Proper home staging is essential to getting top dollar for your home. The way you live in a home is completely different from the way you sell a home. Follow the suggestions below to prepare your home for sale.
LIVING ROOM / FAMILY ROOM
If you go into a model home that is newly constructed you will see that they are usually sparsely decorated. In a resale home you need to create space for buyers to mentally move in to the room by reducing clutter and the overall number of items.
- Clear off all coffee tables and end tables to just 2 or 3 magazines and one nice vase or statuary.
- Remove all ashtrays.
- Clear off dining room table except for one nice centerpiece.
- Remove tablecloths from table.
- Remove extra leaves from the table to make the room look bigger.
- Remove extra dining room chairs if they crowd the table or fill up the corners of the room. Four or six chairs are plenty. It will make the room look bigger and you can put the extra chairs in the garage or a storage unit.
- See the Living Room section above concerning removing or reducing the number of items, valuable items, and collections. It all applies here too, especially in a buffet.
The main question in the kitchen is what can you live without? Clear off counters leaving only a very few items that you have to use on a daily basis. Everything else should be kept off the counters to create space. Most homes have far too many small appliances and other items out that should be stored out of sight. Leave out a few large decorative items like a bowl of fruit or a basket with bread in it.
- Repair any tile or Formica countertops and edges that have been damaged or come unglued.
- Clean tile grout with bleach if it is stained.
- Remove all magnets, photos, children's drawings, etc., from the front of the refrigerator. If there are a couple of truly necessary items put them on the side of the refrigerator.
- Clean the stovetop and oven. Replace old burner pans if they are badly stained. Clean all exhaust fans, filters, and hoods.
- Clean the kitchen floor and keep it clean for showings.
- Keep the kitchen sink clean and empty on a daily basis.
- Make sure the kitchen faucet is working smoothly without drips and that it is clean.
- Clear everything off the window ledge above the kitchen sink.
- Remember to pack up the collections in the kitchen too. Pack up your antique plate collection or whatever will distract buyers and take up space.
- Keep all soaps, towels, scouring pads and cleaning supplies out of sight under the sink.
- Some kitchens have too many scatter rugs in them. Too many rugs make a room look smaller. If space allows, one large Oriental rug in middle of kitchen looks great.
- Empty the garbage regularly to prevent kitchen odors. Move dog and cat dishes so that they don't interfere with buyers walking around the room.
- Make the bed every day.
- Invest in a new bedspread if necessary.
- Clear off bedside tables and chest of drawers except for a very few necessary items. (see Living Room coffee and end tables)
- Store extra books and magazines underneath the bed.
- Keep closet doors closed. If you have a walk-in closet keep the floor clean and free of laundry and clutter.
- If you have a clock radio keep it playing soft music during showings.
- Reduce the number of photos on tables and chest of drawers to a minimum.
Remove plastic runners on carpet or hardwood floors.
- See Master Bedroom guidelines.
- In children's rooms take down all the posters except for one favorite over the bed.
- Repair nail holes and paint walls.
- Put soaps & cleaners in a cupboard or reduce the number & organize them neatly on one shelf.
- Just like in the kitchen, keep counters and sinks clean and empty.
- Get rid of excess hangers and hanging laundry. If you have a drying area replace all those miscellaneous hangers with one style of white plastic hangers.
- Make sure that light bulbs are working and have adequate wattage. Many laundry rooms are too dark and need to be brighter.
- Clear off counters. Reduce toiletries down to a decorative few (3-6) and consolidate them on a tray or decorative basket. Put everything else in drawers or cabinets.
- Replace that ugly dirty hand soap with a neat bottle of liquid soap.
- Coordinate all towels with one or two colors. Fold in thirds and hang neatly every day. New towels can be purchased very inexpensively if the ones you have don't match.
- Clear everything out of the shower and tub except for one bottle of liquid soap and one shampoo.
- Clean or replace the shower curtain. Keep shower curtains drawn at all times.
- One common problem in a lot of bathrooms is cracking or peeling just above the top of the shower tile or tub enclosure where it meets the dry wall or ceiling. Repair using caulking and paint or install wood trim coated in polyurethane.
- Get rid of mold and stains throughout bathroom, especially in the shower and bathtub area.
- Many tubs and showers need a fresh new bead of silicone caulking around the edges to make them look neat and clean.
- Take all cloth toilet lid covers and water closet covers off. Keep toilet lids down every day.
- Scatter rugs in front of sink and toilet and shower make the room look small. Use one larger rug in the middle of the room or none at all.
- Hide all cleaning supplies and the garbage can under the sink or out of the line of sight.
Make sure you can open the door freely without something falling out on a prospective buyer.