Written by Jerry Fowler (from the September 2001 Real Estate Update)
One of the most important things you can do to sell your home quickly is to “stage it”. Basically, there are five steps to home staging.
• Getting rid of clutter
• Decorating and accessorizing
When I say “cleaning” I don’t mean your ordinary, weekly house cleaning. I mean a deep cleaning in which every surface, every window, every nook-and-cranny sparkle and shine. Clean windows, ceiling fans, curtains and blinds, carpet- in short, everything. Eliminate unpleasant pet odors and even consider having someone else care for pets until the house is sold.
GETTING RID OF CLUTTER
You’re to be moving anyway so go ahead and start getting rid of things you’ll never need again and box up things you can live without for a couple of months. Clean about 50 percent of the things in closets, most of the knick knacks displayed around the home and enough
furniture so that rooms look open and inviting. Kitchen and bath counters should be clean and uncluttered. Even the cabinets and drawers should contain only a few items, because prospective buyers will be opening doors and drawers and will want to see a lot of space.
It’s important to remove most family photographs and personal collections. Buyers are trying to envision themselves in every home they tour and it’s hard to do that when faced with the seller’s personal items. Every room of the house should have a general appeal for the
majority of buyers. Leaving personal collections for the buyer to see distracts the purchaser by having him or her focusing on your things rather than the house.
DECORATING AND ACCESSORIZING
There are many improvements that can be made with little expense: A fresh coat of paint doesn’t cost very much but will add impact. New window treatments, fresh flowers, green plants and pretty accessories all pack a punch without breaking the wallet.