Monday, June 4, 2012

Staging a House for Sale

It's official-- our house is on the market. (Anyone interested in a 1,600 sq. ft. ranch?) We've been house-hunting for a while now and I'm always amazed at how people show their house! Maybe they think buyers can see beyond their cluttered tchotchkes (they can't) or that it doesn't matter that the wall colors are twenty years out of date. (No, mauve is NOT in style anymore.)

Here's a checklist on how to stage your house if you're planning on putting it up for sale.

Get rid of clutter! 
If all your tabletops are covered with stuff, pack them away. (You'll have to pack anyway so you'll be ahead of the game.) If you don't have room in a basement or garage for the boxes, use a service like Pods. They'll take the boxes away and deliver them to you new digs.

Clean, then clean again!
That includes windows, floors, garages, and basements.

Freshen up
If your bedding looks old and tired, replace it with new duvets or comforters. Before showing your house, tuck away your everyday towels and replace them with spanking new ones.

Family photos
Put them away! No one wants to see pictures of your family when they're trying to imagine living in your house. Your home should look like a model home.

Paint
If the walls and trim are not clean and neutral, repaint. It's cheap and changes a room instantly.

Put away those appliances
The rule is no more than two kitchen appliances on the counter. (Like a toaster and coffee maker). Too many and your counter will look crowded and seem like you don't have enough counter space.

Lighten Up
Make sure shades and curtains are all open. Natural light is a selling point.

Here's a peek of my house "on the market" and some ideas I used:
1. Fresh flowers--they are always in the house for showings. Not only do they look beautiful they smell great.
2. Our 1960's bathroom has built-in ledges meant for soap and toothbrushes. Since I never ripped them out, I made them into little display shelves for a clock and some coral I picked up at the pet supply store.
3. Glass containers filled with soaps and Q-tips are an easy way to "pretty" the bathroom.
4. You can't have too many flowers! The tray of fruit looks fresh and colorful.

Wish us luck!

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