Excess furniture and clutter are removed; repairs and renovations may be completed; eccentric decorating can be turned back to neutral backdrops; and thorough cleaning makes the entire house shine – including closets, fireplaces, driveways, and decks.
Professional “staging” can be done for most homes at a cost ranging from $5,000 – $25,000, depending on the size of the home and how thoroughly the job is done. However, my marketing director and I can usually provide tips and recommendations an owner can do at little cost. Here is a room-by-room tour to illustrate the power of staging.
First impressions are everything.
- Paint and landscape sprucing up can do wonders.
- Driveway: Home improvement stores sell products to remove oil stains.
- Decks and porches: Consider them like any other room in the home: grills should be in good shape
- fertilizers, charcoal, and other items should be stored neatly away
- Patio furniture should be in good condition.
Living / Family Room
- Remove family photos and knickknacks. People’s curiosity takes the focus off the house, which is what you are trying to sell.
- Remove too much or too large furniture. Nothing makes a room look smaller than furniture that is too large or bulky. If the couch is angled, it may be too big. Buyers want and buyers prefer the feeling of space.
- Fireplace: A wood-burning fireplace may need to be cleaned, including the chimney and any soot on the front.
- Counters and cupboards: Too many appliances and dishes eat up work and storage space.
- Pantry: If the food hasn’t been eaten in several months, maybe it would help to toss some of it out. The less stuff stored, the larger the pantry appears.
- Built-in desks: Clean surfaces and bulletin boards to rid of unnecessary clutter.
- Bathrooms are the telltale room of cleaning habits.
- Toothpaste, toothbrushes, cosmetics, and brushes should be stored neatly in drawers or cabinets.
- Toss soap scraps, and neatly hang towels.
- The bed is a focal point, so it looks a lot better when made, with smooth covers and folded corners.
- Walls: Neon green walls are great for a teenager’s self-expression but unacceptable for a well-staged home. Walls need to be a neutral color, preferably off-white.
- Closets: Out of season clothes should be packed. Buyers usually think they need twice as much space as there is, so appeal to them.