No home will sell itself entirely on its own merits, and that is why it is important to methodically follow a checklist for staging a home for sale. Doing this will help you achieve the best result for the sale of the property, no matter if the property is for auction or sale. You want to distinguish your home from the other houses for sale. A few simple techniques can not only make your home appear fresh, desirable and large – but will also help to secure a higher price than you would ordinarily achieve for your property.
Before we get started on the actual checklist, I want to first talk about some key points in staging a home for sale. The key thing to remember is that the moment you put your property on the market for sale, it becomes a product. Sure, it remains a home for you, but to prospective buyers, it is a commodity – perhaps not even a home, just an investment. The central concept you must get your head around is that you must begin to look at your home from a buyer’s point of view. This will help you determine what changes must be made in order to achieve a sale at a good price.
1. Get rid of clutter
All homes have clutter – and when you are staging a home for sale, clutter is the enemy. You’re going to have to pack up and move your stuff when you sell it anyway, so why not do it earlier? One of the cold hard facts about staging is that the prospective buyers are there to inspect the home, not your collection of knick knacks and favourite armchair that belonged to the late Uncle Bill.
Grab some boxes and start packing away – you want a nice, clean, uncluttered home for buyers to walk through. One thing is for sure, and that is that they will not be able to picture their own furnishings and other belongings in there nearly as well with your things all there. The reason this tip is first is because this principle resonates through all the remaining 20.
2. Clean your carpets
A thorough run over with the vaccuuming will not be enough. All carpets need a clean, no exceptions – you may be surprised at the results.
3. Ensure the interior lighting is up to scratch
Check for broken bulbs and globes, dust fixtures and wipe switch plates clean. Ensure that you have several lamps to light up any dark corners – as you want the home to appear light filled and airy not dark and drab.
4. Clean the windows and doors
This is an essential part of staging a home for sale – I guarantee that prospective buyers will look out the windows and if they are dirty then they will not be impressed.
5. Repair any cracks and paint
This of course applies to homes with these issues – but now that I think of it, there are not too many homes around that can’t do with a touch up of paint here and there.
6. Tidy the garden
This is especially true of the front garden – make sure that any lawns and hedges are trimmed and weeds removed. First impressions count tremendously and this is what prospective buyers are going to see first as they approach the home. Prune the trees and bushes if required.
7. Fix anything that is broken
We have already talked about lights, but the same concept applies to everything in and around the home. Stand at the front of the home and look at it – if you were a prospective buyer would you want to inspect it? Does it look inviting?
8. Clean the bathroom well
The bathroom is probably the room which brings most homes unstuck when people are preparing a home for sale. Good staging begins in the bathroom, where any traces of water and mould must be removed – it’s that simple. Pay particular attention to the tile grout, use bleach if necessary to clean it properly. Use window cleaner for the mirror and glass shower enclosure if you have one. Don’t forget to pack away medicines and any personal items in the bathroom cupboard.
9. Make the kitchen gleam
After the bathroom, the next room most likely to let a seller down when staging a home for sale is the kitchen. Make sure that the floors are clean, and the bench tops uncluttered. Remove excess magnets and notes from the fridge, and clean the sink well. If you have any stainless steel appliances, use a small amount of white vinegar to really shine up those surfaces. Don’t forget to place sponges and detergents out of sight.
10. Make the beds
This should be self-explanatory, but you would be surprised.
11. Close cupboards, open rooms
You want to keep prospective buyers’ eyes off your personal effects such as your clothing, so close closets, cupboards and wardrobes. You do however want people to be struck by how roomy and open your home is when they are expecting it, so leave internal doors open.
12. Don’t burn scented oils or incense
While you may like it, others may not – it conjures up terrible images of what you are trying to hide from their noses.
13. Tidy up the garage
The original home of clutter, the garage really must have an ordered look about it when it comes time to sell. The same goes for any other sheds as well.
14. Tidy up kids’ toys
Prospective buyers are there to see your home, not to do a dance around your kids’ possessions. Even if they are usually strewn from one end of your home to the other, make the monumental effort and clean it up (again).
15. Take out the trash
Again, should be self-explanatory.
16. Open the curtains
Prospective buyers want a property which has light and life, not a cave.
17. Assess your furniture
This is a tough one for a lot of people. If your furniture does not complement your home, then you need to do something about it. get rid of what does not work, and either hire or buy furniture that fits.
18. Get the finishing touches right
In the bathroom, take care to have a few towels out, make sure that they are clean and only have one or two colors, not more. A fruit bowl does wonders in the kitchen, and a vase of flowers may fit well on a hall table.
19. Remove posters from walls
Posters on walls are not a great look. Make sure that you repair any holes caused by pins, nails and the like.
20. Remove clutter again
Chances are there is more clutter in your home that will affect the chances of selling it. Remove it, pack it away. This includes books that don’t fit on shelves, surplus photographs and decorative items.
21. Remove yourself
This last and most important tip to staging your home for sale is absolutely crucial. You need to remove yourself from your home and the vicinity while it is being presented. Let the professionals to their job in showing and selling the property. You’ve done all you can do, now it’s time to let go.
Staging your home for sale is not an easy thing, nor is it a quick job. There are professionals out there whose job it is to prepare homes for sale in this fashion. However if you do choose to go ahead and prepare your home for sale yourself, this checklist should help you to get started.