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Stage Your Home Like A Pro

Staging your home to sell is very different from decorating your home for your own enjoyment. You decorate your home with your own taste, colors, furniture, and personal mementoes and collections.  Staging is the art of decorating a home to appeal to the homebuyer, sell it quickly and for top dollar. 

To sell a home quickly and for top dollar, you must be proactive in preparing your home for the market. Some sellers feel that making changes before packing and moving is simply too labor-intensive, but you’re too smart to make the same mistake. 

Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional can help you with ideas to make your home more attractive to homebuyers. They’re expert stagers because nearly every home needs some staging to compete in today’s marketplace. 

You want to hook the buyer from the moment they see the outside of your home, so staging begins with ramping up curb appeal. Clean the entry and remove all outdoor clutter including leaves, sticks, children’s toys and dead bushes and branches. Make sure the walkways from the driveway and sidewalk are clear, safe and welcoming. Wash windows and power wash the exterior. Clean gutters and refresh paint where needed. 

The front door should be a friendly beacon, so either replace the door or paint it with a fresh new hue. Stage the entry with a brand-new doormat and pots of flowers if there’s room. If you have a front porch, make sure rockers, chairs, swings and lounges are clean with fresh new outdoor pillows for color.  

Make sure the front door opens into a clean uncluttered space where buyers can pause, view the layout, and get a flavor for their next home. What you want them to see is a well-maintained home that looks fresh, clean and modern. Traffic flow is very important so remove any chests, small tables, or rearrange furniture so that the buyer doesn’t have to walk around furniture to get to another room.  

Replace stained, tired furniture with nice rentals. Yes, it’s an investment to take care of these items and replace them, but a home-stager can recommend updates that give you a return on investment that outweighs the cost and inconvenience. Staging can also include updating light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, drawer pulls, and other outmoded fixtures. Shiny brass ceiling fans with cane blades will date everything else in a room, so make sure what remains will appeal to the modern buyer.  

Generally, family photos, awards, collections, and any other items that say “the seller still lives here” should be removed. It may feel a little uncomfortable to erase your life from your house, but the buyer wants to imagine what their lives would be like living in this home. Don’t give them any distractions that might take away from their concentration on buying your home.  

Houses show better when all, but essentials are removed from the house, even if you must put them in a temporary storage facility. The reason is that buyers look everywhere - in every drawer, cabinet, and closet. If you have crowded or unorganized spaces, buyers will assume there isn’t enough storage or room in the house. 

Kitchens and bathrooms must be spotless. Remove little used appliances and clean the remaining coffee makers and can openers inch by inch. Stage the kitchen by organizing drawers, shelves and countertops with as little clutter as possible. Countertops, cabinets, and appliances are big ticket items to replace, but if needed, they will help your house sell for more money.  Buyers want a move-in ready home unless they’re intending on buying a fixer-upper. 

Painted doorways, windowsills and trims, and moldings almost always need freshening, but don’t pick the same dated shade again – no pinks, yellows or other polarizing colors. Go for an attractive neutral like gray or beige. Earth tones are warm, comfortable, and relaxing, which complements most decors. 

By taking the initiative to stage your home, your home will be ready for the market, and for the next owner.