First impressions speak volumes. Staging your home for sale is one of the most powerful activities you can engage in to positively impact the first impression of potential buyers. The goal of staging a home is to make it look as inviting as possible, and showing off its best features. To stage a house means to arrange it in such a way that it welcomes potential buyers – and their daydreams of homeownership.
When potential buyers drive up to your house for a first look, their hope is to be overcome with charm. However, many buyers look at properties with intense criticism. House-shoppers know they’re investing heavily in a long-term commitment and they want to know they’re getting their money’s worth.
Begin with the outside. Go out to the curb, or across the street, and look at your house as if looking at it for the first time. How does the lawn look? Are there weeds or overgrown shrubs? Is your yard full of lawn ornaments, toys, bikes, or debris? Is the paint peeling, or the window screens bent? Curb appeal is your home’s first opportunity to make an impression. That impression follows the buyers into the open-house experience. Make sure your lawn and yard plants are well landscaped prior to showing your home. Remove any ornaments or toys. Consider adding a few colorful flowerpots along walkways or near the door.
Inside the home, de-clutter. This is a great time to decipher what belongings are moving with you, and which items no longer serve you. Remove any unwanted items. File and store paperwork out of sight. It’s also important to store away any personal items such as portraits, posters, or items that make political or religious statements. When buyers enter your house, they want to be able to imagine themselves living in the space, not as if they’re guests visiting.
Furniture can make a room look over-stuffed. Consider removing bulky pieces of furniture, and arranging other pieces in such a way that the furniture placement enhances the size of the room.
Clean is the most important aspect of your home’s interior. Dirt, stains, and odors may give the impression to buyers that the house is not well maintained. Give everything a good scrub. Once everything is spic-and-span, take another look. Are there marks on the walls that couldn’t be cleaned off? If so, consider a fresh coat of paint. Are the carpets dingy, stained, or torn? If so, you may find that the investment of replacing the carpet positively influences not only the buyers’ first impression, but also the amount they’re willing to pay for the property. And give each room the sniff test. Walk in and inhale deeply. If any unwelcome aromas make their way into your nostrils, you can be sure that potential buyers will be asking themselves what that smell is and where it’s coming from.
Kitchens are considered to be one of the most important rooms in a house. You can make the kitchen more inviting by adding live plants, flower arrangements, or bowls of fruit for color.
Next, consider repairs. Simple fixes like replacing doorknobs, socket covers, and light-switch covers could make a remarkable difference not only to potential buyers, but also to appraisers. Appraisers tend to work in $500 increments, so $20 in minor replacements could convert to a healthy chunk of change when the home is appraised. But any big-ticket repairs should be made prior to listing the home for sale. Water heaters, roofing, heating and air, pluming, electrical systems should all be in excellent condition.
Open all of the window dressings during showings to let in natural light and show off the window views.
Don’t forget the closets! Potential buyers want to see how much closet room they’ll have. Pack away or store any off-season clothing or items you know you won’t be using for a while. Arrange shoes in an orderly fashion.
When you take the time to stage your home prior to sale, you add curb appeal and an inviting atmosphere. You’re demonstrating to the buyers that the home is clean, well maintained, and a place in which they can envision themselves occupying.
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Jennifer Bierfeldt a call today at 540-422-3264 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.