Thursday, August 12, 2010

DYI home staging: 8 quick tips for staging your home for a quicker sale

Do you have to spend a lot of money on professional staging? If you have some decent furnishings, you may only need to follow these 8 quick tips to achieve the same results:
A house should look like it is in moving condition when potential buyers arrive.

1. Curb appeal- Remember that the home buyer should feel at home as soon as they arrive at your drive way. A curb appeal is very important in selling your home.
So consult with your agent about the exterior of the house before it is on the market.

2. Paint- Many home buyers will not get passed that bright yellow wall you love so much. A fresh coat of neutral paint will make your home look more comfortable and relaxing.  Also no one likes to see dirty walls.

3. De-clutter- Store away all your excess accessories, furniture, artwork, blankets and family photos. A cluttered room looks smaller and distracting from all the nice features your home offers. Concentrate on one or two neutral colors with one splash of non-neutral in each room. Too many colors are seen as clutter.

4.  Focal point- Look for what is most pleasing about your living room area. It may be the view of the garden or the fireplace. Avoid creating a focal point around a non-pleasant view or the TV.
Make sure your focal point is dressed properly. Window coverings should be pulled back to show off the view. Fireplace mantel should have three nice accessories: a small bouquets of flowers and two candles. A row of three identical vases. Do not clutter your mantel. Fireplace screen is also helpful. But you could place candles in the fire box.

5.  Furniture arrangement- Arrange your furniture such that they do not block the natural flow of traffic. Upon arriving into the room, the most off-putting sight is the back of the sofa. It tells the buyer “do not come in.” Consider a diagonal arrangement of furniture. In a large living/dining area a sofa can be a divider between two rooms but in a smaller room, it cuts off the diners from the rest of the room.

6.  Lighting- Make sure there is plenty of light in your main living areas. If your agent is showing your home after dark, place floor  and table lamps if there are no ceiling lights.

7.  Function- Focus each room on its main function. If you have a home office, move away the workout equipment. If your have an office in the bedroom, move your office equipment temporarily out of the bedroom. Perhaps into a closet area in a guest room.

8.  Clean and repair- This seems like a no brainier, but I am obligated to mention it. If you have pets, you must make sure your buyers cannot smell them! Buyers open your closets to see the storage space. Make sure stored items do not avalanche on their heads. Clean dirty carpets, drapery, and shelves. If you smoke, clean and deodorize and do not smoke in the house till you move out. Repair broken door handles, railings, lights, etc. When one thing is not working it may signal the buyer that the house has not been maintained well.
Again, ask your agent for feedback. They are the experts.
...and good luck...

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