The really truthful answer is..."until I see it I don't know"...Simply because there are so many variables to take into consideration as every home is unique and requires it's own personal editing and detailing. For instance, "How big is the home?", "Is anyone living in it?" "When was the last time it was cleaned/decorated/updated?" "What's your timeline?" "How much of the work are you prepared to do?"
I can say this though with certainty; in order to sell your home for the most money possible you need to give it some love. Every home benefits from some form of staging. Not staging your home is potentially leaving money on the table at closing as you wont get the money you think your home is worth. Hiring a professional Home Stager is your best investment as they have your interest at heart (selling your property) and understand what's needed to get it sold.
With that said there are things you can do that are cost FREE that will make a major impact on how your home is presented. It will though require some elbow grease on your part, which isn't a bad trade off if it means more money at sale!
Cost Free Staging Tips:
1. Clean, Clean, Clean and when you think you're done clean some more!
Make no mistake your home cannot be clean enough. It isn't sufficient to simply tidy away your stuff; every surface, corner, nook and cranny needs a thorough once over! So get those rubber gloves on and put some elbow grease in to it....
Start at the front door and wash away all those finger prints, you know where you never use the handle! Then make your way through the house wiping and scrubbing at the paintwork (baseboards, crown molding and interior doors).
Once that's done turn your attention to the ceiling and ceiling fans. Those blades are not supposed to be furry and cobwebs are not attractive.
Now, the windows, clean them inside as well as out and especially if you have pets or small children.....dog snot or tiny fingerprints may be cute to you but not to those potential buyers.
Floors should be vacuumed & mopped. All furniture surfaces and appliances polished to within an inch of their lives.
Extra special attention should be given to the kitchen and bathrooms. An older, dated kitchen or bath can be forgiven IF it is beyond clean. All bathroom cabinets and fixtures should be wiped with the appropriate cleaner. Please clean the loo (sorry, toilet) inside, outside, under and around then put the lid down!
This type of deep cleaning will take some time and energy however costs nothing and provides you instant gratification.
2. De-Personalize and De-Clutter
I know you hear this a lot when preparing to put your house on the market yet it's sooooo important that you do it. You want the buyer to focus on the features of the house, you know, the cathedral ceiling, the crown molding, the French doors that lead out to the fabulous pool area, etc.; not be distracted by your stuff. Plus you may have some expensive, irreplaceable items that you don't need on display as your home is open for viewing.
Pack away all personal photos. I love a gallery wall of all my family and friends however this is very distracting to a buyer and has the reverse affect. You want the buyer to see themselves living in the house not be reminded that this is still your house. However, if you have that photograph of you and the family paddle boarding this can stay as this says...."if you stay in this house you too can do awesome adventures like this!"
How much is too much de cluttering and depersonalizing? It's the same principle as taking one thing off before leaving the house to create the perfect stylish outfit. When in doubt over do it, as it's better to create a cool and sparse atmosphere over a personal and cluttered one.
3. Get Packing
The goal is to showcase the amount of space (square footage) there is in the home. You're going to be moving soon so you might as well get a head start on it. Pack away all those collections and knick-knacks and any extra pieces of furniture you can do without as your home sells.
Get in the closets and pack away at least 50% of your clothing, accessories and shoes. Buyers will look in your closets and cabinets so these want to be neat and spacious too. If they look all cramped and cluttered the buyer will think storage is an issue within your home?
Packing is a tough one, as we believe we need all the stuff we have around us. If you don't absolutely love it and if it doesn't affect your daily living during the sale pack it away. And preferably store these boxes and furnishings off site somewhere, be it in a storage unit or your Nana's shed. Buyers know you're packing but they don't need the reminder of all they have to do too! If you must keep these items in your garage be sure to leave room for the car!
3. Landscape and Curb Appeal
Perhaps you don't have the funds for some nice landscaping to up the curb appeal however you can mow the lawn and weed your yard. The goal is a clean and neat appearance all the way to the front door. A neat and well-kept exterior is inviting and makes a great first impression.
Pressure wash the exterior of the home, side walk, drive way, fencing and pathway leading to the front door. Pull up any and all pesky weeds in the beds. (This will be a daily event when your house is listed....you know "they grow like weeds!")
Trim back anything that is over grown into a uniformed shape so it's neat and doesn't cause anyone to have to duck and dive to avoid being poked.
Make sure you remove any toys or trash bins to clear the path. You don't want anyone to have to run the gauntlet to get to the front door. If you have a patio or pool area make sure it is clean and that any furniture is placed neatly.
5. Lighten Up
You want your space to be light, bright and airy. Make sure you open all curtains and blinds when the photographs are being taken and when the home is being shown. Never underestimate the power of light. Turn on the lights no matter the time of day. You have cleaned and packed and depersonalized so don't be afraid to showcase your home in it's best light!
Were these tips helpful? What area are you going to tackle first? Leave your comments below I would love to hear what you have to say. Of course if all of that sounds too much like hard work...call me I can help and would love to!