By: Janie Allardt—
As a Home Stager, my job is to transform a home that will soon be FOR SALE into a “product” that Buyers will connect with emotionally; and, as a direct result of that emotional connection, make an offer acceptable to BOTH the Seller and the Buyer. Staging or enhancing and accessorizing the home will achieve this transformation and give the Seller a distinct advantage over other homes for sale.
The home staging process begins with an initial consultation at which time I advise the Seller this is no longer “their” home, but instead it is now “my” home which hopefully makes the changes I am going to recommend a little less personal. In addition, as we go room to room, I explain to the Seller that my recommendations are not a reflection of their housekeeping, decorating or lifestyle but instead I am now on their TEAM and in order to get a WIN, we are going to make “my home” one that a prospective Buyer will NOT be able to walk away from.
As follows are a few tips that I recommend to Sellers as they begin the process of putting their home on the market and before the actual staging of the home.
- De-clutter, De-clutter, De-clutter:
- Remove ½ of your stuff and put it in storage – This includes furniture, knick knacks, etc. Less is always better as we want to show prospective Buyers all the wonderful space available in the home.
- Remove all shoes and other items from closet floors, again we want to show Buyers all the extra space. In fact, the Seller has so much additional space that they do not even need to use the closet floors for storage.
- Color code your hanging clothes in your closet and use pretty boxes or wicker baskets to hold items on the shelves. If a Buyer sees organization in closets, they will automatically assume the other areas of your home are organized and well kept.
- Clean and then clean some more:
- Bathrooms are a tough sale as no one can see themselves in someone else’s bathroom. So make it shine, smell good and spa- like.
- Have windows cleaned professionally so there are no streaks-Nothing worse than streaked windows on a sunny day to ruin a showing and turn off Buyers.
- Remove personal photos of family, weddings, etc. It is hard for Buyers to see themselves in your home if the walls and shelves are lined with family photos.
- Make Repairs
- Repair leaky faucets, crumbled steps, etc. For every item a Buyer sees that needs repaired, they will deduct approximately $435 from the asking price, regardless of how small the repair may be.
- Go Neutral
- Keep walls and carpet neutral by using whites, beige or soft grays. Keeping things neutral will appeal to the highest number of Buyers.
- No themed rooms as themed rooms can turn Buyers off immediately. We want Buyers to remember the things they liked about your home, not what they did not like.
In closing, once your home is on the market, get ready to live like you are in a bubble! For living without all your stuff and trying to keep everything in order 24/7 is not easy, especially when children are in the household. Selling your home is tough—there may be tears and moments of frustration BUT hang in there and know others have gone through the same thing AND the results will be well worth the extra effort!
Janie Allardt is a professional home stager and lives in Muncie, IN.