on the shelf.
Living Room—Create the ambiance in front of the fireplace and rearrange the furniture. Make it inviting and buyers can create their family memories.
Office Space—Be sure not to leave important documents with personal information visible and keep papers and files in a drawer. This is a multi functional space and requires proper lighting.
Bedrooms—Put away clothes and have doors opened all the way and remove any over the door hooks. Make the beds for showings and pick up items on the floor.
Bathrooms—Wipe down counters and keep them clear of clutter. Tuck away the garbage can and the toilet scrubber. Put your daily items in a small box to store away easily. Clean out medicine cabinet and remove expired items. Clean the shower doors and the tracks.
Guest Rooms—Don’t put the unwanted clutter here!
Attic space—Keep the area around the hatch clear for buyer and the inspector to move around.
Garage area—Put away tools, paint the floor if needed. Remove old garbage to prevent any odors. Check the door into the house it should have a spring hinge.
Sheds—Be sure this isn’t filled to the door so you can see the condition of the walls.
Play areas—Trampoline and swing set if staying with the home, be sure it is maintained well and safe.
Basements—Show the storage area and sweep the floors. If damp, keep the dehumidifier running.
Utility Room—Have the service tag on the furnace with maintenance records.
Electrical Panel—Have this accessible and easy to get to. Install GFCI outlets in kitchens, bathrooms, and the exterior of the home.
Driveways—Remove old cars and have ample parking space available for Buyers.
Pictures are a large part of marketing and selling the home. Once the home is staged, it is ready for the photographer. A professional photographer will show the house and the flow of the rooms as opposed to taking the picture of only the room. Example: show the flow of the open floor plan from the dining room to the kitchen. Most often, they use wide angle lenses to capture the entire room and ceiling height. The exterior photos can be photo shopped with green grass and blue skies.
My advice – For smaller homes, de-clutter and rent a storage unit and remove items in the home. This helps show the space and charm it has. For larger homes, do the same or rent a pod which helps with the process.
For more information on staging your home, please contact Jo-Ann Reilly CRS, SRES, ABR, Real Estate Associate, Real Estate Broker, Coldwell Banker Realty, (914)582-6467.