When you've decided it is time to move and don't have the time to prepare your home for that quick sale, consider home staging. This does not mean a total redesign, it does however, require a serious plan to make your home inviting and desirable to prospective buyers.
So, where do we begin?
The first step to successful staging is to clean out and declutter. Remove all piles of newspaper, magazines, third class mail. Put all folders back into your office space. Clear off dressers and bathroom vanities. Clean up the laundry room. Rid the space of extra baskets and move extra bottles of soap into cabinets or down in the lower level on shelves. Neatly organize all closets, especially the master closet and main coat closet. Give prospective buyers the opportunity to visualize their belongings in large, clean spaces.
Depersonalize! Remove all family photos from tabletops and bookcases. Take a look at your fridge. Is it plastered with soccer schedules and coupons? Get rid of those too. Sort your child’s artwork into folders and store in bins that are out of sight. Sort your children’s shoes and donate outgrown hockey skates and soccer shoes.
Take a walk through your home and remove large pieces of furniture. The idea is to showcase the home, not your inherited, oversized coffee table. Make the spaces in your home appear to be more spacious. Purchase new throw pillows and remove heavy draperies. Let as much natural light in as possible. If you have a fireplace, clean the bricks and remove any accumulations of ashes. Neatly place a few logs in a large basket nearby.
Think about painting. Paint your rooms a soothing, warm, neutral color. Choose a shade that will appeal to most buyers. So, if you have a wall in your great room painted red, neutralize it. Repaint your master bedroom in a soft color and then paint the master bath two shades deeper. Buy a new duvet in white or ivory and keep patterns limited. Have your carpeting cleaned and wash any throw rugs… or just get rid of them. If your dining room is formal, set the table with your finest china. Your prospective buyers will want to see if they can entertain here. Remove large pieces of artwork too, so the new owners can imagine their artwork on your walls.
To sell your home quickly and get your asking price, you need to prepare. A few days staging will pay off in the end. The day of your first open house, purchase fresh flowers for the dining room and another bunch for the coffee table. A large basket of apples or lemons should be placed on the kitchen countertop. Remember to make your home smell inviting, crumble chocolate in a glass dish and place in a very low oven. The take away here is appeal to all the senses. Put on a classic CD, make away plans for your kids and yourself. Hand your home over to your real estate agent, and relax. With any luck, you will quickly hear the word… SOLD!