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The Power of Staging Your Home to Sell

March 08,2022 | Posted By Jeff and Cheryl Fox in Seller's Info
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Often minor changes can enhance a home's "showability" when offered to the public for inspection. Sellers don't seem to realize when "too much of their home" is showing. Staging your home for its most pleasing presentation requires a room-by-room critique to offer the best first impressions.

Accentuate the Positive

When studying a room, the first point your eye catches should be positive. For example, a home with a massive fireplace commands the first attention spot. However, poor placement of furniture, too many "comfy" afghans, and plenty of books and magazines will distort the simplicity of the room's greatest asset. Add last night's empty pizza box and full ashtrays, and any prospective buyer will less appreciate the fine points the home would have offered.

Here is a list of ten points to keep in mind when staging your home for buyer inspections:

1. Start packing the belongings you do not need to "live." Extra books, magazines, kid's artwork, afghans that don't match the decor should be boxed and labeled for your next home. Different knick-knacks from Christmas, cluttered bulletin boards, and several months' bank statements can easily be stored away. Kitchens are the biggest culprits as they are such a busy meeting place in the home. Discount coupons, excessive decorative magnets, photos, etc., really catch the eye of the overwhelmed buyer. The top of the refrigerator is the largest collector of sometimes used gadgets. Unless you use your "wok" daily, it is better to clear the top and front of your refrigerator to simplify the kitchen. Convenient appliances also do better when tucked away, so counters look cleaner and sharper. Please check switchplates for fingerprints and smudges, as those are the first places to get noticed. Doorbells are another place where fingerprints are evident. Be sure you are making the right first impression.

2. Family rooms are for relaxing, and need to be staged for crisp impressions. Fold up grandma's afghans, get rid of tired pillows, and pack up slippers and cribbage sets for neat and clean appearances. Leftover smolderings in the fireplace can add a stale scent to the room. Give extra attention to removing ashes to avoid the less appreciated smokey smells from last night's fire.

3. Bedrooms are other places we enjoy our conveniences the most. Our robes and slippers waiting for us do not offer top exposure to a viewing family. Get closets slimmed down for a great look. Freshen with a soft potpourri to diminish the stale odors of humidity and small confined places. Although we like our shades and blinds pulled for sleeping hours, buyers are generally drawn to a light, airy, bright room. So open up all window treatments to maximize brightness. With windows being exposed, be sure they are spotless and sparkling. A house shows its best when it looks like it has been cared for. Remove jewelry and other small personal items from dresser tops. Clean and simple sells the best.

4. The most inexpensive way to brighten a home beside a fresh coat of paint is to increase the wattage in light bulbs. That small guest room may be seldom used but needs to look bigger and brighter to an interested buyer. Be sure the lamp can handle a stronger bulb and invest in a 3-way if possible. When you know that a showing is scheduled, be sure to turn on every light bulb in the house for the best showing potential. Look around model homes, and you will notice all the lights are always on, even on sunny days! This is not the time to conserve electricity - it's part of your marketing plan. If you have a room that shows particularly dark, put in an attractive lamp and leave it on most of the time. It will help the buyer leave with a brighter impression of the rest of the home.

5. Everybody has a "junk" room or closet. It's acceptable not to be perfect throughout, but minimize the clutter to one room, desk, or area, and you are ensured of a better showing. If it is impossible to move around, you could be adversely affecting that buyer's perception of the size of the home, so give careful consideration to overstuffed rooms.

6. Everyone's basement and garages are relatively similar, full of seasonal equipment, holiday decorations, and tools. Garage sales are the best remedy for liquidating the accumulated extras over the years. Better to sell than to pay to have incidentals moved you don't need anymore. The biggest offender in basement commentary is the strong mold odors from high humidity. A dehumidifier can assist greatly in relieving that damp "basement" feeling and alleviate concerns about water problems that don't exist. It's worth the effort to alleviate this common problem.

7. The worst offenders for dust and dirt are the cold air returns and heating vents. If they won't clean up with soap and water and painting doesn't improve them, purchasing new ones is not expensive and a great alternative. A house with cobwebs and loaded vents gives the wrong impression about the cleaning standards of the present owner.

8. Pet water and food dishes should be relocated to a spot where they will not get kicked accidentally. Water provides the perfect setting for falls or slips that can cause an accident. Cat boxes and pet beds should be clean and fresh, and out of sight if possible. Those that don't appreciate pets as much as you will be turned off to pet "evidence."

9. Junior's bedroom posters of rock groups to minimize the accurate picture of the room. Limit the "artwork" to 1 or 2 posters and promise him that he can resurrect the rest at his next destination.

10. Bathroom grouts must look like new. Bleaching can take care of some of the problems. Still, having a professional tile person patch and regrout problem areas is worth the money. This is not a good time to try extensive grouting yourself. Often amateur attempts convey the problem more than it is. Shower tracks from doors should glisten, along with the mirrors. Remove prescription bottles, pills, old toothbrushes, and worn towels. This room should get the most attention and look its best at all times. Dated colors in sinks can be replaced for generally a low investment. They can render a much-updated feeling when a yesteryear color is no longer an objection. Remove old moldy shower curtains and limit shampoos to a few.



Bought a Townhouse home in 2023 in Valley Glen, CA. Jeff and Cheryl Fox did an outstanding job finding us our first home. They are...
- Mahta Herfatmanesh

Contact Jeff and Cheryl Fox

16133 Ventura Blvd. 7th Floor
Encino CA 91436

CalBRE# 00544250, CalBRE# 01264144

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