Selling your house? You’ll want the home to make a great first impression on potential buyers, and that often means cleaning and decluttering the house until it looks pristine. And while you’re rushing around, trying to find a new place for your items, it may seem like an impossible task.
Take a breather—it’s actually easier than you think. Here are four staging tips that are so easy they may not have even crossed your mind:
Use resources. You don’t need to take on everything all by yourself. For example, hire a cleaning company. You can find some relatively affordable options, and this will help you stay stress-free throughout the process. Once the home’s clean, all you have to worry about is keeping it that way.
Also, consider renting a storage unit so you don’t have to figure out where to hide your must-keeps. This way, these items are already neatly packed and ready for when you move, and unnecessary clutter won’t distract buyers from envisioning themselves living in your home.
Decorate with the potential buyer in mind. If you’re in a starter-home neighborhood, the buyer will likely be a younger individual or couple looking for more space after cramped apartment living. Pick some trendy paint colors like lilac gray or muted pastels, and keep the decor minimalistic and modern. Forget decorating a kid’s bedroom and opt for an office layout in the second bedroom instead.
If you’re looking to downsize from, say, a four-bedroom house on a cul-de-sac, you’re probably going to attract the family crowd. Emphasize your space by decorating according to their needs. Have a finished basement? Amp up the recreational feel with some movie theater loungers or make it a game room.
Think about your neighborhood, as well. For example, if your home is near a highly rated school, that’s also an indicator that kids may come with the package for whoever owns your home next.
Focus on the small accessories. Take a tour of your own home, but with fresh eyes. What do you see that stands out as grungy, old and just a complete turnoff? This can be anything from a sticky, splattered garbage bin that needs a good cleaning, to your shower curtain that has a dense layer of soap scum. Replace any small accessories that won’t cost you a fortune, and clean anything that can look like new with some TLC.
Use your nose. Again, take a tour of your home, but this time focus on what you’re smelling. A better option might be to find friends or family members who don’t live with you to volunteer their noses. Identify the sources of odor in your home, and figure out a solution. The last thing you want is for a buyer to come in and quickly be hit by an unpleasant smell. In addition to cleaning, you could open the windows to let the house air out, light some candles to freshen up the rooms, or bake a cake or cookies right before a potential buyer comes over.
Staging can be easy if you just put yourself in a buyer’s shoes. It is, however, more than just moving around furniture and putting away the excess items. Think back to the tour you took yourself before buying this home. What stood out to you—both good and bad? Of course, trends change, but the overall clean and tidy feeling is always the first thing people notice. And customizing your home with some easy staging tricks can make a big difference.