Downsizing Queen

Clutter Eats Equity

Home Staging is sweeping the country – helping home owners sell their homes quicker and for more money!

With just a little bit of effort and not too much money, you can make a BIG difference in the way your home shows to prospective buyers…leading to a quicker sale for a higher price.

You don’t have to be an interior decorator! In fact, home staging is the opposite of decorating. Decorating entails personalizing your interiors with your collections, family photos and mementoes. Home staging is taking all of that away so that the buyers can imagine themselves and their families living your home.

You detail your car when it comes time to sell it…doesn’t it make sense to detail your most expensive possession when it is time to sell it…your home? Remember, the way you live in your home is different from the way we market and sell your house!

Clean and clutter-free is the secret. Staging doesn’t have to be a big, complicated production. The first thing you should do is a deep cleaning…from top to bottom. Get the cobwebs out of the corners. dust the baseboards and the ceiling fans. Take down complicated window treatments and make sure your windows are sparkling clean. Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. Remove all items from the kitchen counters and photos off the refrigerator door.

Have your carpets professionally cleaned. If carpets are badly worn or stained, consider having them replaced with¬† neutral “realtor beige” carpet. Carpet allowances are generally a bad idea. Buyers know only what they see – not how it is going to be. Worn, stained carpet also signals lack of care on the part of the home owner.

Start packing. You are going to move anyway – so start now to give your home a fresh new look. Clean out your closets – reduce the contents by at least half. Pack up all your precious collections and family pictures. Take down the wedding portraits and pack up the sports trophies. Remove all diplomas, awards and special certificates. Buyers get distracted by all this. Remember, you are selling your home – not your stuff.

Take the leaves out of your dining room or kitchen tables and remove all extra chairs and occasional tables from your rooms to create a more spacious feel. Pack up extra throw pillows and afghans.

Buy new bed linens and fresh towels. You can use them in your new place – and you want to create a fancy “hotel” look. Make sure hair dryers, makeup and dental care equipment are stored in the vanity.

Replace all missing light bulbs and consider upping the wattage in dim bulbs. You want your home to look bright and clean. Repair dripping faucets. Open the blinds – let the sun shine through your sparkling clean windows.

Paint is your friend. Be sure to take down any wallpaper. Repaint your walls off-white, especially if they are now in strong colors or you have stenciling or sponge or faux painting. Pay particular attention to bright pink in your daughter’s room and strong green or yellow in the kitchen.

If you can smell it, you can’t sell it! Make sure your house smells clean and fresh. You might not notice odors from pets, cooking or smoking in your home, but buyers are sure to. These smells linger in carpeting and window treatments – all the more reason to have your carpets cleaned or replaced and to remove window treatments.

Don’t forget curb appeal. Your home only has one chance to make a good impression. Trim your bushes and shrubs so they don’t obscure your windows. Put fresh mulch on the flower beds. Power wash your home or your deck if they¬†look grungy. Make sure your gutters are clear. Consider painting your front door and eye-catching color like red or dark green. Polish your house numbers or buy new ones. Get a fresh welcome mat and new plants for the front door. Make sure all toys and extra building equipment and materials are out of sight.

By just doing these simple, low-cost chores, you can greatly increase the appeal of your home. After all, if you would detail your car to make it more attractive for sale, you should be willing to do as much or more for your most important asset.