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Home Selling 101: How to Stage Your Home


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Did you know that most buyers form an opinion about a home within the first 7–10 seconds of walking through the front door? When you are selling your home, first impressions are critical; from curb appeal to walking through the front door, your buyer needs to be impressed with how your house looks, and even more, they need to be able to envision themselves living there. However, this doesn't mean that you need to go out, break the bank, and buy brand new furniture and home decor in order to do so.

If you're on a low budget and want some tips and tricks to help spruce up your home before you put it on the market, we have compiled a list of very easy and inexpensive things you can do to make sure your home makes the best impression possible!

1. Remove personal pictures

Removing personal pictures of you and your family may help the potential buyer envision themselves living in the home. While the 20"x30" wedding picture above your mantel is undoubtedly lovely, it can be distracting to potential buyers. When buyers can imagine their life in your home, it will take them one step closer to making an offer.

2. Less furniture is more

Removing all but a few key pieces of furniture not only makes your house look clean, it will also make the livable space appear to be much larger and more open. For instance, in a bedroom, keep it simple. Display a bed, bedside tables, and maybe a dresser or two. Keep it simple and clean. The garage is an ideal spot to store extra furniture and clutter. Most people give a pass at a messy garage because they understand that you are moving, and will generally only look at the outside of the garage.

3. Clean and declutter

Make sure all of your counter tops, windows, floors, and even your appliances are shiny and clean; every surface should sparkle. This also includes cleaning your furniture and even the dreaded inside of the oven. Having a clean home shows buyers that you took care of the home. This is the easiest and least expensive way to help your home put its best foot forward.

4. Hold off on repairing large items

It’s always best to have a REALTOR® inspect your home first before you repair or fix any large items in your home. What may seem like a big deal to you may not be a big deal to the buyer when it comes to making a decision on purchasing your home. For example, if you have a hot tub in your backyard that doesn’t work, it’s wise to not spend money on repairing it until you know for sure whether an offer has been made and if a working hot tub is a requirement of the buyer.

5. Make sure all light bulbs work

When it comes time for the inspection of your home, the inspector will automatically check off “electrical problem” on the home buyer’s inspection checklist if there is even one light bulb that has burned out. Additionally, a well lit room will help you better see the area as a whole and the space it provides.

Bonus Tip: Keep receipts for all repairs and renovations you complete on the home.

It’s important to keep a file of all receipts and paperwork for warranty purposes and to document proof of purchase. For example, if you purchased a new roof, the receipt will prove that it was, in fact purchased, and give a record of the year so the buyer will know when the roof was installed. Having the foundation report is also a significant document to keep. This will show the buyer that your house in structurally sound. Keeping an organized file will make for a more secure buyer because they will know they are purchasing a home from a responsible homeowner.

Taking the time to go through your house and make changes may seem like a pain in the beginning, but if you stick to these fairly simple steps, it should increase your pool of potential buyers.

*Be sure to consult your REALTOR® for real estate related advice.

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