October 2011

Staged to Sell

Putting your house on the market can be a stressful endeavor. Fortunately, however, there are things you can do to make your home appeal to buyers and sell quickly. By strategically staging each room and the outdoor areas, your property will stand out as a great investment for someone looking to buy.  
 
Real estate experts Donna and Shannon Freeman offer useful ideas on HGTV.com. Something as simple as a fresh coat of paint, for example, can get you “150 percent green back on your investment,” while overgrown shrubs and broken gutters will leave potential buyers with one more thing on their dreaded “to do” lists. The Freemans also recommend grinding a lemon in the garbage disposal to ward off kitchen odors instead of using overwhelming artificial fragrances.
 
Cindy Lin, owner of Staged4More, argues that staged homes can sell faster and at higher prices without excessive spending by the seller. In an interview with Curbly.com, Lin first advises sellers to get rid of clutter, as it only distracts potential buyers. De-cluttering will help show off your home’s square footage, countertops and closet space. Lin also notes that most homebuyers want a turnkey home, so if the space is clean, it suggests that the property requires minimal renovation or maintenance. Clean your house from roof to basement: Wash the drapes, wax the floor and power wash the exterior.
 
Think about the purpose of each room before staging. Living rooms, for example, are a place for gathering with friends and family while bedrooms are private spaces where we relax and sleep. StagingBug.com urges sellers to arrange living room furniture in a way that’s conducive to group conversation, but that’s also easy to walk around. Buyers need to be able to envision themselves living in your home, so get rid of family photos that remind them that they don’t live here. For bedroom staging, StagingBug.com recommends emptying 80 percent of your closet to make it appear bigger. Use soft, neutral colors, and make your bed look luxurious by adding a fluffy comforter and throw pillows.
 
Not only can proper staging help your home sell, it can also lead to a better offer. Remember to keep your décor simple to allow the home’s best features, like its ornate fireplace or arched doorways, to speak for themselves. Staging your home doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg, either, so start preparing your home today.