There are three major factors in selling a home; Price, Location and Condition. Since a seller cannot change the location of their home, and the market determinds the price; the condition of the home is paramount. Staging your home is what will set it apart from other homes on the market! A staged home sells in a shorter period of time, for more money and with less stress to the home owner.
Staging a home begins at the curb; if your home is not appealing and welcoming from the outside the buyers will not want to see the inside. If they do go inside their mind is already made up, they will be offering you considerably less than the asking price.
Here is a list of some of the basics—with a few secrets:
Get rid of stuff. It can’t be said enough how important it is to de-clutter your home. Most people accumulate things like furniture, pictures, vases, vacation mementos and other knickknacks and then find places for them in the home, rather than taking something out. Most people don’t even really notice how much clutter they have because they have learned to live with it. But really, is there any better time to purge than when you move? Consider it a head start on packing.
Depersonalize. Put away family photos, education degrees, children’s pictures, trophies, awards, collections. “Don’t mistake depersonalizing with removing personality,” Ferraro said. “You still want the place to have style and personality. You have to know your environment and what people will be looking for.” If you’re selling a high-rise in a large metropolitan city, buyers are going to be looking for clean, streamlined lines but not overly contemporary. On the flipside, if you’re selling in an older, well-heeled neighborhood, buyers will be expecting to see traditional furniture and artwork.
Clean, clean, clean. If the three most important points to selling a home are location, location, location, the next three are sparkling, glittering clean. “People don’t want to walk into a dirty home that’s for sale in the same way that you don’t want to check into a hotel and find a bathroom that’s dirty with someone else’s shampoo in it,” Dazzo said.
Update old and deteriorating spaces. You might not have to totally redo a 1980s kitchen, but you will want to put new hardware on cabinet doors, replace countertops and appliances, and fix what’s broken, peeling or worn out. The same is true in bathrooms where tiles might have mildew or light fixtures and cabinetry are outdated. Wallpaper is making a comeback in design books, but it’s not likely the stuff you put up three decades ago is still in style. “Buyers don’t want projects,” Dazzo said. Don’t forget to replace burnt-out light bulbs or missing knobs and pulls.
Define spaces. Buyers don’t like to guess what rooms are used for what. Dining rooms need ceiling light fixtures to define them; sitting rooms are marked by comfy chairs and reading lamps; family rooms are set off with couches and, of course, a TV.
Fill empty rooms.A vacant home is nothing more than an empty shell and buyers have very little imagination. “People aren’t good at visualizing or seeing beyond what’s in front of them,” Ferraro said. An empty room either looks too small or too overwhelmingly big for a buyer’s furniture. Create the space for them with rental furniture.
Lighten up spaces.The most obvious way is by getting rid of heavy curtains, rugs and furniture, and painting the walls white or a lighter color. But here are some other tricks: add new light fixtures; clean windows, remove screens and take treatments down to let in natural light; never hide good views or scenery behind window treatments; put cream-colored placemats on dark-wood dining tables; use fresh, white towels in bathrooms (helps emphasize cleanliness with spa-like look); pull up carpets to expose hardwood floors.
Open up indoor walkways.Even if the buyer is single, he or she is likely to bring an entourage with them when their inspecting the home, so be sure the hallways and walkways are big enough for three, even four people to be in at one time. “It’s OK to pull your furniture close together in the living room,” Ferraro said. “People aren’t going to walk into the seating area but will view it from the walkway.”
Clean out closets and leave them one-third empty.Old houses can be problematic because of their limited closet space but you can trick the eye by leaving plenty of space empty. Same’s true for bigger homes and closets by keeping shoes, and hanging and folded clothes neat, tidy, and yes, even color coordinated. Buyers will inspect all of your closets to see if there’s enough room for all their things. If the closet looks overloaded with your stuff, then certainly they won’t be able to fit all their stuff in it.
Curb and hallway appeal really count. The buyers’ first impressions are set as they approach the door. That’s as true for apartments and condominiums as it is for homes and townhouses. If you’re on the third floor of a walk-up, you must be sure that the hallway walls are clean, the moldings in place and the carpet not threadbare, which means you might have to address such things with a homeowner’s association long before you put the house on the market.
Be model-ready.Rooms posed well for good photo shoots are becoming a must in home-selling because buyers get a first peek at your home on the Internet. “The time that people actually have to spend physically looking at properties is very limited,” Ferraro said. “You have to get them at ‘Hello.’”