Thursday, October 30, 2008

Staging Tips for Home Sellers

Over my many years I have staged houses ranging from low end to high end. The majority of my homes are middle range. In this tough market it is important that your house stand out from your competition. So I am here to help you, the brave person who will become the seller.
It is hard for a seller to view their home as a potential buyer; the best way I have found is by having the seller look at the home thru a picture. So grab the camera and take “before” pictures. The first thing I look at when I pull up to a house is “curb appeal.” Start at your curb, then walk through the front door, take a close up of that also. Then proceed into the main living spaces, kitchen and master suite. Take lots of “before” pictures. Make a pros and cons list as you walk thru your home. Send the pictures to friends and family and ask them to make a pros and cons list also. After your walk through sit down and make a “Honey do list”.
Your Honey do list should have the major and minor repairs on down to simple stacks of paper, piles of laundry, shoes and every day clutter. Rank it in order of who is responsible for repairs down to cleaning up piles.
My best advice is to buy 5 laundry baskets and start collecting boxes, tape and several large black magic markers. Market each basket or box in the following order:
1. Important papers
2. Dirty Laundry (if your home is more than two levels get a basket for each level)
3. Donations
4. Upstairs
5. Downstairs
We all have a stack of important papers sitting on a counter or desk. By giving them a box you have given them a temporary home. Start by cleaning up any stacks of paper, pile of laundry, shoes and every day clutter by placing items in one of the baskets. Items that go to bedrooms get put in a basket to go up or down stairs to be put away by the items owner. I am a big one on the belief that kids at any age can help pick up after themselves, but since a lot of us know that teenagers are the worst offenders on leaving their clutter everywhere, it is recommended that he or she gets a basket all their own.
Laundry does not hide very well and a potential buyer will find it. I think the smell gives it away, so get your laundry caught up. I believe this is the hardest thing for a seller to do, but it is well worth it. Every night have someone take a basket and distribute the items in the basket to the proper room then put the basket back.
Everyday take a few minutes to go thru a cupboard or draw and clean it out. Keep only what you need then pack up or put it in the donate box.
Preparing to move is a joint venture on every person whom lives in the home make it a team effort and be prepared to start packing, cleaning, fixing and all the work that comes from preparing to put your house on the market.
Assignment two will follow in a few days and I hope you all have started getting ready to sell.
Tamie Ogden
Owner of Paisley Home Staging

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