How to Stage Your Existing Home to Sell Faster
One of the most exciting times in life is moving to a newer, better, more ideally located, full-of-promise home. If that home is one that you’ve built from the ground up to perfectly suit you and your family’s needs, well… there’s no better feeling than finally moving in. There may, however, be one potential snag in the process. One that can keep you up at night and actually has nothing to do with your new home. That is: selling your existing home in a timely fashion.
Don’t worry! With a little bit of elbow grease - and a lot of planning - you can sell your existing house faster, and potentially more profitably, and get on with the business of moving into your dream Ernest home. The key is to effectively stage your home. Staging is the art of preparing and styling a home to be as attractive as possible to potential buyers. Here’s how to do it.
Focus on Curb Appeal
Your home has one chance to make a great first impression, so make it count! Mow and edge the lawn, plant new shrubs, and annuals, and lay down fresh mulch. Make sure the outside of your home is in good shape, too. Pressure wash, repaint, and change out the mailbox and light fixtures to create a welcoming entry. Add some potted plants to the front porch and a new welcome mat, and you’ll be ready for buyers.
Pare Down Furniture
The most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. One of the major contributors to a cluttered look is having too much furniture. When professional stagers prepare a home for the market, they often remove as much as half the owner's furnishings so the house looks bigger. You want potential buyers to be able to move around each room without being blocked by furniture. Make sure they can easily access your home’s best features like the fireplace or built-in bookshelves, and make sure they can look out all the windows. Avoid a cluttered look by minimizing items on the coffee table and not piling so many pillows on the couch that nobody can sit on it.
Add/Showcase Functional Office Space
These days more people are working from home, and homeschooling is more commonplace, so a workspace may be essential for your potential buyers. If you don’t have an entire room to dedicate to a home office, carve out a nook in a spare bedroom, a corner of the living room, or even a closet.
Make It Picture Perfect
The majority of potential buyers see your home in photos online before they see it in person, so everything you do in your home should be about that crucial first impression. Think about touch-ups that will translate well to on-screen pictures and videos, like bright flowers, folded towels in the bathroom, and bowls of fruit in the kitchen. And remember, buyers, zoom in!
Hide Your Pets (and Their Things)
It’s hard to believe, but not everyone can live with a dog or cat. Some may have severe allergies, or they just may not have a lifestyle conducive to taking care of a pet. In order to attract the widest segment of buyers possible, you’ll need to erase all signs of your pets. That means eliminating pet odors by frequently mopping, vacuuming, and washing their bedding, and adding air fresheners to the areas where they like to laze. When you have a showing, take your pet - and all of their toys, blankets, beds, and treats - with you when you leave the home.
Clean, Clean, Clean
Above all else, your home must be spotless. Every corner, every cabinet - even the top of the fridge and fans - should be clean and free of dust. A clean home appears well maintained and allows prospective buyers to know they have less to do when they move in. Remember: it’s not enough to just clean once and be done. Do a quick spot clean before every showing to keep your home looking, smelling, and feeling fresh and inviting.
When you understand where the eye goes first, as well as what’s pleasant and positive and what needs a change, you can make the best adjustments to not only impress buyers but win them over. The faster you sell your existing home, the faster you can move into your gorgeous new Ernest home that’s been built and designed just for you.