Staging your house can make you money. Seventy-one percent of sellers’ agents believe a well-staged environment increases the dollar value buyers are willing to offer, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® “2015 Profile of Home Staging.”
Here is a valuable home staging checklist.
- When placing anything from accent pillows and table lamps, go for symmetry, which is pleasing to the eye.
- Light it up with lamps.
- Make that fireplace glow. Replace the old screen.
- If you’re using staging furniture or buying slip covers, choose light colors for an airy, inviting feel.
- Whatever amount of furniture you have in your living room, remove a few pieces to make the room feel spacious.
- Use bright, coordinated accessories like accent pillows and throw blankets for a splash of color.
- Help buyers imagine their life in your home. Set the scene by displaying a board game or tea service on the coffee table, and arrange furniture in conversational groups.
- Clear everything from countertops except one or two decorative items, like a vase of flowers or bowl of fresh fruit.
- Pack up all the dishes except one attractive, matching set.
- Freshen up and modernize those cabinets with a fresh coat of paint or stain and new hardware.
- Seriously evaluate your appliances. Can they look new again with a good scrubbing?
- Remove those fridge magnets and give the door and handles a good cleaning.
- Scrub dirt, grime, and stains from walls, cabinets, and backsplashes.
- Clean cabinet interiors, especially under the sink.
- Clean and organize the pantry, leaving some empty space to make it look bigger. Store items in decorative baskets and display a few jars of fancy jam and other upscale condiments.
- Empty all trash cans and move them out of sight.
- Go gender neutral in the master bedroom.
- Pack up all but the clothes you’re wearing this season to make your closets look larger.
- Swap out the motley crew of mismatched hangers in your closet for a set of wooden ones to create a classy, boutique look.
- Put jewelry and other valuables in a safe spot.
- Consider giving extra bedrooms a new identity such as a home office.
- Remove televisions or video game consoles from bedrooms to depersonalize and create a serene setting.
- Let buyers entertain the idea of entertaining. Set out some place settings around the table, or a few wine glasses and a decanter on the buffet.
- Strike a balance between overly formal and too casual with an attractive runner and a few fun, decorative elements — think small floral vases or short candle holders.
- It’s de-grime time: Scrub and sanitize the walls, floor, shower door — virtually every surface that comes in contact with steam.
- Spend extra time scrubbing that tile grout and re-caulk around the tub if necessary.
- If your bathroom tile is dated, try paint instead of replacing it. Start with a high-adhesion primer and either epoxy or latex paint.
- Remove clutter from the countertop, tub, and top of toilet. Clean surfaces until they gleam.
- Pack up and hide all your personal products — from medicine to razors.
- Create a luxury spa look with a fancy soap dispenser, fluffy white towels, decorative baskets, candles, plants, a white shower curtain, and a new bath mat.
Throughout the House
- Declutter! Consider it pre-packing for your move.
- Keep closets, basements, and attics as empty as possible to maximize the appearance of storage space.
- Check every door, drawer, and cabinet to ensure they open and close easily.
- Damaged or aging hardwood floors? Replace damaged boards with new wood, sand down the entire floor, and re-stain.
- Do a deep (deep, deep) clean. Hire a professional cleaning service to clean your home from top to bottom — including carpets — before viewings.
- Hang attractive house numbers that are legible from the road.
- Brighten up your porch with fresh paint or stain.
- Buy a new doormat to welcome home buyers.
- Power-wash the house exterior, walkway, steps, driveway, and porch until everything sparkles.
- Make sure the locks and doorbell function.
- Make that mailbox look clean and welcoming, or get a new one.
- Plant lots of colorful blooms in attractive pots and planter beds.
- Trim back trees and shrubs from the approach to the front door.
- Whip that yard into shape with fresh sod or new seed.
- Don’t forget your outdoor living space. Stage your patio like a second living room, with fashionable furniture, accent pillows, an outdoor rug, and other patio-friendly decor.
Please contact Joan Bang for an initial consultation to review your real estate goals. Joan can be reached at (213) 675-3289 or at Joan.Bang@dilbeck.com.