Recently a friend was moving and she listed her house with me to sell. She asked, “What is the first thing I should do?” She’d lived in the home for 20 years and maintained it well, with a new metal roof, updated flooring in rooms and refreshed the paint. She’d travelled widely during her lifetime and was proud to display her collection of items and artifacts, her grandchildren’s photos and her initial on every wall. Lovely paintings and prints decorated the walls and the home was comfortable and clean. It was her home and the interior reflected her cheerful personality. But it was full of ‘her’ things. This was the challenge. She needed to remove herself from the home and make the décor simple and inviting.
Prospective buyers don’t want to see YOU in the house, they need to see themselves. They need to see how their items will fit, how their kitchen will look and how their bedrooms and closets will be filled.
How can you do this with little expense? You stage your home.
Let’s assume that you have already fixed items around the house that you have been neglecting, the weathered door sill, chipped paint, broken ceiling fans, leaky roof or water stained ceilings have been repaired. The exterior grounds are now clean, the lawn cut and colorful plants are in the yard. The house has lots of curb appeal.
The trick to staging the interior of a home is to pretend that you have already sold it and that you are moving. You will need to pack up anyway when your house sells, so this is the best time to start by discarding or selling the items you don’t want to keep.
Remember, you didn’t put it all in your house in one day so it will take some time to clean up and clear out. Pack up things you want to keep (you are moving soon, right?) and only set out items you really need. The best way to do this is to take it room by room.
THE KITCHEN: Take all the utensils out of the drawers and put back in only those that are absolutely necessary for everyday cooking. The lemon zester or egg slicer can go in the box for your new home. Remove all appliances from the counter tops. Counters should be clear from clutter as well as the inside of the cabinets. Buyers will open drawers and cabinets and these should hold only the basic items needed for your daily use. Pantries should be cleaned. Refrigerators should be modestly stocked. No half jars of jelly or pickles. Once you have packed up the unnecessary items, start spot decorating. A simple bowl of fruit on the dining room table will accent more than a dusty flower arrangement.
BATHROOMS: Remove all personal items and products from the counters and the bath area. Keep an empty plastic box under the counter to sweep everything into when your agent says they are coming for a showing. Empty out drawers and clean the bathroom like your mother in law was coming to visit. Use a travel toiletries bag to keep everything tidy. Repair any leaky faucets or chipped paint. Leave a clean colorful hand towel on the rack or a single bowl of unused decorative soap near the sink. A new roll of paper and a clean trash receptacle state that you care about cleanliness.
BEDROOMS: Remove all personal items from the dresser tops and clean the window sills. Clean out your closet, donate unused items to a charity and arrange the remaining clothes neatly. Consider buying new linens to give the room a fresh look. Buy items that you want to use in your new home.
LIVING ROOM: Remove large items like sectional sofas. Cover worn furniture with slip covers. Remove all magazines and clutter from tops of coffee tables. Spot color with a vase of fresh flowers.
Staging your home can be done effectively and inexpensively and it is well worth the taking the extra steps to make your home more appealing to a potential buyer. They need to know you cared about the home and that you want them to care as well.
Lots of ideas can be found on the internet at website like hgtv.com and pinterest.com or you can ask your local REALTOR© at Azalea Real Estate and take advantage of their years of experience.
Visit www.alhomesandland to preview homes or contact Aleta Boudreaux at 251-656-4576 for more information on staging, selling or purchasing a home.
©Aleta Boudreaux, 2020