More and more people are “staging homes” trying to get a higher selling price, especially in this economy. It’s becoming more and more well known, and ‘cool’ to stage a home and I’ve decided to give you 3 golden tips I’ve used over the years to consistently get better selling prices and faster sales. Of course there are a million things you can do to fix up a home or apartment, but let’s stick to 3 easy things anyone can do today to improve their chances:
1. Bright and shiny glass. It’s amazing the difference made to the look of a home when all the windows, glass doors, etc are perfectly clean and shiny. Smudges, dirt and grime, these are things you get used to after living in a house for some time, and you may not notice them. But buyers will. It doesn’t matter how neat and tidy you are, these surfaces will get dirty over time.
Make sure you use a special glass cleaner fluid, if you’re like most people you’ll have some around there somewhere. What is less well known is the technique of using sheets of newspaper to wipe the glass. Sounds weird I know, but almost all fabrics will leave some trace on the glass, their fibres will stick. The newspaper will leave your glass spotlessly clean.
2. Sweet smelling air. As with your glass surfaces, no matter how clean and tidy you are, smells will be created in your home, and they like to hang around. For most of us, it’s just cooking smells, maybe the smell of a detergent you use, baby smells, smoking, etc. Be rest assured that a person coming into your home for the first time can smell every little thing in there, we get desensitized to the smells over time. I remember inspecting a home which had a strong smell of kitty litter – despite the cat not having lived there for around a year.
Use air fresheners and other things to add a nice scent to the air but you want to be careful not to overdo it. If a buyer comes in and is barely able to breathe the thickly perfumed air, it will be a short visit with a disappointing ending. They could even be allergic to something and if they suffer some kind of attack, don’t expect an offer. Just a quick spray, a lemon wedge in the garbage disposal, keep the trash cans sealed and away from the house, and all bathroom areas nice and clean.
3. Fresh-looking carpets & flooring. You may rarely even glance at your own floor, but the second somebody walks into your home, this is one of the things they’re judging you on. The floor isn’t always easy to keep clean, especially if you have pets or kids, (or both!), but there are some easy measures you can take to get them looking their best. Start with carpet stains. You can get a special magic marker to hide small stains on carpets, and other chemicals to clean larger areas. Trouble is, you can end up with a big clean patch in the middle, with the outsides looking their age. Having the carpets cleaned is a must, chemical cleaning is best and you can walk on it right away. If your carpets look like too big a job to tackle this way, and replacing them is too expensive, there are companies who can dye your entire carpet a darker color, making it look brand new. Just make sure the new color works with your current decor, or you’ll create weeks or months of work for yourself, or an expensive contractor!
Floorboards are great, though they can lose their shine and even become damaged over time. Secure any loose boards, replace damaged ones and give them a polish as well. One tip few people consider is creaky boards – if your buyer walks on a creaky board, especially if the conversation has lulled for a moment, their mind may well flash forward to a dark and stormy night in the future, where from their bed they hear that creaky board…this could be a problem!
As I said, there’s a lot more to staging most homes. Once you get right into it, especially if you do it for a living, you can find yourself spending hours every day working on the project, plus thousands of dollars as well. Just make sure, before you invest, that you are sure of getting enough of a boost in the selling price to justify what you want to do. Sure, on TV everyone gets their bathrooms renovated, they get a new kitchen, the works, but you have to be careful to invest in the right things. Check out the reviews on the home page to find out more about all that, and happy home staging!