My first experience with “home staging” was more than 20 years ago. We were selling a modest home, and at that time we didn’t have a lot of money to invest in dressing up our home for showings. We also didn’t know what sort of changes to make. That was when I came across a little book called “Dress your House for Success” by Martha Webb. I still have a copy of that book — it’s fairly dated now, but the premise is still the same — if you’re on a budget, but are willing to roll up your sleeves and invest in some “elbow grease” you can achieve great results and help your house sell much faster and for a lot more money.
We are blessed to live in an area with a wealth of resources. If your budget is large, we have some of the best home stagers in the nation, and let’s be honest — they do beautiful work and achieve fantastic results. There may come a time when you will need their services, and I can certainly recommend someone that will not disappoint! But, if you have something more modest in mind, you needn’t worry. There is a simple-to-follow process and I’m happy to be your guide.
Basically, staging-to-sell comes down to a 5-step process:
- The “Wow” effect
Step 1: Uncluttering
This is not just the first step, it’s also the most important. I once listed a home owned by a couple who owned and operated a business that specialized in large artificial flower and plant arrangements. Don’t get me wrong, they were beautiful! But in their home they had more than 20 arrangements on tables, pedestals, countertops and in every architectural niche; and that just included three rooms! From the moment I stepped in the door all I could see were flowers. As gently as I could, I explained that buyers would be so distracted by these beautiful arrangements, they would never even notice the house. Thankfully, they were willing to remove all but two and put them in storage. The rest of the house was uncluttered and spotless, and they soon had a buyer and were able to move on to a home much closer to their business.
You may have toys, books, photos or any number of other items that are spilling out of baskets, shelves or even overtaking the walls. The very best thing you can do is look at your home with the eyes of a buyer and start sorting, boxing, donating or storing any items that don’t remind you of a “model home”. Your reward? You won’t have nearly as much to unpack at your next home, and you will have taken the first step toward a quick sale!
Coming up! Step 2: Cleaning