Are you getting ready to put your house on the market? Congratulations! Time to get into home staging mode, right? Now this may have you feeling one of two things. One, you could be a pro and have done this many times before, or you cringe at the very thought of getting your home ready for strangers to scrutinize. It can certainly be a daunting task to get your home ready to sell even for the pros, but it can all be made easier with the right game plan!
You may wonder what a personal trainer and life coach can teach you about home staging. Not that it’s rocket science, but you do need to know what will turn potential buyers into a SALE! I’ve had the experience of selling three different homes in the past 15 years or so. One in Little Rock, the next in Tulsa and the last one in Dallas, Texas. All different markets, but I was able to present these homes in a way that had them sold FAST! I even considered starting a home staging business years ago, but alas it wasn’t meant to be.
My Experience with Home Staging
The reason I believe in the power of home staging is because of my own experience. The first time I sold a house was back in 2001. I had the cutest little 3 bedroom, 2 bath bungalow in the Park Hill area of Little Rock AR. I had only been in the house for 1 year before I decided that my life’s purpose was to move to Dallas.
Over this time, I had been painting, gardening and decorating the house throughout that year with no intention of selling at the time. Decorating is something I naturally love to do and I was just turning the house into a charming home for myself. But once the decision was made to move, it was on! The house sold within 2 weeks for my full asking price. Woohoo!
The second home I sold was another darling bungalow, but this time it was a 2 bedroom, 1 bath. It was located in a vintage neighborhood close to the charming Utica Square area of Tulsa, OK. Again, I had only been in the house less than a year when I decided to once again return to Dallas. Are you recognizing a trend here? LOL! This time my house sold within a month and for just below my asking price. Do you think it was luck or was it the home staging? 🙂
And the last home selling experience was the adorable Cape style cottage, Joe and I bought around 2006. It was a tiny 2 bedroom, 1 bath and it was in an up and coming urban neighborhood close to Oaklawn in Dallas. We were in that house about 3 years before deciding to sell. Many improvements were made to the home including a brand new 2 car garage, new kitchen and lots of landscaping. We probably put around $50k into the house which we were fortunate to get back when we sold. We feel certain these strategic improvements helped the home sell within a month. Yaay, thank you Lord!
If you’re ready to get into your own home staging, I’m going to be sharing my tips and tricks. Now, you can definitely hire a professional to do all of this for you and for some people that’s probably a good idea. But I know that most of you CAN do this and I want to share what worked for us. I feel confident it will work for you too! If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get started on The Complete Guide to Home Staging!
The Complete Guide to Home Staging
These are tips for any homeowner. I’ll break it down for the different rooms and help you pull it all together in the end. Remember, you’re trying to set the stage. You want people to envision themselves living here. You want them to aspire to have a life in this house. And, remember, most home buying is EMOTIONAL! It’s all about how they FEEL when they step into your home. None of my homes were large or fancy but they made the buyer feel at home. This is what you’re after. So here we go!
- Remove unnecessary furniture
- Pull furniture away from the wall
- Replace dark curtains with lighter colors
- Group smaller, like kind art pieces together
- Remove or tuck all cords and wires
- Pack away family portraits
- Get rid of knick knacks
- Add a long narrow rug in empty walk ways
- Hang the largest artwork on the largest wall
- Add a nice coffee table book
- Remove table leaves in table to enlarge area
- Properly set the dinner table
- Hang light colored floor to ceiling curtains
- Open blinds to let in natural light
- Add fresh flowers to table
- Consider a neutral rug such as seagrass
- Wall art should be hung at eye level
- Use a large mirror to enlarge space
- Put lighting on a dimmer
- Consider leaving one wall bare
- Remove most items from the counters
- Add a bowl of fresh fruit to add color
- Stain or paint dated cabinets
- Replace old knobs or hardware
- Remove all items from refrigerator door
- Paint over any loud or bright colors
- Have kitchen professionally cleaned top to bottom
- Purge stuff from inside the cabinets and organize drawers
- Consider updating the backsplash to a neutral tile
- Remove garbage can and deodorize sink garbage disposal
- Remove TV, computer or any other electronics
- Fresh, white textured linens on the bed
- Bed should face the door or at least not be pushed in the corner
- Clear all personal items from nightstands
- Add fresh flowers on bed side tables
- Replace old carpet or have it steam cleaned
- Have all shades and blinds open to let in natural light
- Pack away 50% of the items in your closet
- Use all the same color hangers to hang clothes (trash the plastic or wire ones)
- Clean up and pack away most of the kids toys
- Put away toothbrushes and all toiletry items
- Hang new fresh white towels. Hang in thirds
- Clean within an inch of it’s life. Should be the cleanest room in house
- Re-caulk everything
- Add fresh flowers or a nice green plant
- Replace old shower curtain with a neutral color
- Hide all shampoo/conditioner bottles from shower
- Add new full toilet paper roll
- Add new white bath mat
- Use tasteful, minimal artwork
- Clean and paint the front door
- Consider adding new, attractive house numbers
- Add seasonal plants in pretty planters on porch or by door
- Get fresh new welcome mat
- Hang simple decorative wreath
- Pack away any shoes or coats inside the entryway
- Upgrade door hardware if necessary
- Inside front door should be uncluttered
- Add small entry table with nice plant or flowers
- Make sure entry is well-lit and lights are on
Exterior and Garden
- Power wash brick and concrete surfaces
- Wash all windows inside and out
- Remove all trash cans from sight
- Store all lawn and garden equipment
- Freshen up patio furniture with fresh cushions and pillows
- Add planters of seasonal plants
- Freshen up landscaping with annual plantings
- Add fresh mulch to flowerbeds
- Remove all flags, garden ornaments or other clutter
- Consider new sod on tired spots in the lawn
Final thoughts on home staging
Getting your home ready for the world to see can seem overwhelming at first. I know, I’ve been there! But just take your time. Take it room by room and you’ll get it ready for even the most discerning buyer. A few more general tips before we go:
- Paint over all bright or loud colors throughout the home. A clean, white palette is what most buyers are looking for these days.
- Cleanliness is crucial. Make sure every room in your home is spotless.
- Lighting is key. Brighten up your entire home as much as you can.
- Use real plants and flowers all over. Get rid of any fake ones.
- Try to let go of your “look.” Remember, you’re getting this house ready for someone else. Make it feel that way.
- Always walk into your home as if you were a potential buyer. What are the first things you see? How does it smell? What is the energy like?
- Declutter all surfaces
- Remove all traces of pets
- Clean and dust ceiling fans
I hope you’ve found these tips on home staging helpful today! With some hard work and a few tricks up your sleeve, you’ll have that house sold in no time. Good Luck! If I left anything out, leave me a comment below!
P.S. As I’m sure you’re aware, a good real estate agent can make ALL the difference. If you’re in the Dallas area, I know a couple of great ones! My long time client and friend Meghan Mitchell Kelley with Simoson Real Estate has been in the business for over 10 years. And the super talented, Denise Molina with American Nesters Group over at Clay Stapp Co. has been a long time friend who is committed to helping you find the perfect nest!
Don’t hesitate to contact either one of these amazing ladies if you’re in the market to buy, sell or rent!
I have no financial incentive to mention these ladies, I just think it’s good karma to help other women grow their business.
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