M1. LESSON 3

STAGING & DE-CLUTTERING

Getting Your Home Ready For Sale

Whether your living in your home or it’s empty, staging is incredibly important. Buyers love a light and airy home. Your goal when staging is to create that effect. A professionally staged home is more likely to sell for an average of 17% more money and within 11 days of listing, whereas, non-staged homes are expected to be on the market for over 90 days.

In this section we will be covering what is involved in staging your home on your own. Potential buyers usually cannot visualize what their furniture will look like in your home, especially a vacant one.

You will want to make your home a place that people will not want to leave. As intrusive as it is to your life when people view your property, you have one shot at making a dazzling first impression. Two of the most important rooms to focus your staging efforts will be the living room and the kitchen, however, all rooms and spaces are important.

Remember you will need to have de-personalized and staged your home before taking your listing photograph

 

What are the steps in staging?

1) DE-PERSONALIZE

You do have the most beautiful children, the most awesome wedding photos and fantastic knick knacks that you’ve picked up in your travels, but all those say, “This is my house, not yours.”

2) Invest in a portable storage unit

In order to create a bright and airy home you most certainly will need to minimize all excess everything. A portable storage unit is the way to go. Not only a place to store the overflow from your minimizing efforts, but the best way prevent you from double handling things when you move.

 

3) GET RID OF CLUTTER — One room at a time

A cluttered room tells the buyer that this is a small space likely not large enough for their belongings. Let’s start with the basics: One room, one day at a time; this breaks the job down into manageable pieces.

Many professional organizers mark out three categories:

  1. KEEP
  2. DONATE
  3. JUNK

Every room in the home, including the garage and decks, should be absolutely clean.

Rugs

One centre-piece rug in the living room is all you need.

Cables & Cords

Get them organized by using zip-ties. Also there are many low cost solutions out there that enables them to be hidden from view.

Multiple Remotes

Find a way to organize your remote controls out of view, so that they are not spread all over your coffee table.

The Closest

Depending on the season, probably half your closet contents could be in storage. Keep closet contents to a minimum. Fold things and put them in drawers or plastic tubs then neatly stack those out of the way. An over-full closet tells a buyer that closet and storage space is at a minimum here.

 

4) BRIGHT & LIGHT

Buyers are looking for homes that are bright and light. Make sure the “colour” of the interior lighting is lite by — warm bulbs that create a daylight effect.

Steer away from large walls painted with bright colours. Instead, keep a more neutral colour scheme and add pops of colour through furniture, wall paintings, or photos. The neutral palette gives the buyer flexibility to change what they want as opposed to having to paint over a colour they didn’t like.

REMOVE / OR RENT FURNITURE

With an empty house, try to make it look like someone lives there. Rented furniture can be pricey but well worth it.

In the most cases you will need to remove furniture. If you want to keep it, place it in the storage unit. Your house will feel larger with less furniture.

Checklist

REMOVE THESE ITEMS

    • Personal photos & family portraits, including the ones on the refrigerator
    • Trophies, awards & framed certificates
    • Collections such as dolls, comics etc
    • Toys, sporting & exercise equipment
    • Personal items that may be potentially controversial or politically, morally or socially
    • Personal care products
    • Dated items
    • Stained linoleum or dated carpet
    • Mats in the kitchen
    • Plastic plants
    • Pet litter boxes & food bowls
    • Drapes — let the nature light in
    • Remote controls
    • Bulky furniture
    • Avoid having the backs of furniture facing entryways
    • Reduce clothes in wardrobe by half — arrange the remaining by colour
    • Rugs — except the feature one in the living room
    • Visible cables & cords

5) STAGE THE IMPORTANT ROOMS FIRST

Ideally you would want to stage all the rooms. However, depending on your budget start with the bigger most used areas in your home, such as the living room, kitchen and then the master bedroom and so on.

Make it welcoming by Adding or Updating the following

    • Fresh paint, neutral wall tones with no gender bias in bedrooms
    • Expose wood floors
    • Update floor coverings
    • Fluffy large white pillows on the beds — two large; one smaller between them.
    • Put new faces & brushed-steel handles on cabinets (or paint cabinets)
    • Bowl of fresh fruit in the kitchen
    • Use large, framed mirrors to make spaces appear larger
    • Add some indoor greenery
    • Add fresh white: towels, shower curtain & soap dish
    • Re-grout tiles
    • Warm-coloured lightbulbs
    • Changing the countertops if you have the budget
    • Upgrade old faucets & shower heads
    • Vignettes—combine decor items small groupings of furniture and décor are used for adding some visual appeal and in helping to define the purpose and size of a room.
    • Metallic accents—like a silver leather throw pillow, a bronze side table or garden stool, or a copper tray
    • Set the table with modern white modern white plates, sleek stainless-steel cutlery & stemless wine glasses
    • Replace wall art with mirrors
    • Upgrade old lighting fixtures
    • Check that doors open & close easily
    • Rent a steam-carpet cleaner for a deep clean
    • Fresh-cut flowers in a modern vase
    • Pay attention to smells—check that your home is smelling fresh
    • Keep the décor simple
    • Give the spare room one purpose, either an office, guest room, crafts room and clearly stage the space to showcase that purpose.
    • Turn the bathroom into a spa—add some scented candles and faux plant
    • Close the toilet
    • Highlight focal points
    • Run a diffuser with a universally liked essential oil blend
    • Upgraded old door knobs
    • Upgrade old power outlets & switches
    • Organize clothes by type and colour for added impact
    • Turn on ambient background music
    • Light the fireplace





6) Use Unique Touches

If you have a special item in your home that brings character and unique charm that you can’t find just anywhere . . . put it out for people to see. Chances are, if your item is of good value, the buyer may see that value too and be able to draw a personal connection with your home. Even if it may not be everyone’s taste, it’s a risk that can reap rewards.

7) Increase curb appeal

Curb appeal is critical because buyers notice it immediately when they arrive to view the property. Put yourself in your potential buyers shoes as their walk up to your front door.


    • Power wash the siding and walkways.
    • Arrange your porch in an inviting manner
    • Clean or replace outdoor furniture cushions
    • Remove any debris like toys, tools, or other miscellaneous personal objects from the porch.
    • Remove cobwebs and dead leave from the corners of the porch.
    • Clean windows both inside and outside
    • Clean gutters
    • Plant flowers – choice one colour
    • trim trees or shrubbery
    • weed & mulch garden beds
    • Rake leaves, twigs, and debris off the yard
    • Mow & fertilize the lawn
    • Invest in some small potted shrubs you can line up along the front walls of the house.
    • Invest in a new doormat
    • Add a cheerful wreath to your front door
    • Large pots with modern plant display near the entrance

What turns buyers away

  1. Pets
  2. Brightly painted walls – unless it is a modern architectural home
  3. Food smells & unpleasant odours
  4. Clutter & Mess
  5. Home Owners that are Attached to the Home — entertain buyers with a professional demeanour and keep the kids away during house showings