Monday, October 11, 2010

Make a Great First Impression: Top 10 Tips to Staging Your Home to Sell

Studies have shown that it takes about a twentieth of a second for Web surfers to make a decision about a site (so I may have lost some of you already) and only about seven seconds to make a good first impression in person.  Believe it or not, this includes homes too!

Within seconds after entering a home, potential homebuyers are already deciding whether or not they want to buy your home.  Your goal is to create an inviting, beautiful, spacious atmosphere that will create that emotional "I want to make an offer" trigger.  How do you do that?  Simple...through staging.

Professional home stagers can cost up to several hundred dollars and in some cases, the cost is worth it.  However, if you have the ability to look at your home objectively and without emotion and want to save some money, then these simple steps can help you achieve the same goal:
  1. Remove all personal, political, and religious items...including photos.  Yes, your wedding photo from eight years ago must come down.
  2. Curb appeal!  Does your landscaping need a manicure?  Trim bushes, edge, and remove clutter.
  3. Rearrange your furniture.  Take out unnecessary pieces to open up rooms.  Move pieces around to highlight key home features.
  4. Accessorize!  Arrange place settings at dining tables and countertop bars.  I'm talking placemats, dishes, glassware.
  5. Edit your closets down to 50% and leave the floors empty.  If you haven't worn that sweater and those shoes within the past year, you're probably not going to need them while you're selling your house.
  6. Clear your kitchen countertops.  You can leave out larger accessory pieces, but put away the toaster and coffee pot when not in use.
  7. Clean all the windows, glass surfaces, and hardware fixtures.  Look for nose prints left behind from Fido and fingerprints from little Johnny. 
  8. Edit your bookshelves 50% as well.
  9. Keep main walkways clear throughout the home.
  10. Nothing says "home" better than the smell of fresh cookies, pumpkin pie, or banana bread wafting throughout the house.  Candles, potpourri, or Scentsy items can help achieve this...unless you happen to be a really good cook.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to desensitize and depersonalize.  Think of it this way, once you list your house, it's no longer your home.  It's someone else's...and the sooner we can achieve that, the better!

When you're ready to list your home or if you're needing some help getting it ready, feel free to give us a call.  We've helped hundreds of families prep their homes for the market and we'd love to help you!  Email, text, or give us a call anytime...913.787.1870 or

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