Staging your Seattle home
The Staging Process
The objective of staging is to make your home look its absolute best without breaking the bank. At the end of the process, your home should look bigger, brighter and emptier. Simple cosmetic changes don’t cost very much and will make a big difference in the saleability of your home. In addition, it forces you into a head start on the packing / moving process.
When the home is vacant, you have a few options.
• You can stage the place with your own furniture, then move or store the remainder
• You could pay a professional staging service who uses their furniture. Prices are based on the size of your home and how long it needs to be staged.
• Finally, your agent may offer to stage your home with their own items, either for a fee or for free.
It is definitely an advantage to have a straight-talking agent who will tell you what you might not want to hear. Your agent should be familiar with your competition as well as what buyers are looking for. While obviously your agent will want to maximize the possibility that your home will sell (and hence get paid for their efforts), just listing the home as-is may mean that your home may never sell.
Essentials for getting your home ready for market
Curb appeal: If your home does not look good form the outside, buyers will not stop to look at the inside. Cut the grass, trim shrubs and bushes. Add a hanging basket with annuals near the entrance. Paint any peeling paint or re-paint the whole exterior if it has been a long time. Paint regardless if the outside color is well known in the neighborhood for the wrong reasons.
Get rid of the clutter: Use only 2/3 of wardrobe space (will make them look bigger), un-stuff those book shelves and coffee tables. Don’t cram the cupboards with stuff, will make them look small. Have a garage sale or donate to Good Will.
Kitchens and bathrooms tend be full of stuff you only use occasionally, which makes them look cluttered and smaller. All bathrooms and kitchens should be spotless. They are the locations that will get the most attention from buyers.
Neutralize: the buyers need to be able to visualize themselves as if it were their home. Remove family pictures, magnets, etc. off the refrigerator, remove sporting trophies etc. That turquoise bathroom paint job might be better with something less dramatic. Don’t forget, you are trying to appeal to the masses.
Polish and clean: nuff said!
Highlight the best features: for example, don’t put a big potted plant in front of your designer fireplace and or a custom stained glass window.
Re-arrange furniture (if needed). Need clear and uncluttered walkways so viewers can move freely around your home. Less is definitely more.
“Aroma”: lingering strong smells are an instant turnoff for most buyers. This includes cigarette smoke, stinky pets (and occupants), food odors, bathrooms, etc. Open up those windows!
Get the carpets cleaned, remove old stinky sofas, the dog can sleep out in the garage for a while, don’t cook strong smelling dishes that will stink up the house the evening before an open house. New paint can help mask some odors. There are some excellent products out there for giving your home a fresh and pleasant aroma, but don’t overdo it.