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If you’re just starting home staging, check out this post about the basic process I used to stage our house to sell in 36 hours and get multiple offers.
Warning: The before photos of our house are so embarrassing. There was a lot of “life” happening in that house with everything from a sick family (complete with ER visits), Christmas, moving, renovating…you name it. Look ahead with grace. Yikes.
When you’re ready to begin preparing your home for the market, the absolute first thing you should do is go outside and stand around in your front yard. Imagine you are a buyer coming into the home for the first time. Pay attention to where your eyes naturally look and take lots of notes.
Walk into every room and imagine you are someone with different tastes and styles. What stands out at you? What could be toned down to appeal to everyone, but still remain fresh? Did you see that spot on the carpet? Yikes. Better put that on the list…
Be mean. Look at your home objective and critically. If you’re having a hard time seeing it objectively, get it “ready” in your eyes, then walk around and take some photos. Then, compare photos of your home with photos of other homes that are on the market (just avoid the ones that have been listed for weeks…unless you want your home listed for weeks). The camera doesn’t lie when it comes to clutter.
Yikes. Do you see all that clutter that just happened in our house?! I told you the camera doesn’t lie.
The great news is that home staging doesn’t have to be expensive. Sometimes, all it takes is removing some of your personal items and giving everything a good scrub-down for your home to be warm and inviting. Even an older home can be market-ready with the right attention, even if it doesn’t have granite countertops and hardwood floors.
Here is a quick list of things to take care of around the house as you go.
Clear off the tops of the cabinets.
Clear off the entire countertop.
Choose the one or two cabinets/drawers you think buyers will check and organize those.
Make sure the top of your refrigerator is cleaned off if it is accessible.
Clear countertops except decorative soap dispensers and simple decor.
Remove plungers and trash cans.
Hide extra toilet paper.
Replace decorative shower curtains with simple white shower curtains.
Clear out all soaps (and medicines), and replace with spa-looking soaps.
Remove everything except main furniture (dresser, nightstands, and bed).
Put your most luxurious light-colored comforter on the bed.
European pillows are your friend (at least 2 for queen, 3 for king).
Pick up all kids toys. If it can’t fit on a shelf it should go in a box.
Replace blackout curtains with white curtains (I got ours from Ikea).
Remove everything from dresser and nightstands except decorative elements.
Remove 1/2 to 2/3 of clothes and items in closets.
Living Room/Common Areas
Pick up all toys.
Minimize electronics and wires.
Add throw pillows to couches/chairs.
Move furniture to center of room in a cozy gathering area and remove all furniture that doesn’t fit into the simple layout.
Add decorative elements like flowers.
Pick up all clutter including toys and decorative elements.
Plant fresh flowers for a pop of color.
Add fresh pillows to outdoor furniture.
Right before showing
Replace used towels with fresh decorative towels.
Hide the trash can (or take it out of the house altogether). Even if it’s large.
Turn on all lights.
Open all blinds and curtains.
Set thermostat to comfortable temperature.
Staging our home with a toddler and pets around has been a major project, but I know it is the reason we received multiple offers at a price we thought was over market value. The time I put into staging our home proved to be completely worth it in the end.
Do you need a general overview of how we staged our house to sell for full price? Head on over to this post to read more about the overall process of how to stage a house to sell fast.
Want a little more help?
If you’ve already given staging your house a try, but you still aren’t sure if you’re doing the right things and just need a second opinion, I totally get it. Sometimes it helps a ton to have an outside perspective, especially in a house. You have a tendency to see the day-to-day messes, while an outsider will have an overall perspective.
By the second house I staged in a year, I had the listing process down to a science. Similar to the rules of home decor, there are rules to home staging. I understand the rules and can help you sell your house in no time.
For this month only, I am opening a few free mini home staging consultations! I am offering a free mini-consultation (worth $149) to give you custom advice on what to do with your home.
You can send me up to 5 pictures of what your house looks like now, and I will respond back with a list of items you can do in each room to get it listing-ready. Think action items like “Declutter desk” “Hide/remove toilet bowl brush” and “Move sofa to “x” location.” You’ll get steps you can actually take to get your home show-ready in no time with no guesswork involved.
To reserve a free mini-consultation, you just need to hit this box and drop in your email address to claim your spot. You’ll hear back from me soon with our next steps so that we can get you the feedback you’ve been needing.
So, if your house is currently on the market (or you wish it was), this time next week you could be preparing for appraisals, inspections, and closings. Or you could be wishing that you knew what to do to get your house show-ready before it hit the market three weeks ago.
Which one do you want to be?
I think I know the answer.
I’ve been there. Let me help you.