Tips and tricks for staging your home for top dollar

As we approach spring (yes, we are going to hit spring soon!) many people start thinking about what they would need to do to their home to sell it in the spring market, often thought of as the best time of year to sell a home.

Here are some tips that I’ve seen make a difference in the bottom line for many of my clients:

1) Declutter.  This means going room by room and looking at what you have around that is unnecessary and potentially distracting to the buyer.  Magnets on your refrigerator?  Narrow it down to zero or one.  Sofa table crammed full of family photos?  Replace with just a single plant.  Less is more!

2) Declutter your closets and storage space also.  When you have friends and family over and you’re trying to get the house “company ready” it may be perfectly acceptable to shove things into a closet.  However, when your house is for sale the buyers are going to be looking through the closets with an eye towards determining if there is sufficient storage.  Cluttered storage space basically tells the buyers that there isn’t enough storage in the home, so get rid of things that take up space there. Depending on how much extra stuff you have, a storage unit may be appropriate.

3) Pets are awesome, except for when you’re selling a house.  We love those little critters, but they can scratch up windows and doors, leave hair around, and sometimes have a little bit of a smell.  All of these can be a huge turn off for buyers, especially if they are not pet owners themselves.  Sometimes we get used to the smell of our own space, if you aren’t sure if your house smells like pets then ask a friend to give you honest feedback.

4) Do all the small repairs.  When buyers are looking through your house there is a bit of fear of the things they can’t see, no one wants to buy a lemon.  There are things about a home that even an inspection doesn’t always bring up so buyers start looking for things that would indicate to them if they are buying the home from someone who takes good care of it or that let things go and don’t do things “the right way”.  The two best things that you can do to give them assurance that you are sellers who care about caring for the house is to make sure it is very clean and that minor repairs are taken care of.  If you’ve been procrastinating on fixing that broken light switch cover, now’s the time!

5) Kitchens sell houses.  You don’t need to do a complete renovation of your kitchen to attract buyers, but you may want to do some things to spruce up the look and feel of this essential room.  If your kitchen feels a little dated some of the items that give a great return are re-facing cabinets to update the look without needing to rip out cabinets, put in a tile backsplash, or replace the appliances.

6) First impressions.  Don’t forget about tasteful and simple landscaping to make a great first impression.  Too much landscaping feels to the buyer like a lot of work, too little feels barren.  Adding some flowers for a pop of color always feels more inviting!

One thing that keeps me busy this time of year is going through homes for people thinking about selling to give them a list of recommendations to get their house ready.  I’ve been through enough houses with buyers that I am able to anticipate how people react to items so that we can put your home’s best foot forward.  I am happy to come to your home and give you staging advice specific to your home.  I’m here to help!


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