If you are getting ready to put your home on the market, don't overlook the staging process. It's one of the most powerful ways to make a difference in the potential selling price and the amount of time it will take to close a sale with a buyer. Staging offers an incredible bang for the buck factor because the modest expenses go a long way toward making any house more marketable, attractive, and popular with prospective buyers. But it's essential to know about the four kinds of staging. Additionally, avoid the temptation to be frugal at this stage of the game. Every dollar spent is worth it. Other effective tactics focus on personal touches, odors, clutter, photographs, curb appeal, cleanliness, painting, and more. Here are the particulars for homeowners who want to speed up the selling cycle and get the best possible price.
Learn the Four Kinds of Staging
There are so many reasons to stage a home for sale and four main categories to keep in mind when preparing a property for sale: interior DIY, exterior DIY, interior contractor work, and exterior contractor work. The goal is to put as many of your tasks into the first two categories, the ones you do yourself, and only hire outsiders to deal with a few of the jobs. Commonly, people hire painters for large homes or ones that need special attention. Other outsourced chores potentially include cleaning, photography, and landscaping. When you begin, make a four-part list of the work that needs to be done, making sure to categorize every project into one of the four main sections. Get busy on the DIY (do it yourself) jobs as soon as possible unless there's interior painting to be done. If there is, deal with that task first.
Don't Go Cheap
Don't let your frugal side win out when making plans to spruce up the appearance of a for sale home. Instead, use savings or personal loans, or both, to cover the related expenses. Applying for a personal loan is a great way to acquire funds to pay for all the work in advance and snag potential discounts from painters, photographers, and others who you choose to enlist in the grand campaign. Unlike vacation expenses, an unexpected medical bill, or a traffic fine, capital spent on staging is more like a wise investment. Because you stand to get some or all the money back in the selling price, don't be afraid to spend wisely and quickly on the effort.
Hire an Experienced Photographer
Pay someone who has experience taking real estate photos. This step should come after you remove clutter, paint, etc. Typically, it's the very last thing owners do before asking an agent to show the home. Keep in mind that in the digital age, most who look at your property will have made the decision based on photos posted on the agent's site. It's essential to work with a talented professional who knows how to bring out the best in every shot. Ask your real estate contacts for names of photographers who understand how to convey a positive mood in every picture.
Limit, Don't Remove, Personal Touches
There's some controversy surrounding the question of personal effects in a for sale house. In the past, sellers were advised to remove all personal items, like family photos, monogrammed towels, etc. However, it can make sense to leave a few of those things in place so that viewers can get a feel for how they might personalize a given space. If you'll be living in the house while it's shown, there's no need to pull all your pictures from the walls and depersonalize every corner of the structure. Instead, take a balanced approach by removing clutter and some personal items and leaving others where they stand. Potential buyers are just like everyone else; they plan to personalize their living spaces. That's why it's a good idea to show them how it's done and get their imaginations revved up.
Eliminate Odors & Add Fresh Air
It's easy to overlook the fresh air factor when prepping space for a showing. Sellers tend to get fixated on visuals and forget about other senses, particularly the sense of smell. For that reason, it makes sense to get a few objective opinions about household odors. Those who reside in the space can become accustomed to various smells and fragrances that are part of the everyday air quality within a home. Kitchens can develop unique scents that only an outsider can detect. Ask someone to assist you with this task, and then work to neutralize negative odors. Use windows and ventilation systems to bring fresh air into the interior unless weather extremes make that approach impractical. The overall goal should be to imbue the interior atmosphere with freshness and eliminate negative scents.
Remove Clutter ASAP
Clutter removal is the only phase of the process in which you stand to generate rather than spend funds. Set aside one hour per day to get rid of built-up clutter in every part of the house. Categorize each item based on whether you intend to trash it, recycle, sell it, give it away, store it elsewhere for the time being, or donate it to charity. Before viewers arrive, be sure to rent a small storage unit to hold those items that you want out of the way temporarily. Take photos of for sale items, and price them to move on one of the major online auction platforms. Clutter is like poison for people who are shopping for a new place to live. It gets in the way and prevents them from seeing the positive aspects of the space.
Maximize Curb Appeal
Curb appeal refers to what people see when they arrive at the front of the structure. Consider redoing the landscaping, repairing the mailbox, repaving the driveway, cleaning gutters, hosing dirt off the exterior walls, washing windows, and cleaning debris from the roof. Photos taken from the front of the property are usually the first thing online shoppers see. It's crucial to use those photos to convey a sense of emotional warmth.
Be Smart About Cars & Cleaning
Park your vehicles on the street or store them elsewhere. Viewers who tour the property need to see the entire expanse of the garage as well as the available parking space on the driveway and in front of the house. If you're not up to doing a thorough cleaning of all rooms, hire a service to do it. The one-time expense won't break the bank, and potential buyers will get to see the space at its best.
Make a Painting Plan
Because painting the outside and inside of even a small home, it's a good idea to make a detailed plan of action as soon as possible. Consider starting on the work, if the house needs it, after removing clutter. All the other jobs can wait until the painting is complete. Use your best judgment about whether to hire professionals or do the task yourself. Of all the items on this list, a professional paint job will easily be the costliest. Before wincing at the cost of an expert paint job, realize that house shoppers pay close attention to the state of a house's appearance. A fresh coat of enamel, inside and out, can transform a dull living space into a bright, cheery one.
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