Effective staging will give you the best chance to obtain the highest price possible in the least amount of time when selling your house. I have been a Real Estate agent since 1989 and know the importance of staging a house for a successful sale.
While your house is on the market it should resemble a Model Home as much as possible both inside and out. Visit Model Homes for tips and ideas. Builders pay a lot of money for marketing and Sales Agents walk the Models throughout the day to keep them neat.Take some pictures and notes of the Models to remind you.
When Staging your house, imitate Model Homes and remember the acronym COIN – Clean, Organized, Inviting, Neat.
Staging your house begins with Curb Appeal
Stand on the curb with a notebook and ask yourself…does the exterior of my house meet the ‘COIN’ test. (Clean, Organized, Inviting, Neat) Make a list of things to do. Try to see your house from the buyers view and what you would look for in your next home search.
Does the house exterior look neat and clean? Do you need to paint? Are the windows repaired and clean? Is the trim such as shutters, rain spouts, window sills etc. fresh & clean looking?
Be sure your yard (Front and Back) are manicured and inviting. Think back… how were the Models landscaped? When possible plant blooming flowers but do not overcrowd the yard. White is always a terrific color to use among the other colors or by itself (especially in the winter) to brighten the entire effect.
Pay special attention to the front door to create a friendly and inviting feeling. Potential buyers will spend a few minutes there. Do you need a new door or just a freshening up of the existing one? Perhaps new hardware is all you need? Think about a cheerful wreath for any time of the year. Flowery pots on a porch is a cheerful, inviting touch.
Staging the house using the acronym COIN
A CLEAN house is a staging must
Of course we all know a house should be spotless when presenting it for sale. Again, do the best you can. Older homes are harder to make look shiny than a new home, but there is a lot that can be done. If necessary and possible, hire help.
If you don’t have decorative mirrors, purchase some in attractive frames. Hang them to reflect attractive areas and to make the space appear larger. Shiny clean mirrors and windows are a must.
Scent is important. Use room fresheners. You might want to bake cookies and/or make coffee for an open house. There are wonderful scents in a variety of containers from which to choose.
An ORGANIZED house is a staging must when selling
You have heard the phrase “less is more” and it is true in decorating. Less furniture makes the space appear larger. Fewer accessories give an uncluttered feeling. Remove personal items such as pictures, trophies, plaques. Your goal is to have potential buyers imagine themselves in your home and not feel as if they are intruding in your space.
Don’t forget to organize and de-clutter all your closets and all the drawers. Potential buyers almost always will open them and look inside. Make sure there is room to add things so the buyers will know there is adequate storage space.
An INVITING feeling is a must in staging a house for sale.
Flowers and plants are cheerful and inviting in any room. You will notice plants in all rooms of the Models, including Bathrooms and on book shelves. Copy them.
Cheerful colors make a room look inviting. Think of accessories, pillows, bright fresh towels, Bedspreads etc. and even accent walls in the house.
Think Light and Bright. You will notice models have all lights and fireplaces on all the time. In the hot weather I placed pots of blooming flowers in the fireplace for a cheerful effect.
Turn on the TV’s for a warm lived in feeling in all rooms, but keep the volume down. If you have a really great reading area, consider staging to help the buyers imagination. Set an open book and glasses and perhaps a throw cover.
NEAT is a word to remember for staging every area.
Do not hesitate to rent storage space if you have too much furniture and ‘stuff’. This could be the beginning of your organization for your next move.
Do not forget the garage must be neat. Most buyers are interested to see if the garage has adequate space for them. Remove your over supply of tools and gadgets for a neat look. Remove the cars if practical.
The backyard should be pleasant. Staging an area to help the buyers imagination is also effective in the back. An open book and glasses set up on patio furniture or a hammock works well. Perhaps a simple picnic set up would be effective. Use your imagination. Have fun.
Be patient and remind yourself: keeping up the house to look like a model will not last forever.
For tips on purchasing your next home see more from Joan Kuper : Beginning Steps to Purchasing a Home, Advantages of Buying a New Construction Home, Advantages of Buying a Model Home