Friday, April 19, 2013

Staging a home for buyers

Sometimes you have to break out of the mold and get away from how you normally have your home set and stage it.  Staging a home for buyers can be one of the easiest or hardest things for sellers to do.  They are being asked to make changes for the benefit of the buyer and in doing so can carry emotional implications by the seller who may be hesitant.

Inside:  First things first CLEAN!  Pack things away.  Show off your home like its a builder's model home. Turn on all the lights  (acceptable practice for lighting is usually 100 watts per 50 sqft, but homes may vary with outside light, and light absorption from furniture), and make sure the fireplace works.  Remove excess furniture and over sized furniture which makes the rooms seem cramped. Maximize your space and get as much outside light into the house as possible.  Take down the many pictures, buyers have come to see the house not all the members of the extended family.  The buyers should remember if the bedrooms had hardwoods, not what outfit was in the picture on the mantle.  Speaking of flat surfaced areas, the kitchen counter tops should be both clean and clutter free.  Try to remove unnecessary or rarely used appliances.

Distractions:  Fix distractions to the eye.  Where the eye is drawn sometimes trouble can follow.  Fill nail holes in walls, the visible cracks in the door or frame, any loose hanging wiring, and remove or replace the obvious stains or wear in the carpet.  Do not have the home smelling like pet odor or cigarette smoke.

Bathrooms:  Make sure the bathroom is clean.  Mop the floors, scrub the tub, lysol the counter, clean the mirror for starters.  Have fresh rolled towels, and have decorative baskets along the wall with small candles to accent bare areas.  Make sure there are no stains and always have the toilet seat/cover closed.

Outside & Landscape:  The lawn must be mowed, no weeds pulling at the belt buckle.  Control the wild growth.  Make sure leaves are raked and all debris is removed from the property including garbage, anthills and broken pavers.  Clean the gutters and down spouts, this will stop future problems of buyers seeing grass growing out of the gutters.  For all the cleaning and maintaining though remember to add some color into the entrance way.  Make them want to come into the house.

Simple comment on windows.  During spring and summer you can leave windows open to get fresh air into the house and not have a stuffy feeling, and if possible during winter maybe light the fireplace for a more intimate setting.

Beware of Artificial Staging.  Anything that looks too fake can be a turn off for buyers.

And the last thing to keep in mind.  Make sure you have clean and clear house numbers.  Buyers can only find the house if they can see the right address clearly.

Today's Tidbit:  If you can't remember or need help, ask your realtor.  They normally keep a personalized checklist of to-dos for sellers of what they need for buyers to find the property to be acceptable for viewing.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes