to sell your home? Get out the bucket, mop and Mr. Clean. The key to making a
positive first impression is simple.
it clean, clean, clean,” “If your house isn’t clean, it instantly sends up
negative thoughts that the home is not well maintained. If your house is
spotless, you’re ahead of the game,” she said.
increase your chances of making a sale, “stage” the house to make it as
attractive as possible. Until
recently, “Staging meant pulling out all the stops—setting the dining table
with your best china and crystal, arranging flowers, lighting candles,” she
said. “Now we take the minimalist approach. Basically, you want to strip the
house to its bare essentials, depersonalize it so potential buyers can superimpose
themselves and their lifestyle on the house.”
Tips for staging a home
Visit model homes and examine shelter magazines for inexpensive decorating
ideas. Always keep in mind you are not decorating for yourself but for the
Start with the outside. Give the house a fresh coat of paint, add shiny
hardware to the front door and plant a few flowers to send a subliminal message
the house is loved and well cared for.
Declutter every room to make it look larger. Get rid of family pictures,
trophies and knickknacks. Closets and drawers should be no more than 30% full.
Invest in eco-friendly but bright lights. Open the drapes or remove them
completely. “Light, bright rooms give the impression this is a happy place—and
everyone wants to move into a happy place,”
Feature only a few pieces of furniture with mainstream appeal. Pull pieces away
from walls to make rooms look bigger.
Make sure a room’s primary use is obvious. A bedroom should look like a
bedroom, not an office, hobby center or gym.
Bedrooms and kitchens are difficult to stage because they are in daily use, but
make the effort. Clear everything off the counters and nightstands, roll up the
rugs and hide the laundry hamper. Buff the cabinets with car wax and clean
under the sinks. Invest in pristine white bed linens and towels.
Minimize the “pet effect.” Remove food bowls and litter boxes to the utility
room. Deodorize thoroughly.
Organize the utility room and garage. Hang up the bicycles, roll up the hose.
Renting a storage locker is worth the cost if it helps you sell faster and for
a higher price.
Once your house is staged, invite your friends or Realtor over and walk them
through to get an objective opinion.
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