home staging for a successful showing


What Is In A First Impression?

When you decide to sell your home, the very first impression is the most important one! From the inside out, your home should exude warmth, livability and a focus on the key traits to your home. For example, if you have a wonderful view of a lake or marsh, the design focus should draw the eye to that area. Homes that are well staged, using much of your existing furnishings and adding some additional items, such as brand new towels, and even some simple tricks, will make an emotional connection with buyers. Vacant homes lightly staged can make the perfect connection with buyers. Research (National Association of Realtors) shows the minimal investment of home staging and redesign (1% or less) yields about 10% higher sale price, as well as a much faster sale with a beautifully and strategically staged home. Staging often will sell much faster, too!

Staging for Successful Showings

Showing a home can be a hectic situation, so Beauty for Homes recommends giving ample time (minimum 2 hours notice) for showings unless you know you can leave the home ready to show certain hours. Our beloved pets should be put away from the home for showings whenever possible, and all areas neat and clean. Consider a showing plan to be ready.

The Exterior:

  1. Clean the driveway and walkway's- remove any mold.
  2. Trim any bushes, trees, shrubs and add fresh seasonal color.
  3. Pull weeds, add mulch to flower beds (inexpensive and looks great), a few fresh bags and a few annuals can help.
  4. Paint the exterior if it is needed, or touch up areas that need it.
  5. Cut and edge the lawn. Work to get lawn green and weed free.
  6. Clean all windows and check any shutters for paint touch ups.
  7. The front door is crucial- repaint, stain, clean all glass and knobs - everything buyers touch should be clean and updated
  8. Exterior lighting- is it updated? Check all bulbs outside home.

The Interior:

  1. Make sure flooring is clean and in good repair.
  2. Keep the home clean and smelling good, remove odors.
  3. Remove any Large, non-furniture items or anything that may look like clutter and box items up or use decorative boxes to store.
  4. Paint if needed, choosing neutral colors.
  5. Bring in a few furniture pieces for show.

Not every room is created equal when showing a property for sale. Consider the flow of the home, and focus on the best features first. If you have a great view or lake in back, you would want to draw the eye to the best parts of your home. What sold you on your home and what do others comment on? Start by concentrating on staging these rooms well will improve results. Consider this:

  1. The Entry Room or Foyer (first point of entry) - This room is the first thing people see when they come inside the property. First impressions mean a lot. What is the style of the home? Relaxed, beachy, contemporary, formal? Remember, you want the buyer to feel at home and comfortable in all areas.
  2. The Kitchen (the gathering area) - Everyone loves a great kitchen. Even those who don't cook! A bright, open, airy feeling kitchen will really improve how the property shows. Play up the strengths and make sure appliances are really clean inside and out - yes, they will look in there!
  3. Bathrooms - You want your bathrooms to be very clean and well lit. Spotless is a better word for clean in this situation. Add some clean or new towels and maybe a scented candle. Be sure the tub is scrubbed and any and all tiles are clean. This is one room that must be clean. Remove all medications (best to lock up), and personal hygiene items out of sight. Keep toilet lids down for all showings.
  4. Living Room/Family Room - The living room, den, family room, these rooms need to look great. Using neutral colors if you are painting is a good idea. You want these rooms to feel inviting and cozy. Keeping the room as open as possible is also important, the larger these areas look, the better. For videos, games, books, toys it is best to put them in attractive boxes or drawers. Buyers want to envision living there. Use a fireplace or great view in the back, ie pool, deck open to view. Fewer personal photos and knick knacks is best.
  5. Bedrooms - Bedrooms are tough as you want them to look inviting, but you do not want them to be tailored to any one individual taste. Keep them neutral and open and well lit. You want to show there is room for the buyer to add their personal touch to what will become their intimate space. Try to create a blank canvas for your buyers to work with. You want to remove all personal items that you can, and make sure bedding is clean. Neatness is major in this room. Also, any funny smells can turn off a buyer quickly, so check closets for musty or "locker room" smells and remove clutter. Kids room should be neat and organized, minimize crazy colors or décor.
  6. Outdoor spaces - Nothing is more charming than to have a sanctuary in the back of the home. Add a water feature or inexpensive firepit to create warmth. Clean all pool and patio area to be free of mold, or weeds. Help the buyer to envision the use of the space.
  7. Formal Rooms - Consider clean and set table, and possible double use of spaces, such as a music room. Formal is best when blended with warmth and hospitality. Choose neutral colors unless the rest of the home is neutral. Ensure 4 feet to get around every walk space. Most of the time, less is more!
  8. Offices - Declutter all that you can and put away personal files and papers. An office should look functional but not messy. Try to store any open boxes or papers in a drawer or closet.
  9. Closets - Less is more, so the buyer can envision more space. What better time to purge than now, and store out of season clothes under a bed or in attic is best. Remove any old stinky shoes or musty odors.
  10. Pets - Remove pets and pet odors, cat litter boxes as far away from buyers as you can, and try to remove evidence of pets. Find a neighbor or friend who can pet sit for showings. Remove all dander in the event of allergies.

The basics of successful showings is cleanliness, order and odors. If the home is in good repair, then a few routines before showings should give you an edge, especially if staged by a certified stager. For the Fall, consider fragrant Fall or cinnamon cones or candles in the winter, some long lasting flowers and greenery from the yard in key places, and real orange spray for bathrooms, closets and other key areas. See upcoming stories for Fresh and Easy Tips that last longer in between showings- After all, we want to make this the shortest marketing time before your home sells for top dollar. Future stories will feature top ten easiest showing secrets from the experts.