Here are the first of my 5 favorite tips for home staging, so you can help each property you stage sell faster and for more money (the rest will be published on Monday):
1. Reduce “Drive Bys”
Imagine you’re on a house hunting mission.
Your real estate agent has ten properties to show you on a Saturday afternoon.
When you drive up to what could be your dream home, you see a rusted-out mailbox, broken handrail and children’s toys strewn across the lawn which hasn’t seen a lawn mower in weeks.
You’re probably going to say, “Um, no thanks, let’s move on.”
Curb appeal is so important. If the outside of a house looks unkempt, potential buyers think the home isn’t cared for and worry about expensive problems.
Here are some things to recommend:
Make sure that lawns are freshly cut, leaves are raked or snow shoveled from the driveway.
A potted or hanging plant can make a big difference near the entrance.
Repair or replace any obvious defects. Often this is cheaper to do than a prospective buyer will imagine.
Ensure walk ways and porches are swept clean. Garbage and recycling containers tucked out of site.
Cleaning is a good first step before painting front doors and porches. Pressure wash the exterior and scrub decks clean.
Once everything’s clean you may realize it doesn’t need to be repainted at all. Or a touch up will do.
2. Their junk may be a reason not to buy the house
De-cluttering is essential. Tackle one area at a time so the task isn’t so overwhelming.
If you’re doing this with your client, make sure they look at each item carefully before deciding whether it’s to keep or to toss.
Each closet will probably have to be gone through more than once to get its contents down to the absolute essentials, but it will be worth it.
If the home owner is having a tough time parting with things, recommend they rent a storage locker. They can keep their beloved items, just remove them from the house they’re selling.
They’ll have to move it eventually anyway!