Saturday, August 3, 2013

Staging your home to get it sold By Carrie Colby

Proper staging can make or break the sale of your home. Before you show a home to any potential buyer, make sure the staging is perfect. Follow these general tips and your home will look better than the competition’s. Staging doesn’t have to cost a lot, but little things make a big difference. Small touches can liven up your listings without breaking the bank.

1) Put everything you don’t use daily in storage or in the garage. This technique neutralizes the home and allows buyers to picture their family living there. It creates a sense of cleanliness and order buyers see clean countertops, sparsely decorated walls and minimal furniture. Staging a home requires that each space be defined, with personal items and clutter non-existent. Potential buyers need to see a neutral pallet: Rooms that they can envision themselves living in.

2) Arrange the furniture so that it allows for easy traffic flow and permits easy traffic flow. Sometimes that means removing some furniture. The more furniture in a room, the smaller the room looks.

3) There’s nothing more pleasing than a front step or porch with bright, cheerful planters filled with plants and flowers. It says, Welcome to your new home! Trim shrubs, weed planter boxes and fix peeling paint and make sure the lawn is mowed before each showing. Paint your front door a bright, cheerful color.

4) A few gallons of paint can go a long way to make a home more attractive and the cost can’t be beat. Covering a 12-by-12 room with two coats will cost you about $50 to $100, including supplies. A homes interior painted in a pale yellow, light green, or even beige, gives buyers an idea of what they can do with a space. Reserve darker or trendier colors for accent walls or to highlight details such as a fireplace or an arched doorway.

5) Cabinet handles, switch plates, and other small hardware pieces can update a home for just a few dollars. Scan each room to see what looks worn or outdated and then replace individual fixtures. Inexpensive, quick-connect faucets can make upgrading the look of your bathroom a snap. And don’t forget the toilet seat. Fresh towels and a new toilet seat go a long way toward making a bathroom feel clean and new.

6) Pick a focal point for each room. For example, the focal point of a bedroom is usually the bed. For a music room, it’s the piano. If a room is mostly empty, you can help draw attention to a corner with a plant or mirror.

7) Open blinds and wipe down the windows. You’d be surprised at how much a simple window cleaning can instantly improve natural light. Take down heavy drapes and blinds. They make a room seem dark and small.

Once your home is staged and ready to show make sure that when you do have a showing that all the blinds are open, the lights are on and the home is neat and tidy. If it is a nice breezy day, keeping the windows open adds a fresh smell. If not you may want to add an air freshener. Just make sure the smell is not overwhelming. It needs to be fresh and clean.

If all this still seems overwhelming talk to your real estate agent. There are many good home stagers in the area that could do the job for you. Most are very affordable and know what to do to get your home sold.

Carrie Colby is a Realtor and the broker/owner of Premier Properties in Raymond. She can be reached at

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