HGTV host Lisa LaPorta offers the following advise on staging for people who are selling their home:
1. Get the right mind-set. Once you list your home, detach yourself. It's not about you anymore. Treat the house as a commodity. Make changes that will broaden its appeal.
2. Start at the curb. Look at what people see when they pull up. Trim hedges, prune trees, mow the lawn and plant flowers. If the mailbox is tired and address numbers are falling off, replace them. Walk around the house; get all debris off the property.
3. Paint — it's money in a can. Outside, a coat of paint is one of the best face-lifts you can give your house for a relatively low price. If you don't want to paint the whole house, paint the trim. Inside, paint walls a soft neutral like warm beige, sage or gold. Paint says fresh start and masks odors.
4. Focus on the entry. The front door makes a strong first impression. Make sure the door, hardware and porch decor look fabulous.
5. Start packing. Most homes would show much better with 50 percent less stuff. Since you're already moving, give yourself a head start by packing away clothes, books and dishes you won't need for the next few months. Thinning out bookcases and closets lets buyers better appreciate the space, and gives the illusion that the house offers more than adequate storage. If you can't get the stuff into off-site storage, stack neat, labeled boxes in the garage. While you're at it, clear surfaces. In kitchens, leave out just one appliance. Leave just a phone and a lamp on your desk. Think nice hotel.
6. Catch up on maintenance. Do those minor repairs you should have done already. Paying attention to details signals that you care about big stuff, too.
7. Consider new appliances.In LaPorta's experience, sellers get back every dollar they spend on new appliances. "When people see new kitchen appliances, they often see a new kitchen. That rates high on people's radar."
8. Add house bling.Update anything metal. People see shiny new metal, and say "Oooh." You can buy a new dining room light fixture for $200, and one for the porch for $40. Change doorknobs, faucets and curtain rods if they're worn and dull. You may only need a can of spray paint. Styles don't change; metals do. If you have dated polished brass fixtures, paint them an updated metallic that looks like oil-rubbed bronze, brushed nickel or iron.
9. Clean house. Clean is relative, but we often don't notice our own dirt. So look hard, starting with the switch plate by the front door. Wipe it down along with all light switches, doors and baseboards. If you're not the best housekeeper, hire a service. Every surface should sparkle.
10. Banish smells. Pet odors kill deals. When people walk in, they should either smell nothing or a really nice scent, like cinnamon, citrus for fresh baked cookies. Put out potpourri, or fresh flowers. Have carpets, if not replaced, professionally cleaned and deodorized.
Posted by rebecca on
August 12, 2008 in