Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesday's Tip: Staging

Whether you are getting ready to put your home on the market or even trying to get the most out of an appraisal, staging your home is a simple and affordable way to make a good impression on all of those who cross your threshold.
1. Room Editing – Often times, rooms just get overcrowded with stuff. If you had planned on selling, giving away, or discarding items before actually moving to your new home, consider doing it before your current home goes on the market. If you simply have too much furniture in one room, move it to another area of the house or to a storage spot for the time being, such as a basement or garage. This will free up the room and make it seem more spacious and airy. An appealing selling point for potential buyers.
2. Furniture arrangement – As in editing, well placed furnishings can also open up a room. Avoid lining furniture along all four walls. Try placing a piece or two on an angle. In the living areas, include an area for cozy conversation. If space allows, an out of the way corner for reading. If a room has a focal point for selling such as a fireplace or bay window, arrange furnishings to enhance this feature, not distract from it.
3. Clutter Elimination – Keep in mind that you want potential buyers to be noticing the house itself, and not your belongings. This is a perfect time for significant collections such as newspapers and magazines, knick-knacks, and overstuffed bookcases to be boxed up for the move. This includes kitchen and bath countertops! Small appliances and little jars, bottles, and tubes should not be left on display. By eliminating clutter, you will also add to the feeling of spaciousness in a room.
4. Making Scents – Just like certain smells can trigger memories in a person years later, the scent of a home can leave a lasting effect on a potential buyer. For this reason, you want to avoid cooking smelly foods such as fish, liver, garlic, onions, or anything fried or spicy before showing your home. If weather allows, open windows and doors to let in some fresh air. During winter months, baking a frozen loaf of bread, cookies, or pie can be an inviting fragrance. And though you never want to over perfume your home, you may want to light a candle as a quick and aromatic remedy. Staying away from sharp floral scents and sticking with a low hey scent, such as vanilla or eucalyptus fragrance is best.
5. Lighting – Show your rooms in the best possible light… Natural! If heavy drapes or curtains block the view leave them open! The same goes for any kind of blind. Light makes a room seem bright and cheery. On that same note, make sure to clean the windows and screens, inside and out. This can make a big impact on the light coming into a room. The difference is often times amazing. If you have a room or two with dark walls and no windows, leave a few lights on at all times during showings. If overhead lighting seems too stark, try just leaving on a lamp or two for drama.
6. Material Things – Stained, dingy towels are a no-no for a home showing. Also wet towels should be tossed in the dryer before heading off to work while your home is on the market. In the kitchen and bath, consider setting out guest towels and soaps. Inevitably, a visitor or two will be in need. Throw rugs and carpets should also be in good condition. And if they are not completely necessary, such as in an entryway, or hiding a beautiful wood floor, they should be removed. Never lay a rug over carpeting. Tattered or worn bedspreads should be removed and replaced, as well. Beds should always be made.
7. Using Flora and greenery – In spring and summer, an outdoor container garden or hanging planter is lush and appealing and can add a lot of first impression impact. If your house id going on the market early in the season, consider purchasing mature plants rather than starter plants. A homes interior can benefit from flowers and greenery, as well. A simple seasonal market bouquet can brighten up any room of the home and has a charming appeal.
8. Clean! – There is nothing more attractive than a clean home. IF you are not into cleaning yourself, hire a professional. Make a list for each room, paying particular attention to your homes entrance, both interior and exterior, kitchen and bath areas. Your home should be as spotless as possible for show.
*Reprinted from centerstagehome.com