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How to Sell Your Home with Home Staging

Selling your home can be stressful – you are leaving an area you know, a home you have lived in possibly for years, and your future plans can depend on the successful sale of your home. Essential to the home-sale process, show days can really be a pain in the neck that can be cured with some brilliant home staging tips.

What home staging does is that it practically effects a considerable improvement in the looks of your house, making it more alluring to interested buyers. You need to step into the buyers footsteps for a while, and see your home through their eyes.

So go out on the sidewalk and start angling your house. Is the pavement filthy, are there any loose branches in your trees, is your picket white fence really white? Is your house number visible? The inside of your yard should also be in good shape, so don’t overlook any trees or bushes that may adorn it, or the lawn that needs to be trimmed, or any kids’ toys or garden equipment that definitely need to be out of sight. Do not forget about the windows and windowsills that need to be cleaned as well as the corners that must be cobweb-free, not to mention the outside lighting that must be functional. If you want to make your house look more appealing, then place some potted yellow flowers where they can be seen by visiting buyers.

While inside the house you need to inspect each and every room and look at the following:

There is no speck of dust on your light fittings and they are all working;
Patch and paint any holes in walls
Your house doesn’t look like a bad painting job done by a crazy artist, so an overall neutral color would be best;
Remove clutter and excess furniture
The whole place that needs to be spotless, even the areas you don’t usually bother to clean;
The carpets and rugs are thoroughly vacuumed;
There is no inch of your floor left unpolished.

While in the kitchen you need to inspect all cupboards and cabinets and see that they are neat and tidy, because clients are sure to look into them. All shelves should be cleared of the things they normally hold, as well as the kitchen counter, appliances included. You want your buyers focused on your house, not your private life, so take all personal photos or kids’ drawings away.

Once the house is clean and clutter-free, it is time to dress it for success. This stage represents the creation of a new and improved image of your house, you don’t have to actually make the place bigger or brighter, you just make it look so. You don’t want prospective buyers to see your collection of matching napkins, because aside from taking their attention away from the house you run the risk of really making them lose their patience.

You can achieve a warm appearance of the house by using soft fabrics, like silk, satin or wool. Flowers and plants and other whatnots can be placed in a deliberate fashion to liven up the place. Always group these in uneven numbers.

If you want to attract attention to a specific feature, such as granite countertops in the kitchen, put a bowl of bright, shiny fruit or some colorful cookbooks on the counter. A basket of rolled hand towels, wrapped with pretty ribbon, in a basket with scented candles and soaps adds a touch of ‘spa’ to your bathroom. Keep in mind that the towels too must be clean.

As difficult as it may be, it is advisable to remove all pets from the property for the day. Try to remove all evidence of them too – not everyone likes pets.

One trick to make your home smell warm and inviting is to place a couple of cinnamon sticks on a baking tray in the oven. Then warm them up a bit and let the oven door open for a while so that their scent is carried around throughout the entire house. Freshly ground coffee and baked bread are great smells in a kitchen too.

Home staging is like putting on a show, and you may feel like you are trying to trick people into buying your home. It’s not an immoral thing that you are doing, because home staging in real estate is like window decorating in a store, where merchandise is displayed in such a manner as to attract customers to enter the store and eventually buy something. You should keep in mind that your house needs to have a neutral look about it since it must appeal to a broad variety of potential clients. Home staging can make the difference between interested and buying.

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About the author

Sherry Fields Sherry Fields has been working in real estate since 2002. Working with the development team for the Hilton Garden Inn gave her strategic information on the commercial real estate market in Missoula. Broadening her scope she moved into the residential market and earned the designation SFR in short sales and foreclosures. Currently affiliated with Prudential Montana Real Estate, she works with both buyers and sellers "building relationships so you can buy & sell with confidence". Sherry Fields has recently earned the CREN designation - Certified Real Estate Negotiator. While price is a large part of negotiation - it is also about timing everything from the closing date to inspections, appraisals, home insurance - and it is about negotiating items that can show up in home inspections to achieve a mutually acceptable outcome.

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2 Responses to “How to Sell Your Home with Home Staging”

  1. Eleanor says:

    Wonderful website you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get suggestions from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Bless you!

  2. Hi Eleanor, sorry I am not aware of any message boards. Try googling it, you might find what you are looking for there.

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