Home staging may be more complicated than the average person thinks. Although home staging is certainly about cleaning your house, organizing your items and getting rid of unnecessary clutter, there is a bit more to it than that. It is well known that staged homes sell much faster than unstaged homes. Here is how you can do it, without spending top-dollar on professional home stagers:
1. Clean – Make sure your house is show-home clean. Shampoo your carpets, wash your windows inside and out, polish your floors and fixtures, etc. Your home should sparkle and smell clean and inviting.
2. Declutter – get rid of anything that identifies you. Put away your knick knacks and your family photos, holiday souvenirs, certificates, work out gear (including machines).
3. Organize – get into your rooms and organize things. Make sure your countertops are clear of appliances, or cosmetics in the bathroom. Everything should have a drawer or a cupboard, and when you open those drawers and cupboards, everything inside should be neat and organized – organized obsessively, to the point that all of your mugs should be neatly lined up with the handles facing in the same direction and your food canisters clean and polished with the labels facing out.
4. Fix It – Paint chipping cupboards, doors, trim and baseboards. Recaulk any bathroom or kitchen areas that are growing mildew. Check leaky faucets, squeaky floors, doors, light bulbs.
5. Update – Paint your walls a clean, neutral colour. Paint your doors and trim if they are old and worn. Update fixtures like door handles, cupboard knobs, faucets, medicine cabinets. Buy new, neutral linens and draperies. Update your appliances; the money that you spend on new appliances will come back to you when you sell the home.
6. Arrange! – Arrange your furniture sparsely (store any furniture that clutters). Add your new linens and draperies. Display a limited number of interesting items (vases, artwork, etc) in strategic places such as on bookcases, on fireplace mantles, etc. Some items that will help you arrange and add panache to your newly staged property are mirrors, plants, floor and table lamps, area rugs, ottomans, accent pillows (clean and simple), new towels and matching soaps and lotions in the bathrooms, inflatable beds in empty rooms (made up), baskets in bathrooms and laundry areas, and plants and patio furniture outside.
Your property should appeal to the senses of your potential buyers. Is there natural light?? Does it smell nice in your space? What can your guests hear? Make sure that every place, including storage and outdoor space is cleaned and presentable.
Even though staging might require an initial investment to get everything into the right condition, the investment is sure to pay off when your property is sold at asking price, or higher.