Preparing A House To Sell

Preparing A House To Sell: Home Staging Basics for Homeowners
Not everyone can afford to hire a professional home stager, but everyone can do a few simple things to make their home look its best.
Home staging helps homeowners put their home’s best foot forward by arranging furniture and accessories in such a way that potential buyers can imagine themselves moving right in. This makes the house appeal to a large number of potential buyers, potentially increasing the sales price while decreasing the time on the market.
The following are key examples of things every homeowner can do to get the biggest bang for their home-staging buck (and time!):
Living and Family Rooms
Select a focal point for the room and make sure most furniture relates to this. For example, if there is a fireplace, arrange sofas and chairs so that they either face it or are placed in conversational groups near it.
Remove portraits and other personal items; these remind buyers that this is someone else’s home. Remember, we want them to imagine themselves living there.
Don’t overload mantles with multiple knick-knacks; a couple of well-placed items highlight this architectural detail best.
Stage Your Kitchen to Make it Unforgettable
It is crucial to de-clutter kitchens. Have a minimum of appliances out; make sure they are sparkling clean.
In fact, all of the kitchen should be sparking. This area can literally make or break a home sale. Glistening countertops, sinks, and appliances tell buyers that not only is this home well-maintained, it makes it easier for them to imagine cooking and entertaining here.
If the kitchen has wooden cabinets, check to see if they could use a polish or oil rub. Similarly, if there is painted cabinetry, look to see if there are chips or areas with paint rubbed off and if so, spot touch them with matching paint. These touch-ups will markedly improve the appearance of any kitchen, often called the “heart of the home.”
Showing Bathrooms at Their Best
Next to the kitchen, bathrooms are areas that can tilt the sale in a homeowner’s favor…or not. These should also be sparkling clean. One can’t underestimate the power of a clean and bright bathroom.
Before a showing or an open house, remove all personal belongings from counters. Like a personal photograph in a family room, nothing reminds buyers more quickly that this is someone else’s home than toothbrushes and other toiletries.
Fresh flowers and clean linens are the icing on the cake in bathrooms. A couple of candles next to the tub can set the scene for luxury; too much however, can be overwhelming.
Staging Bedrooms
 To appeal to buyers, bedrooms must appear neutral, spacious, and relaxing. As in all other rooms, removal of personal items such as photographs is recommended.
Keep the furniture to a minimum; a bed, side tables, and a dresser are generally all that’s needed to outfit a room. We don’t want the rooms to feel cramped,and there are so many options available for lovely bedroom furniture!
If bed linens are older, consider investing in a fluffy comforter with coordinating pillows in a neutral color.
On side tables all that is needed is a lamp, a single book and perhaps a candle.
Foyers, Hallways, and Stairs
Keep large furniture to a minimum; these areas should be as open and welcoming as possible. Views towards the home’s highlights are especially powerful.
Closets, Cabinets, and Drawers
Pack up as much as possible from closets and cabinets so that they aren’t crowded; buyers want to imagine their new home as one in which they can be organized. A closet filled floor to ceiling works against that.
If the home has a pantry in your kitchen, organize it! When I’ve sold my own homes, I’ve even gone as far as lining up cans and boxes with labels facing forward. Sounds tedious and perhaps even silly, but buyers love it!
Similarly, consider organizing cups and mugs in rows; the same goes for all of your kitchenware.
Don’t have a junk drawer! Throw that stuff in a box and tuck it out of sight. Make sure all drawers are as organized as possible and that they open and close easily.
Staging the Exterior
 A well maintained lawn is crucial for curb appeal, so do your best to keep it mowed and trimmed. If there are overgrown or unhealthy shrubs or plants; remove them and replace with new, healthy (preferably blooming) ones.
If the paint needs a fresh coat, consider doing so. Doors, trim, and shutters are particularly important.
At your entryway, replace your old welcome mat; this has a big impact on a home’s first impression.
If the home has a waterfall feature, make sure it is running with clean water.
Staging a home can maximize profit while minimizing time on the market; all for minimal cost.