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To Stage or Not to Stage? Tips to Prepare Your Home to Sell

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Selling your home can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. If your goal is to quickly sell for asking price or possibly more, consider staging your home. According to Barb Schwarz, president of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, staging is “preparing your home for a sale so the buyer can mentally move in,” making it easy for them to envision their furniture and personal belongings in the home. cited a Coldwell Banker Real Estate Association survey, which suggested that staged homes often sell for 6 percent above asking price. Staged homes may sell faster, too. cited a Real Estate Staging Association report stating that homes that have been staged prior to being put on the market receive an initial offer in an average of 23 days, compared to 102 days for non-staged homes.


In addition to a detailed cleaning and fixing of any significant cosmetic issues within the home, staging can include anything from painting and redecorating the interior to hiring a professional to get — and keep — your home in tip-top shape while it is on the market. However, professional home-staging can cost a pretty penny. If you don’t have it in your budget to hire someone, follow these DIY tips to prepare your home to sell.


Interior, living room


First Impressions Count

When staging your home, it’s important to maintain the outside just as much as the inside, as it’s the first thing that a potential buyer will see. Make sure that the exterior paint — including shutters, trim and doors — is fresh and chip-free. A well-maintained yard that is regularly fertilized, weeded and mowed will also make a huge difference for the curb appeal of your home. To seal the deal, professional home-stagers encourage sellers to clean and sweep the front entryway before each showing and place a welcome mat outside the door.


Curb Careless Clutter

Keeping your home clean and organized is essential to successful staging. Aim to showcase your home, not your belongings. Taking that vintage action figure collection off the shelf and keeping your kitchen and bathroom countertops clutter-free can have an impact on how long your home takes to sell.


Pack Up Personal Items

When potential buyers are touring your home, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for them to imagine living in the space and making it their own. Remove personal family photos from frames and replace them with artwork or landscape shots to help a buyer easily picture his or her belongings and photos in the home, not yours.


Color Your Home Sold

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the visual appeal of your home’s interior. Repainting your walls in warm, muted tones or neutrals gives a friendly, inviting appearance. Strategically adding bold pops of color, such as red or orange throw pillows, flowers or table centerpieces, is another great selling tactic. This subtle use of color draws attention to the room without being overwhelming. While bright colors work well in some areas of your home, using white in your bathrooms is a tried-and-true staging tactic. Replacing colorful towels and rugs with white will make the area appear cleaner and more appealing.


Picture-Perfect: Professional Photos Are Worth the Splurge

In our digital age, many homebuyers thoroughly scope out listings online before ever stepping foot in the home. This enables sellers to show off their homes, inside and out, without having to host an open house. However, success heavily depends on the quality of the photos. Spending a bit extra for a professional photographer to showcase your home in style will help catch a buyer’s eye in no time.


Set the Scene for a Speedy Sale

In today’s competitive real estate market, appearance is everything. Staging your home to give it an inviting, move-in-ready look can help cut down on the time your home is on the market and help you sell it for the price you want.