So the “For Sale” sign has been up for months, and the clock is ticking on when you need to move. If offers on your home have been sparse or nonexistent, you probably need to take a good look at your home to figure out what’s not working for potential buyers. Of course, you could be a victim of the economic times and a glut of houses on the market. If that’s the case, you have even more reason to consider staging your home.
If you have the time and some design creativity, you can stage your home yourself; many homeowners, however, will hire a professional stager to help speed along the sale of it. Basically, staging involves setting up the rooms with the best furniture arrangement and use of accessories and color to create an inviting, appealing atmosphere for potential buyers. Turn on any home improvement channel, and you’ll be able to see home stagers work their magic.
If you’d like to give it a shot yourself, the first place you start is by cleaning and decluttering your house. Your home must be in absolute pristine condition, so roll up your sleeves and get to work scrubbing and polishing. The bathrooms must sparkle, and the kitchen must be a warm, inviting place. Give your carpets a good cleaning, but if they are beyond cleaning, you may want to invest in a new neutral-colored carpet. Next, cast a critical eye on your walls. If you have any rooms where the paint color screams garish, then you need to repaint in a neutral color.
Now, go through your house and be ruthless about eliminating clutter—piles of clothing, toys, books, knick-knacks and even extra furniture. Your home needs to feel spacious to potential buyers, and nothing will kill a sale faster than a buyer running into furniture or tripping over stacks of junk in the family room. Storage companies have convenient storage containers that you can rent to store your excess belongings in while your are staging your home—and you can store them on their property. So, give the boot to the excess clutter and open up some space in your home.
Once you are at this point, the fun begins. Now you arrange each room to its best advantage. If you’re not the most creative type, enlist the help of your artistic friend or hire someone to arrange the furniture for you. You can even rent just the right furniture for this if you don’t already own it. Professional stagers will also use accessories to tie everything together. They use mirrors, plants, silk flowers, luxurious fabrics (throws and afghans), lamps and pillows, all artfully arranged to make an inviting setting.
Also, give your home the “sniff test.” It should smell clean (not chemically) and fresh, and it never hurts to have something freshly baked such as bread or cookies sitting out on a platter in the kitchen.
Hopefully by following the cleaning and staging tips and corralling your clutter into storage units, you’ll soon be swapping that “For Sale” sign for one that says “Sold”!