When your house is going on the market, an important step in the process is getting your house ready to show. Part of this process is called “staging”. What areas should you focus on and what are some of the “do’s and don’ts”?
DO pay attention to curb appeal and fix up the outside of the house. First impressions are important so make sure the house looks well taken care of. Make sure the lawn looks great, there’s no peeling paint, the garbage cans are hidden away, and perhaps add a decorative wreath or some plants to the front door and porch area.
DON’T leave anything broken that can easily be fixed. A broken cupboard door, a loose doorknob, a leaky faucet – these are all things that are very easy to fix yet if left unattended, look bad to potential buyers. Everything should look like it’s in tiptop shape. Small things like this will stand out to people who come looking.
DO repaint in a neutral color. Not everyone likes bold colors, so if you’ve let your inner Martha show, it will serve you well to repaint. It may seem like a pain to paint a house right before you move, but it will also make everything look cleaner and fresher. The important piece is to paint a neutral color. Even if it isn’t your style and it seems boring, you want to appeal to the highest number of people possible and neutrals are safe.
DON’T leave personal items around the house. Put away family photographs, religious and cultural items and any trophies, awards or certificates. It’s important to depersonalize the space because potential buyers should be able to imagine themselves living there and that can be difficult when there are pictures of another family in the room.
DO de-clutter and reduce the amount of furniture in your rooms. If you can, you should try and create conversation areas with the seating and store extra pieces of furniture. The fewer items that are in the room the bigger it will seem. Keep the accessories to a minimum and clear off bookshelves and tables.
DO clean the windows and open the curtains wide. It’s important that the home look light and bright.
DON’T try to show a dirty house. Cleanliness implies that the home is well taken care of. Consider hiring a professional cleaner to do a deep clean before you list the house. After that, daily upkeep is a must. Get rid of dirt, dust and fingerprints. Scrub the tile in the kitchen and bathroom. Replace every light bulb in the home and remember to dust all the lampshades and ceiling fans.
DON’T think of the house as yours anymore. This is definitely the hardest part, but when you’re selling your home you need to distance yourself from it. Remove your personal items and anything else that indicates you are the owner. Make it as impersonal as possible. It will make it easier for all those possible buyers to imagine their own things in there. Make it feel like it could be their home and give them a reason to want to buy it.
This is only a partial list of things to consider. The best thing is to objectively evaluate your home and consider what you would want to see if you were a potential home buyer.