Now that your Pre-Listing Repairs have been completed, the house is structurally ready to show. It is time to make final preparations for showing your home which will include de-cluttering, cleaning, and staging.
Preparing Your Home:
The first step in this stage of preparation comes as you walk through your house with the intent to make it generally anonymous. Sometimes a friend can help you here- ask someone else to walk through with you and help you see anything that makes your home clearly “yours.” Remove any identity information that could be used in identity theft. Take down calendars that might disclose where your children go to school, when your anniversary and birthdays are, or when you will be away from home. The refrigerator is one of the most likely places for this info to be displayed- we recommend taking everything off of your refrigerator before showings start.
If you feel strongly about your family photos you may leave a few in view, but understand that anything a buyer sees can provide them with information they can use to their advantage during negotiations or your pictures may distract buyers from seeing their own family in your home going forward.
Another place to clear identifying info is from your bathrooms. Remove or lock up any prescription bottles, new or old. These also have identity theft info on them. They may also contain medications that someone could wish to steal.
Now it’s time for a deep clean and a serious de-cluttering. This should be the sort of cleaning that you would do if you knew someone was coming to visit who would be judging your home because that is exactly what is coming. And your clutter hides the spaciousness of your house and also makes it hard for someone else to imagine their furniture in your house.
Staging Your House:
Notice we are now calling it your house- at this point it is important to realize that when your listing goes live your home becomes a house- it is now a commodity. The intent is to show the house in its best light and to invite the potential buyer to envision it as his or her own.
Staging can occur on several levels. The easiest level is to take what you have and use it differently. After a thorough de-clutter, a staging consultant can help us do things like rearrange furniture, set up a bathroom with inviting colors or fabrics, or re-purpose a room for a more general use. The next level might involve bringing in some items for some rooms to optimize a buyer’s ability to see what rooms may become. For example, if you had a bonus room that was used mostly for storage a stager might bring in a bedroom suite to stage you up one more bedroom. A walk-in closet may become a small office or your screened in porch may be graced with a cute outdoor furniture set. The highest level of staging may be required in a luxury property when the family has already moved. Huge empty spaces are hard for buyers to understand.
Prices for staging vary significantly. Obviously if a stager has to bring furniture in there is a rental fee as well. The simplest level of staging- where a consultant helps us arrange what you already have- is relatively inexpensive but often helpful. In some cases no staging is necessary, but it is something available to us if we find a property isn’t showing well or if we face unusual challenges in making the home welcoming to the general buyer.
If you decide you would like help with deep cleaning, de-cluttering, or staging, we have qualified professionals we can recommend.
If you have questions about this or other Real Estate topics, please get it touch!