On your mark, get set…SELL!
What can homeowners do to catch a buyer’s eye and get them to make an offer on their property? How can a home stand out from the competition when there are several homes for sale at similar prices in the neighborhood, or worse on the same street?
Consider these home staging tips for home sellers, provided by home staging expert Debra Gould, also known as The Staging Diva®:
1. Use higher-wattage bulbs. Bright rooms appear larger and more inviting.
2. Avoid placing furniture close to doorways, which makes rooms feel cramped.
3. Decorate for the target market. If you have three bedrooms and no kids, create a child room when it is time to sell.
4. Spruce up kitchens and bathrooms with new cabinet hardware and paint. You can even paint laminate countertops using melamine paint!
5. Buy fabulous bedding, shower curtains and towels. They will enhance the perceived value of your home, and you can enjoy them once you move.
6. Show ample space in rooms and closets. Excess furniture, sports equipment, toys, clothing and clutter should be donated, discarded or stored off the premises before you list.
7. Use fresh flowers in key rooms and planted urns beside the front door.
8. Remove all photos, diplomas and religious items. They remind buyers it is your home, not theirs.
As a homeowner, you may be falling into the trap of complacency. Often we are so used to our own homes that we cannot see them through the eyes of a buyer. Before you lower expectations along with your selling price, there is a far less costly option to consider: staging the home for sale. Home staging is simply the merchandising of a house to capture the hearts and bids of potential buyers. A home stager can attract potential buyers by figuring out how to showcase the best features of your home.
Moving is widely acknowledged to be one of the most stressful events in life. Adding kids to the mix makes it especially stressful for a young family to sell their home. Children’s routines are thrown off when showings coincide with mealtime or bedtime. Cleaning and packing are extremely difficult to do around children, and there are tons of other details that are all harder to take care of with kids involved.
It’s almost a full-time job for anyone to keep a home in “showing ready” condition, but babies, toddlers and preschoolers can’t grasp the concept of keeping their toys put away at all times. Home staging expert Debra Gould shares the following tips for reining in your kids’ toys while selling your home:
• Keep only one box of toys in the house for each child, and put the rest in storage. You can always alternate the toys your child has access to if your home is on the market for longer than a couple of weeks.
• Don’t keep games or building toys with lots of small pieces around, as these are very frustrating to clean up in a hurry for a last-minute showing.
• Limit large items. Kitchen sets, puppet theatres, easels, tents and kid-sized furniture should be put into storage instead of taking up valuable floor space. • Keep bicycles and other outdoor toys stored neatly and not strewn across the yard. You never know when a potential buyer might drive by.
• Use attractive storage for remaining toys. Consider adding a cubical storage shelf with canvas baskets to the family room or child’s room to store and showcase the toys that are staying while the house is listed. When toys are organized this way, it’s easier to clean them up quickly.
• And here’s a valuable packing tip: Put a toy or two in every box so the kids are excited about unpacking and you’ll have their cooperation while getting the boxes emptied.
The presence of toys probably won’t turn off buyers without children, but keeping things tidy and preventing toys from overwhelming the home will increase the property’s appeal. Keep in mind that a professional home stager can help relieve the burden of preparing your home for sale and make it easier to live in a show home while your house is on the real estate market.
(Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is president of Six Elements and creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program with over 4,000 students worldwide. Gould is the author of four home staging guides and offers a Directory of Home Stagers to help homeowners and real estate agents locate home stagers who will decorate homes to sell quickly and for top dollar. To learn more visit www.stagingdiva.com
Written by internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®, www.stagingdiva.com. © Copyright Six Elements Inc. Used with permission.)