Its hard for Sellers to forget about all the great memories they had in the home and put themselves into the shoes of the Buyer, but its an important first step.   You also want to assess who your target audience is and prep your home to have the broadest possible appeal within that target group of potential Buyers.  Remember that most Buyers are looking for a home that is in move in condition. 

My Top 10 Tips for Successful Home Staging will help you sell your house sooner and get the most out of your investment than if you did not prepare it for selling!  I can also help you decide if you would benefit from expert help; professional homes stagers, cleaning services, painters etc...

1. The Curb is King!

Stage the front of your house to maximize its curb appeal.  Many prospective buyers drive by first to check out the house before they decide if they want to even see the inside.  If they don’t like the look of the house they don’t even get out of their car. Be objective and look at your home as if it was the very first time. Is it making a great first impression? 

  • Trim all hedges and overgrown shrubs and perennials
  •  Edge and mow the lawns
  •  Plant some daffodil and tulip bulbs if you plan to list in the spring
  •  Paint your front door and polish the door handles
  •  Remove all toys, bikes, or junk
  •  Add colorful hanging flower baskets or flower pots to flank your entranceway
  •  Repair any broken pavers, fences, decks or porches
  •  Paint the exterior if necessary
  •  Make sure the house numbers and mailbox are attractive and replace if necessary
  • Check that exterior lightbulbs work and turn on the lights at night in case a Buyer decides to drive by
  •  Sweep your walkway, remove fallen leaves or snow and don’t forget to salt your driveway and sidewalks if its icy
  •  Remove moss on sidewalks or roof

2. Declutter and Depersonalize

In other words you need to edit and pack up as much as possible and either sell, donate or put your excess belongings into storage as soon as possible.  Less really is more when it comes to presenting your home.  It makes it easier for Buyers to see the dimensions and size of the rooms with less furniture and clutter in the way.  Its essential to understand that Buyers need to be able to visualize their own things in the home so you need to depersonalize it by packing up all family photos and personal memorabilia as well.

  • Remove all clutter and excess furniture to free up space
  • Depersonalize; pack all family photos, collectibles and knick knacks
  • Put all out of season clothing into storage
  • Edit your closets of everything but the bare essentials
  • Pack up small kitchen appliances and dishware you do not need to use regularly
  • Clean and declutter the garage and storage areas too

3. Spic and Span Clean

Your home should be cleaner than its ever been.  Don’t neglect the hidden corners and inside cupboards and closets.  I can’t overstate the importance of this step so get help if necessary.

  • Scrub the kitchen and bathroom from top to bottom and remove stains from fixtures
  • Remove and replace discolored caulking
  • Clean light fixtures so they sparkle
  • Clean windows so they are gleaming
  • Wash all walls and floors and steam clean carpets
  • Don't forget the appliances, clean inside and behind too

4. Choose a Neutral Color Paint

If you've got a purple dining room I'm sure it looks fantastic by candlelight, but it may not appeal to the average Buyer.   Choose only 3 neutral colours or less to paint your house for selling. If you have an open floor plan then paint the main floor all the same colour. Bedrooms look good in light sage greens or warm blues like the new aqua.

5.) The Well Cared For Home

Buyers will reduce their offer when they see obvious broken or worn out items and even small things can stand out in their minds.  They are looking for evidence that the home has been well cared for and maintained.  It’s a good idea to ask a friend to walk through and look at your home with unbiased eyes. Here is a list of easy fixes that should be done before you put your house on the market:

  • Repair all bathroom fixtures and ensure the taps and faucets work properly
  •  Replace broken light switches or dimmer switches
  • Make sure your doorbell works
  •  Repair any cracks or holes in walls and repaint if needed
  •  Add WD40 to squeaky hinges
  •  Replace old shower curtains and hang some new towels
  •  Add weather stripping if your windows are drafty or consider replacing
  • Fix squeaky floors

While this is certainly not an all inclusive list it will give you an idea of the things that need to be done.  During my consultation with you I help you come up with a plan to get your home ready for market. 

6. Highlight your home’s best architectural features

Place your furniture in each room so that you have very obvious focal points that show off the home’s best selling features. For example, if you have a beautiful fireplace then place the furniture in a parallel grouping so that the eye is drawn to the fireplace.

7. Each Room Should Have a Clear Function

If you are trying to sell a 3 bedroom house then the Buyer should see three obvious bedrooms.  If you do not have the correct furniture for a room then a home staging company can provide it or there are furniture rental companies that do short term rentals.

8. Replace Outdated Lighting

Dated lighting fixtures stick out like a sore thumb and should be replaced with new modern fixtures when possible.  Lighting comes in every budget too.

9. Window treatments that sell your home

The most popular on the market are the 2” faux woods in a white tone to go with your trim. Decorative side panels will do the trick if you need to add warmth and colour.

10. Flooring needs special attention and is a good investment for updating the look of your home

Tile or linoleum is great for entranceways, bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms; a good quality laminate or hardwood is perfect for living rooms and family rooms; bedrooms are attractive in a neutral carpet.

By planning and budgeting you can get yourself to the “OPEN HOUSE READY” stage.

Remember that the vast majority of prospective buyers have already looked at your listing on the internet. Will they like what they see?

Happy Selling!

Lynn Le Drew PREC*
Lynn Le Drew PREC*
Personal Real Estate Corporation