I’m totally serious! A lot of people that think that Staging costs too much money, but, honey, there are so many free and low cost fixes that will make your house look super fab for its photo shoot and make buyers swoon when they see your house in person.

And, honestly, Staging your house for your online listing is just as important as hiring a great Realtor and setting the right price these days.

Based on all of the Staging Appraisals that I have done over the years, I’m going to share some of my favorite decluttering specifics and give you a few more (nearly) free ideas that you might not have thought about.

1. Declutter your walls

Small photos, family photos, dried flower arrangements (especially on the top of your kitchen cabinets!), shelves with small knick knacks… gone! Pack ’em up. They will make your photos look distracting and your house dated.

2. Remove any religious symbols you have on display

3. Clear the shelves:

Your shelves should have 1/3 open space, 1/3 accessories–they should be the size of a football or larger–and 1/3 books–only pretty, hardcover books.

4. Show Buyers the way:

One of the biggest mistakes people make is how they arrange the furniture in a room. There is science behind how we feel in a space called Proxemics–crazy, right?!? Not really, you have probably been somewhere where you didn’t feel comfortable but couldn’t figure out exactly why it didn’t feel right. More often than not, it is the furniture arrangement in a house and, if this is a problem in your house, buyers will sense it too.

5. Let your generosity pay off:

Donate or sell your clutter to save money on the cost of moving and to make a little cash to treat yourself to something nice once you have sold super fast; ). ‘Nough said!

6. Take advantage of a free commodity… sunlight!:

Take down old dusty window treatments and open the blinds or shades all the way. Remember sheers don’t let all of the light in so take those down too if you have them. If you are concerned about losing privacy, remember that if you follow my advice, you will not be living in your house for much longer. It is a short term inconvenience for a HUGE long term gain.

7. Replace your light bulb duds:

Please not with those twisty fluorescent kind, thought! I am on a personal crusade to banish these from people’s homes! The light that they give off is too harsh and not flattering at all. Honestly, though, this is an area that people overlook and it seems minor. A buyer is thinking, if they didn’t even take the time to change the light bulbs, how well did they maintain everything else in the house? You wouldn’t go out on a date knowing that you had lettuce stuck in your teeth, so don’t show your house with burned out bulbs over your bathroom sink!

8. Clean, clean and oh, did I mention, clean?:

Scrub every inch of your house, especially your bathtubs and showers. Whatever it takes to get those areas clean, you should do it. In a buyer’s mind, cleanliness is a reflection of how you have maintained your overall property. If you want to get the highest possible list price when you sell, you should give a thorough scrub before you have any meetings with Realtors. Here is a real life example of how an obscene amount of cleaning helped to add 80,000 to the value of a house.

9. Air the place out:

Now this is more for your in person showings since smells aren’t communicated in your online listing but can be a total turn off in real life. In my own home search years ago, I wouldn’t even go past the front entry in what looked to be a lovely home because I couldn’t stand the smell of the pet odors. Studies have shown that people respond best to citrus scents so put away the cinnamon or fresh linen and break out a lemony fresh scent! Here is a great resource for helpful tips if you are a smoker or have pet odors.

10. Don’t let ’em in on your beauty secrets:

Put away all grooming supplies and toiletries in bathroom, on countertops and on tub surround. But, please, put them into storage in an organized way–with baskets or lined up neatly. It is acceptable to leave shampoo and shower gel for your in person showings, but please, take them out for your online listing photos. It goes back to the whole idea of visual clutter. Ya know what I mean?

Bonus Tip! Let Buyers think that they are sooo organized!:

Every nook and cranny really counts when you are selling your house. Yep, even your cupboards and closets. I had a client once who had her house on the market 3 times without offers who did not want to spend the energy cleaning out her closets because she didn’t think she would sell and didn’t want to pack away all of her sweaters since she would need them come winter. Guess what, I nudged her lovingly to do the work and her house had a bidding war in the first two weeks on the market!

I hope that these tips will help you with staging your home!



Source by Lori B Fischer