When preparing your home for sale, staging has become essential if you want to get the most bang for your buck. You don’t necessarily need to do a drastic makeover and make your home look like it came straight out of a magazine, but there are certain basics that should be done in each room before you consider your home market ready.
In the Kitchen
- Remove as much as you can from the counters. This includes appliances, extra storage, food, and miscellaneous clutter. The countertops should be as clear as possible.
- For the appliances that you can’t store or put away, or are ones that you use every day, make sure they are spotless. If they are out of date or just look aged no matter how you scrub and clean, strongly consider replacing them. It’s a small investment, which you will likely see a full return on.
- Pack away unnecessary dishes. Chances are, you won’t be needing your fine china while your home is up on the market. Scale down to just the items that you will need and use over the course of the next month or so, and pack up the rest.
In the Living Room
- De-personalize. You will need to do this in every room, of course, but more often than not the living room is the most personalized room in the home. Family pictures, heirlooms, children’s toys, personal art choices, religious items, etc. Your goal is to make the room as neutral as possible.
- Re-think the furniture arrangement. Is the current layout what works best for the home, or simply what worked best for you? Keep in mind that some pieces of furniture may need to go into storage.
- Make any needed repairs and upgrades. Light switches, curtain rods, outlets, etc. You may also want to consider replacing the light bulbs if they’ve been in place for a few years. While they may not be burned out, they may have dimmed over time. Consider repainting the walls- it’s a relatively inexpensive upgrade that can result in a big payoff.
In the Bathroom
- This is true for all rooms, but becomes even more crucial in the bathroom- scrub and clean every nook and cranny. The bathroom is the one room that should be absolutely spotless before being presented to buyers.
- Make repairs or replacements. Some spots may need replacing or refinishing- new silicone or grout around faucets or drains, a new shower base if the current one is stained and just won’t come clean. A little out of pocket cost now will travel miles in terms of not only selling your home faster, but in increasing your asking price.
- Purchase a special set of guest towels that will be used for display while you are showing the house. Plain white works best. Store all other towels during a showing.
- Put away all personal items- from in the shower, from the counters, and -most importantly- from the medicine cabinet. Not only does this protect some of your privacy, but it helps the room look tidier and move-in ready. Consider getting a lidded box or basket for these items that can be easily stored away during a showing, but still accessible when you need it.
In the Bedrooms
- Like in the livingroom and bathroom, put away all personal items from dresser tops, night stands, and vanities.
- Clean out the closets- keep out only what you will need and pack or store the rest. Organize the rest to show off the space available in the closet.
- If needed, purchase new linens for the bed. Choose a style that is simple -no busy patterns- and matches the room’s color scheme.
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