We’re sure you’ve heard all about staging your home for quick sale! We’re also sure you know most realtors have home stagers they work with to help present your home in the best light possible – the Seay Realty Group is no exception, and we can refer you to some excellent Home Staging Companies!
However, should you decide to stage your home yourself, please consider these basic concepts to help make your home appealing to a wide range of buyers. Keep in mind that your goal is to get buyers to imagine themselves living in your home. The Seay Realty Group would be happy to advise you, based on many years of experience selling homes!
The first bit of advice we would offer to the DIY home stager is to depersonalize your house. Learn how, here:
Let’s begin at the front door! Curb Appeal is a widely used term that really means the first impression buyers have as they approach your house from the street. An attractive home and landscaped yard can add thousands to the value of your home and help it sell faster and for more money.
Depersonalizing outside is as important as depersonalizing the inside. Start by removing any plaques or doormats with your name or initials on it. Cute door wreaths should also be removed. Yard flags should be neutral – flowers and welcome flags are OK, but steer clear of birds, spirit emblems (college and pro teams), animals, party references and such. Remember to remove your child’s spirit sign, too. Check the paint – if peeling or faded, a fresh coat will make everyone happy. Choose paint colors that blend in well with your neighborhood – highest value is created when a property is in harmony with its surroundings. More information is available in our blog article from April 19, 2018 “Fast Curb Appeal Fixes for Spring”.
Next, lets talk about that initial first step inside your front door. What do buyers smell? Yes, smell! Odors can add or detract from first impressions. Ask a trusted friend to come by and give your house the sniff test. Pet odors will drive buyers away in the blink of an eye. The scent of mold will often do the same. Fried Fish? forget it! Buyers want a home that smells as neutral as it looks! Please don’t try to mask the odor – do a little detective work to discover the source of the odor and eliminate it.
Depersonalize Your Home. We all know to put away our treasured pictures, but don’t forget about these:
Family Pictures – No matter how cute, how special, pack them away! Don’t forget those hanging on the refrigerator!
Ornate Art and Furnishings – Anything that resembles a museum piece (paintings, ornately trimmed furniture & accessories) should be packed away and replaced with neutral items. It’s hard for most people to imagine living in a museum!
Animal based displays – trophy pieces from your recent safari, furniture made from antlers, ivory chess sets, bear skin rugs are a few examples of objects that have the possibility of offending buyers.
College & Pro Team Spirit Objects – You know what we mean – the Mascot themed wine holder, the college pennants hanging in the game room, the Cowboys wall art decorating the study. All no-no’s. Who knows, your potential buyer may be a passionate fan of the opposing team and develop an instant and deep dislike of your home! It’s happened!
Posters – similar to Spirit Objects, your teen’s posters should be removed.
Collections – We do love our collections! But they do have a tendency to overwhelm a room, and can look cluttered. Buyers can miss the beautiful architecture of your home because they’re distracted by your amazing collections.
Certificates and Awards – Trophy’s, certificates, diplomas all fall in the same category as family pictures and must be removed.
Books, Bookshelves & Magazines – Pack the majority of your books and magazines away and leave your bookshelves looking sparse. Buyers will subconsciously see additional storage in your home, and their imaginations will fill the shelves with their own objects. A well placed, neutral-topic book or magazine and an afghan, placed next to a reading chair, will help create a cozy mood.
Personal Items (gack!) – Not just shampoo and toothbrushes, but remember reading glasses, prescriptions, dentures (!) and dirty laundry. Find a gathering place for these items (pretty baskets and boxes, under-bed containers) to quickly stash personal items when buyers are coming to call.
What about the Pets? (We could write a book!!) First and foremost, your pet should NOT be at home during a showing. No matter how cute or well-behaved. They are a distraction from a showing – keep in mind, too, that your buyers might be deathly afraid, or allergic. Unsuspecting realtors could accidentally let your pet out.
Make arrangements to have a neighbor watch your pets, or take them to a nearby park for a long walk. Cats can go into a carrier with you. Pet reptiles, spiders, or rodents should be removed entirely from your house – find a pet-sitter or good friend to keep watch over them while your home is listed. Birds should be removed, too. Thanks to Alfred Hitchcock, many people have a deathly fear of birds. Fish tanks, as long as they are sparkling clean, are fine to leave in the home.
Any evidence of pets should be removed. Toys, beds, water and food dishes, litter boxes. Remove pet hair from furniture and floors daily.
These tips will give you a good start to getting your home in staging condition. Part II in this series will talk about neutralizing the inside of your home by using neutral paint colors and furniture placement. Stay tuned!
Information provided by The Seay Realty Group, dedicated to service and exceeding your expectations. Call us today!