How to stage your home for sale, in three easy steps

Yesterday, we talked about how to get your home ready to put on the market.  Once your cleaning, decluttering, and fixing is done, there are still a few things you can do to make sure that your home appeals to the widest possible variety of potential buyers.

Paint.  Especially if the interior hasn’t been painted in a while, this is the cheapest and easiest way to make everything look fresh and new.  Neutral colors are best because they appeal to most people; I have a brick-red living room and I love it (I’m sitting in it right now, as a matter of fact). It’s my favorite room in the whole house, but if I were going to sell you can bet I’d be painting right over it.  Look at it this way: once you’ve made the decision to sell, you have to look at your home and think about what buyers will want, not what you want.  It’s OK if you think beige walls are boring.  You won’t have to live with them much longer, after all.

Depersonalize.  This is related to yesterday’s discussion of decluttering; unfortunately, when it comes time to sell, a lot of what makes your home say “you” needs to be packed away.  This includes family pictures, kids’ artwork, and religious or political items.  Here again, you want your home to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers, and you want them to be able to feel comfortable and to picture themselves living in your home.  Not only do you want to avoid turning someone off to your home because they may be of a different religious or political persuasion, you want to avoid someone getting so caught up in looking at your pictures that they forget to look at the home. (It does happen!)

Take a sniff.  Particularly important for those of us with pets, make sure your home smells fresh and clean.  This is a good time to bring in a trusted and honest friend, because we tend to become “nose-blind” to what we smell all the time, and someone who doesn’t live with you will be easily able to tell you if your home has a noticeable odor.  The cleaning you’ve already done should take care of a lot of this problem, especially for any pet odors, but if your home still smells musty or moldy, you may need to call in the pros.  Also, when you’re in the sale process, takeout is your friend; cooking odors, especially from spicy or fried foods, tend to linger and go stale.

All done?  Now go out there and find a Realtor to sell your home – if you’re in Massachusetts, give me a call!

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