Preparing Your Home For Sale

First impressions make a significant impact on a buyer's decision-making process! 

Once your home goes on the market, it becomes a product.  Home Styling or Staging simply allows you to highlight the best of your home and de-emphasize its flaws.  It's not about decorating, but turning your home into a model which will appeal to the broadest range of prospective buyers.  The goal is to make the prospective buyer feel like he or she could live there; the best way to do this is to neutralize the surroundings.

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Try these helpful styling tips taken from "Setting the Stage" found in REALTOR® Magazine Online. They've compiled the best tips from stagers and real estate pros—things you can do for little or no expense—to make your home ready to show.

  • Clear out closets and clutter—sellers can give away or pack up toys, linens, and small kitchen appliances to store offsite.  Buyers are also forgiving of storage boxes neatly tucked away in a garage or basement.
  • Focus on the most visible areas—the foyer, kitchen, living room, master bedroom, and family room.
  • De-personalize the home by removing photos, mementos, and dated items.
  • Use plants in colorful pots or inexpensive wicker baskets to fill empty spaces.
  • Look through home catalogs for little details on beautifying the home.  For instance--group books, pictures, and art objects appealingly in bookcases.
  • Try angling one or one pieces of furniture slightly and move furniture four to six inches from the wall to create more interesting room spaces.
  • Put away large collections—porcelains, plates, and so on.
  • Remove valuables, prescription medications, collectibles, and breakables.
  • Trim trees, prune shrubs, and mow and water the lawn regularly.
  • In summer, turn on the sprinklers for five minutes about 30 minutes before the open house.  It makes the lawn and driveway sparkle.
  • Refrain from cooking anything that leaves a distinctive odor--such as fish, garlic, or cabbage.
  • Hire a professional service to clean the home, including the carpets and windows.
  • Set the dining room table with attractive linens, dishes, and stemware.
  • Arrange fresh or silk flowers throughout the home.
  • Light a fire in the fireplace in fall and winter.
  • A mirror in a pretty frame can make a small room feel more open.
  • Use as much natural light as possible.  Add extra lamps in dark rooms or corners.
  • Make functional repairs—fix dripping faucets, sticking doors, and broken fences.
  • Bring in another pair of eyes, even if it’s not a professional stylist.  The person may see problems you have missed.