When getting a home ready for sale, owners often look at the big picture: Is the furnace in good working order? Has the roof been repaired?
These are important issues to consider, to be sure, but the smaller details are just as critical. We’ve said it before, but this bears repeating: Selling your home requires careful “staging.”
Staging is the term real estate brokers use to refer to the process and seeing the house through the eyes of the buyer and making it as appealing as possible.
Here are some valuable staging tips from Denver Post columnist Marni Jameson:
Strip every room down to the essentials:
The goal is to give your home the feeling of spaciousness that comes from clean, uninterrupted sight lines. “Everything that doesn’t need two people to move needs to go,” writes Jameson. In other words, big pieces of furniture stay, but smaller items must go.
Trinkets on shelves, stacks of books, magazines spread over tables – these are the items that make your home feel personal. To buyers, though, it’s only clutter. And clutter prevents them from seeing the home’s potential. When in doubt, throw it out, or place it in storage.
Buyers want to be able to see themselves living in your home. Items such as photos and family keepsakes prevent them from visualizing their own lives in this space. Remove all personal items from view.
Once the decluttering is done, take a fresh look at each room. Then rearrange the furniture with an eye for traffic flow and function. “Make it easy for buyers to see how they would live there: where they would sit and visit, play cards, work on the computer, watch TV or plan a menu,” advises Jameson.
“Make ‘immaculate’ your mantra,” the columnist notes. Everything must shine. “Outside, clean all windows, doors, eaves, walkways, patios and outdoor lamps. Inside, detail every surface, particularly light switches, cabinets, baseboards, blinds, moldings and appliances.”
Get rid of pets and their accessories:
Pets turn off buyers, who see them as leaving dirt and creating wear and tear in the home. Send your pets to live somewhere else temporarily while you’re selling your home, and eliminate all signs of them.
Check for unpleasant odors:
Make sure your home smells inviting. Consider spreading a fresh scent throughout. Jameson warns against heavy scents that include vanilla, coconut or floral notes, suggesting citrus and herbal combinations instead.
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