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Staging 101 – Clean your house

Staging 101 – Clean your house!

Here’s a public service announcement to everyone selling their house (and maybe a bit of a rant):

I went through 10 houses today, all under $80,000 and about half of these were short sales (pre-foreclosure). My clients aren’t investors, they are looking for a place to establish a home so they are looking to emotionally connect with a house. I understand that when you are behind on your mortgage payments that means that money is tight. I don’t expect to see new carpet and paint throughout the house. However, one thing that I do expect to see is a home picked up enough that it’s not embarrassing to walk through because you didn’t pick up your dirty laundry or flush the toilet. When a house is overly cluttered it makes it feel so much smaller and makes it very difficult to visualize with the buyer’s things in it.

Of course, the example that I give is extreme. Most people understand that flushing toilets is a minimum. (Although I am constantly surprised how often I ask “Do they know their house is for sale?”) But it needs to go beyond this. I have had listings that seemed “okay” but over and over again we would get the feedback that it felt grimy. When your house is for sale, it really and truly makes a difference that it is squeeky clean. If that’s not your personality, call in a favor from your cousin-in-law that you feel like their house always feels like a sterile museum. When your house is for sale it goes from being your home to being a showpiece of inventory. Get it shiny and sparkly!

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