The Real Estate Encyclopedia
What Is Involved In Staging My Home?
Category - Home Selling Questions - Staging & Marketing FAQ's

Setting the mood or staging your home will go far in setting your home apart from the competition. There are many things a seller can do, to present the home to its best advantage.


Following are some tried and true ways to help you stage your home:


       Make room. Clear out as much furniture as you can. Put it in storage, give it to Goodwill Industries or have a garage sale.  You want the impression to be open and not cluttered.  Buyers should be able to picture their own belongings and furniture in it.


       Go through the house and clear off all the horizontal surfaces like kitchen and bathroom countertops. Clean and clear all counters in the house and the basement.  Pack any knick-knacks and personal photographs. 


       Eliminate odors. A home should smell good. Unpleasant odors will drive buyers away faster than you think.  If you have pets or are a smoker, invite a good friend to visit your home and ask for help in identifying odors. It is possible that your exposure to certain odors has desensitized you and you will need a sensitive nose to help you eradicate unpleasant scents.  In addition, be careful using plug-ins or other scent dispensers.  Some people can be allergic to chemicals or the scent might be overpowering or not necessarily everybodys choice.


       Lysol or other masking scents will not replace a nicely scrubbed home.  You need to get rid of odors at the source and clean vents, replace smelly carpeting and definitely do not smoke in the house.


       If your property is dated, e.g. old carpeting, outdated colors, trim needs paint, consider updating.  Here again, a great way to learn whats in is to visit new subdivision model homes and take pictures to refresh your memory.  Visiting several model homes will give you a great feel for what is modern and preferred by the buyer. Then shop for similar colors and visit your local discount store to select inexpensive matching settings for your dining table, kitchen, etc.  Since the intention is not to clutter your home, make sure to be conservative in how you stage your home. 


       Keep the wall colors light. Many stagers go as far as suggesting a shade of white.  Although this is not a must, you want to stay as light and as neutral as possible. The wisdom here is that not all people enjoy the same colors.  On the other hand, if your home was recently and professionally decorated, buyers might enjoy the mood of your home and may decide to adjust. Nonetheless, light wall colors reflect the light best and make rooms look larger.


       Let there be light. Allow as much light as possible to come in.  Keep curtains and blinds open.  Turn on all the lights when buyers come to visit. Add lights in dark corners.  Place nice flowers on the dining room table.  Create a happy place. 

       Get a home inspection in advance. Most buyers will have one done. By doing your own inspection, you will be able to make any needed repairs before you put the home on the market. Depending on where you live, the service will probably run around $300 and your listing agent can recommend a service.


       Inspect your carpet and have it professionally cleaned.  Remove stains.  If your carpet is aged and you are considering replacing it, you may want to look at hardwood floors, which many buyers prefer. 


       Avoid controversy. If you are a hunter, remove trophies from the walls, since they might be offensive to some buyers.  The same goes for books, magazines, artwork or even any background music.  Again, keep your home as neutral as possible. 


       Replace any deteriorating or dated wallpaper.  If you replace, consider just applying a neutral coat of paint.


       Clean your closets. Take out the clutter. Buyers want to see space that will house their belongings nicely.  Deodorize the closet and keep it smelling fresh.


       Consider placing nice planters and flowers in different places in and around the home.  Nurseries sell ready-made planters, which can greatly enhance the appeal of your home without spending a lot of money.


       Open the windows. Allow fresh air to come in, if the temperatures permit.  During a hot summer, be sure to set the air comfortably cool.  Prospective buyers will thank you for it and you will be advertising a well working cooling system.


       Remove dust and spider webs, especially from around the front porch and main entrance.  Clean out the garage. 


       Set your home apart from the competition by placing nice flowers on the tables, setting up a media room or creating a nice playroom for children. Make your home as cozy and welcoming as possible. 

Home Selling Questions - Staging & Marketing FAQ's
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