Staging your home

You’ve decided to sell your home. Now what? One of the best ways to sell your home quickly is to “stage” it. Basically, staging is how you are best able market your home and help it stand out in a crowd by keeping it clean, updated, well decorated and clutter-free. By doing so, it will look more appealing to potential buyers and hopefully, in the process, will sell more swiftly and for more money. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Staging helps you redesign your home, making it easier for prospective owners to visualize themselves living there.

You can always choose the option to hire a professional stager, or you can do it yourself using inexpensive methods that will greatly increase the resale value of your home. Here are a few tips you can follow:

  • Forget it’s your home. Once your home is on the market, it becomes a product. You will need to lose any emotional attachment you have to the home, and consider it a commodity to be sold. Get rid of any personal items, like family photos, souvenirs, and mementos and store these. Prospective buyers will find it easier to imagine their own property in the home, rather than looking at yours.
  • Get rid of any clutter. It may not seem like clutter to you, but it sure will to anyone coming to look at your home. Put away knick-knacks, and clear off the kitchen and bathroom counters. Rearrange your furniture to allow for an easy flow of traffic through your home. If moving furniture has left impressions in your carpet, a simple and easy way to remove these is by placing an ice cube in the indentation. Leave it overnight, and brush out the carpet in the morning.
  • Clean, clean, clean. Your house needs to be spotless. Make sure you scrub the bathroom, clean the grout, and hide the toilet brush. Take time to steam clean your carpets, wash walls and floors, and dust moldings and ceiling fans. Wash your windows inside and out, polish all fixtures and wipe down all your appliances. You may want to consider hiring a professional cleaning service.
  • Choose a neutral colour palette. Consider repainting rooms that are bold or darker with warm neutral shades like tan, taupe or grey, especially if the room is smaller. Keep the ceilings white to create height and increase brightness. Put fresh, white towels in the bathroom and maybe a new bedspread in the bedroom. Everything needs to sparkle.
  • Do a sniff test. Your house should smell good. Make sure there are no musty smells or unpleasant odors from cooking. Be especially aware of any pet odors. Open the windows and add some fresh flowers. The smell of fresh baked cookies doesn’t hurt, it makes a house feel like a home.
  • Do minor repairs and upgrades. Look around your house carefully, and replace any cracked tiles, fix or replace leaky faucets, replace burned out bulbs. Consider adding extra light fixtures, especially ambient lighting in areas without overhead outlets. You can often purchase affordable options at big box stores. Replace worn carpet and flooring as this is one of the first things buyers will see when they walk in. Organize your cupboards and closets. Give them a quick refresh by replacing outdated hardware with new brushed nickel or silver knobs and handles or repainting cabinetry. Remember, people will open them and want to see organized spaces. If your cupboards are crowded, get rid of any excess stuff and, if necessary, put them in a rental storage unit. Make room in your cupboards to store small appliances normally left on the counter.
  • Make sure each room has a purpose. If you’ve been using the spare bedroom for storage, clean it out, and furnish it properly. You can rent a bed, night tables, and lamps if necessary. Focus on highlighting the best use of the space, especially if you can show a room has more than one function. For example, use a small desk with a stool to introduce a work space, or add a daybed to an office to create extra sleeping space. Try not to leave a room empty as this can make the space look smaller.
  • Boost the curb appeal. The first thing people will see is the outside of the house. Make sure you’ve trimmed the lawn and hedges, planted flowers, cleaned the exterior of the house, and cleared your gutters. Paint any faded window trims, as well as the front door to give it a fresh look. Try to keep colours on the exterior of your home neutral as well, and save the bright colours for your flower beds and planters. Think about replacing your house numbers with new shiny ones, and putting out a brand new welcome mat. Make sure to remove any toys and pet accessories, and that any outdoor furniture is tidy and in good condition. If you are working with a limited budget, make sure you focus on the main living areas and at least one bedroom. Your goal should always be to show people how to use the space effectively.

    In addition to the ways described above, try these tips:

    • Dress up your front porch
    • Install new light fixtures
    • Buy a new mailbox
    • If necessary, hire a professional landscaper
  • Once your home sells and you’re planning to move, don’t forget to contact your home insurance provider. You may need coverage on your new and old home at the same time if your old home doesn’t sell right away. You may also need coverage for your belongings while being transported from one place to the next. If either home is sitting vacant for a time, it’s important to talk to your insurance provider. When a home is considered “vacant,“ any insurance coverage is very limited. Home insurance providers are often able to accommodate a variety of scenarios, but it’s always important that they understand your specific circumstance. This’ll make sure you have all the coverage you need to keep you, your family, and your personal property protected in the event of a loss. For more information, contact Square One at 1.855.331.6933.

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