I once saw a vacant home staged to look as if children lived there. The smaller bedrooms had toys strategically placed on the bed as if a kid really played in that room. I could see it was fake from the second I walked in. No kid plays with toys that ‘nicely’. I knew that the couple who had owned the home were elderly and they had no kids and this little touch just looked so strange. What some people call clever staging just looked like a joke to me. A bed and a dresser would do. We know how big the room is now, you don’t have to try to put ideas in the buyer’s heads about how happy little Johnny and Sally will be in this home.
There are some important preliminary issues to take care of before you bother staging your home to sell. You don’t want it to be empty because no one can picture living in an empty home. But at the same time, you don’t want it piled high with books and boxes and junk because that is your life and a buyer can’t see themselves fitting in your home with your stuff reminding them about you. So what do you do when you want to stage your home to sell?
Start Small[pullquote_right]Get someone honest and straightforward to tell you if your place is clean or not[/pullquote_right]
First off, your home needs to be clean. There really wouldn’t be a point in staging a home if it wasn’t clean – so make sure to clean really, really well before you do anything else. I always recommend having someone come and look at your place – someone honest and straightforward to tell you if your place is clean or not. This isn’t the time to be polite. You know buyers won’t be polite when they see a dirty house for sale.
Get Moving[pullquote_left]Throw out anything you don’t want to take to your new place[/pullquote_left]
You are going to be moving soon enough if you have a properly priced home and it shows well – so start moving now. That is, throw out anything you don’t want to take to your new place. Now is the time to sort through it because packing it all up and tossing it later would be stupid. Perhaps someone in the family can take that slow cooker you never use and Goodwill certainly can use the extra clothes. People will look in your closet and even check out your cupboards. You want your property to look like it has lots of storage space, so you’re going to have to chuck some stuff. This goes for everyone – even dogs and cats are living in the ‘material world’ these days.
You want your staging to look real – that is the staging shouldn’t actually look staged. Don’t order up a whole bunch of furniture from a rental shop to stage your home – it’s going to look fake and it won’t really draw people into the home. Homes that are filled with things that all match and are all from the same place just make the home look like it’s a furniture store. It doesn’t look livable that way. You want people to feel like they could live there, not that they’re in a doll’s house or something like that. Don’t play house with your home – just make it look better than it did before.
Don't Overdo It[pullquote_right]Spend a little time arranging things, decluttering, organizing and showcasing[/pullquote_right]
Spending a whole pile of cash on staging is not going to get you much back. You could make an extra few thousand dollars with some staging, or attract more buyers and sell sooner, but you’re not going to make a fortune on it. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t hire someone to professionally stage your home. Most of all though, spend a little time arranging things, decluttering, organizing and showcasing the real strengths of your home. Try to work with what you have and maybe borrow from friends and family for the rest. Buying a bunch of stuff for your old home might not really help you out in your new one. Maybe that stuff doesn’t match the new place! It’s best to hold off on the shopping spree and save that money for your next home.
If you’re a guy who’s looking to attract a girl, you could hit the gym, iron your shirt and get a nice hair cut. Or, you could get pec implants, frosted tips and rent a Ferrari. It’s not that complicated, really. Just keep it simple and you’ll do fine.
by +Alan F Macdonald REALTOR® | Copyright © – gimme-shelter.com