I had a home staging business for many years before I became a full-time agent. It was a great part-time gig when my children were young and in school all day. I had a wonderful business partner, Wendy Fleetwood, who still runs Stage/Right without me. (Great name, right?! I was an advertising major a long time ago, too…)
Many agents in town wouldn’t even put a house on the market before they had Wendy and me come in and tell them what the property needed to be ‘Open House ready’. We learned EVERYTHING about getting houses ready to go on the market, and I want to share with you my go-to tips.
These are the no-fail tasks that we found helped in almost every selling situation:
- Make a splash at the front door. Buyers make the decision about how they feel about a house the minute they walk in the front door. Paint the front door, clear out clutter, hang a flag out front, use potted plants and flowers, get a pretty, new doormat.
- A fresh coat of paint goes a LONG way! Use lighter, neutral shades like Benjamin Moore’s Pewter Gray or Linen White.
- Pull up carpets and rugs. Show off those beautiful hardwoods if you’ve got them. A room without rugs will look clean and airy. If you want to put down a rug use a neutral seagrass or sisal. They make every room look fresh.
- Take down window treatments. This one always irked homeowners. While you wouldn’t live in a house without something over the windows, potential buyers want to see the windows and the views.
- Clear out clutter. All clutter. Pack everything away that’s not essential. Keep everything that’s not essential off kitchen counters.
- When in doubt, just keep 3 pieces of furniture in every room.
- If you can get your hands on one, replace large rectangular dining tables with round ones. It helps with flow…you want buyers to be able to walk freely around in each room.
- Pack away all family photos. You want buyers to envision themselves in the space. This goes for diplomas, too.
- Make the yard look clean and pretty. No ragged out lawn furniture or gardening tools laying around.
- Make sure the house smells really good.
Every house has its unique staging challenges, but these are tips homeowners can use every situation. Good luck and happy selling!