When a Property Shows Well, It Sells Well – Tips on Staging the Perfect Home

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If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, chances are you spend some time watching HGTV reruns of House Hunters.  Ever notice the look on prospective buyers’ faces as they walk through the really dumpy properties?  The fact is that so many people neglect to prepare their properties before showing it to potential buyers.  Overstuffed closets, stained carpets, dirty bathrooms, dull kitchens and family rooms with so much junk scattered all over the place that the buyers can barely see the space – all these things are a huge hindrance to selling successfully.

This week we just listed a home for one of our clients and the way they set up their space is perfect.  As you can see in the video, the homeowners have taken the time to arrange furniture in a way that highlights the home’s gorgeous features and open floor plan.  Plenty of tasteful accessories have been used to dot the space with color, interest and life.  There are even some touches of their personal life, though not overdone by any means.

The key to preparing a show-ready home is to put yourself in the buyers’ eyes.  Going back to House Hunters episodes – how many times did buyers’ eyes light up when they walked into an open, well-lit home that was obviously cared for by its owners?  And if you pay attention, you’ll notice that more often than not, the homes that don’t seem to cared for by their owners are usually the ones that get passed up.

Tips on How to Make Sure Your Property Shows Well

MAKE SURE THE HOME IS CLEAN

Nothing turns off buyers more than a home that is dirty.  As they walk through the house they are imagining living there but dirty bathrooms, unclean windows, or unkempt rooms are unattractive.  Rather than risk buyers only remember that aspect of your home, make sure you clean the space, have carpets professionally steam cleaned, power wash windows, clear up driveways and make the home presentable.

REMOVE ALL CLUTTER

Clutter acts as an obstacle that does not allow buyers to see the actual features of your home.  If possible, box up things like extra shoes, overflowing closets, unkempt toys or messy areas on the home.  Keeping the space clear of clutter will not only make the space inviting, it will also allow the prospective owners to imagine their own things in the space.  A common turnoff that many sellers neglect to take care of before showing their home is a fridge filled with personal notes, pictures, schedules and other traces of the current family’s life.

EMPHASIZE POSITIVE ASPECTS

If your home’s best feature is the great room, be sure to emphasize it by lighting it well and clearing all to and from areas for easy flow through access.  If the large backyard is a favorite selling feature, remove all leaves and landscaping clutter.  It is important not to ignore maintenance details such as mowing the lawn or tidying up the hedges.

DEMONSTRATE PRACTICAL USE OF SPACE

How you set up your home will have a major impact on how it is received.  By setting up the furniture and arranging other items in a way that highlights the desirable aspects of your home while working with the space encompassing the area, buyers will want to see more.
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Imagine your home is going to be photographed for a magazine.  What would you do prepare before the photographer arrived?

* Editor’s note from 1/27/2012 – This property went under contract in two weeks.

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