Staging My Home to Sell

Keelin Billue Gubbels Chicago Real Estate, Realtor, Refinancing

Ok, so you need to sell your home.  You figure you just need to tidy up and let potential buyers see your house.  WRONG.

Once you decide to sell your house, you need to let the buyer see it as their home, not yours.  Staging a home highlights its strengths, downplays its weaknesses, and gets the buyer picturing themselves living in the home.

All of this is temporary to sell the home, so the more you do, the sooner you will sell.

So, how do I stage my home to sell?

Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Less is more. All the clutter has to go. Get rid of anything unnecessary.  Buyers need to see clean and clear surfaces, floors, and closets.
  • Rent storage.  You will need to pack and move eventually, so it’s a good idea to rent some temporary storage to clear the clutter. Remove a decent amount of your home furnishings.  Less furniture will make rooms seem larger and add to the overall flow of the home.  For instance, if you have a large bed in a small room, consider storing that bed and switching down to a full or a twin to make the room feel larger.
  • Clean, clean, clean. This may be obvious, but every surface should shine. Hire professional cleaners to go over the house.  Clean the carpets and the windows.
  • Take down the personal photos and art. You want potential buyers to picture themselves owning your home.   Take down and store family pictures, keepsakes, and even the kids’ drawings.  The fridge and mantle should not be covered in personal stuff…you are staging your home to sell.
  • Complete all those little repairs. You get used the little things that you haven’t gotten around to fixing…but the potential buyer will not be used to the light switch that doesn’t work or the dripping faucet.  Every little thing can be a red flag that your house has not been cared for. Make those repairs or hire a handyman to knock out those projects.
  • Brighten your chances of a sale. Let the sun in.  Buyers love light and airy living rooms. Open up your window shades to let some light in. Use light-colored paint and lots of artificial lighting.
  • Give Rooms a Purpose.  Don’t confuse potential buyers with extra rooms that have a mishmash of uses. Clear the clutter and give each space a purpose.  Make it an office, dining room, sitting area, nursery, home gym, theater, or whatever.  You don’t want the buyer to see the home as having weird little spaces that you can’t use.
  • Unpleasant odors gotta go. We all love our pets, but unpleasant pet odors make a negative first impression. Be sure to get rid of old carpet that can trap smells. Replace it with fresh new carpet in a neutral color. Put in some plug-in air fresheners and keep them filled.
  • Raise curb appeal. You need the buyers to want to first come in. Touch up the paint on all trim,  power wash decks and walkways, hang easy-to-read house numbers, mow the lawn, and consider planting flowers and fresh greenery.

Even more ways to help “staging my home to sell”:

  • Clean and paint grimy bathroom walls.
  • Scour that dirty shower door.
  • Paint dated kitchen and bathroom tile.
  • Pedestal sinks take up less room in a bathroom.
  • Make sure the master bedroom appeals to both sexes.
  • Paint the old fireplace screen with heat-resistant spray paint.
  • Stain or paint dated kitchen cabinets.
  • Replace old kitchen hardware.
  • New kitchen appliances bring high returns from sellers.
  • Sand and stain the deck.
  • Fill holes and cracks and paint shabby wood-panel walls.
  • Clear the stuff out of your closets to show that you have storage space.

Sure, this all feels like a hassle to deal with and still be able to live in the house.  On the other hand, you won’t be living there long if your house is staged to sell properly.  The more you can do, the better your home will sell.