Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Five Staging Tips for Selling

If you want to sell your home fast, there are five things you can do that will ensure a quick sale. Certainly yours will sell ahead of anything else on the market in your competitive set. I’ve condensed these tips into five so you can list them on one hand – much easier to remember!

1. STP – Sort, Toss, Pack

If you’re going to move, you need to sort through all your belongings, and discard or donate them to charity before you pack, right? So why not get a head start? The benefit is that you’ll be really organized when moving time comes, and meanwhile, your home will show in a simple, uncluttered way that allows buyers to envision themselves in your place. Personal items are often a distraction and you want buyers to only see how they would live in your house, condo, or flat.

2. Deep Clean

A deep cleaning inside is paramount, but the outside needs to appear clean and tidy too. Since you’ve done the STP, you now have room to clean because there’s much less stuff in the house. Get into every nook and cranny that you can reach and clean it. Once the counters, bookshelves, and closets are cleaned, do everything in your power to keep them clean and not collect stuff again!

3. Minimize

Scale back or minimize as much as you can. If you have seasonal wardrobes, put one season away so that there’s lots of hanging space in the closet. It’s an optical illusion that makes the closet look bigger. I like to take out 1/3 of what’s hanging. (And guess what? You won’t miss those items anyway.) Do the same with furniture where possible. The trick is to make the rooms look bigger by having less furniture. Store it in the garage if needed. When people look at the garage, they’ll see you’ve already started packing boxes and stacking furniture and think you’re one organized, proactive, go-getter.

4. Be the Buyer

If you golf, you know the saying “Be the ball.” In staging, “Be the buyer.” Sometimes we live a certain way that fits our personal lifestyle, but try to think as if you’re an interior home photographer. How does the room look in the picture? How will the buyer enter the house or the room? What’s the first thing they see? Does the furniture afford an easy traffic pattern? If you always enter from the back door, or garage door, enter through the front door to see what you normally don’t notice. You might think differently about what works and make adjustments.

5. Set the Stage

Yes, just like in the theater, create the scene. First impressions are all-important, so the exterior must be appealing. Plant flowers, mow the lawn, trim shrubs, possibly hang baskets, get a new door mat, maybe a seasonal wreath. Same for the interior – if you have a game table, put out the chess pieces, cookbook open on the stand in the kitchen, set the dining table. However, keep everything simple. Less truly is more.

Now, get to work and have fun while you do it. The process is one of the most rewarding you can have and the results are almost immediate, visible, and beautiful. Once you’ve done this, you may change your living style permanently – forever living in a model home!

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