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Giving Your Property a Competitive Edge:  Staging Your Home for Sale


“Staging” is a term used in the real estate industry to describe the process of preparing a home to sell for the best price and in the shortest amount of time.   

While some principles of staging are part of the actions many Cape Haze and Englewood area home owners complete in preparing their house or condominium for sale, staging as a formal process has not been used extensively in our area.  It is, however, widely used in many parts of the country and studies have shown that it does help homes sell closer to their listing prices and in less time.  

So, what’s involved in staging your home?  We can logically divide the actions involved into two overlapping phases:

  • Staging Phase 1:  Clean It Up
     

  • Staging Phase 2:  Set the Stage 

Staging Phase 1: Clean It Up

The “clean it up” phase involves actions that many homeowners can undertake without help from a staging professional.  This phase involves both physically cleaning your home and visually simplifying it by reducing clutter.   

The clean-up starts on the outside where potential buyers will be getting the first impression of your home.  The exterior checklist shown below gives you some key areas to consider as you prepare your home’s yard and exterior.  A clean, sound roof and strong “curb appeal” go a long way toward creating a positive first impression for your home. 

As the buyers tour the interior of your home, you want to make them comfortable that the home is well-maintained and minimize distractions that will keep them from focusing on the house itself.  The interior checklist shown below provides suggestions on what’s involved here.  By either doing your own “deep cleaning” or hiring a cleaning firm to help, your bathrooms, kitchen and floors should all sparkle when  potential buyers arrive.  

For most sellers, the hardest aspect of this phase is reducing clutter.  All of us are different in how much we have accumulated in our homes, but some experts suggest that a good rule of thumb is to remove 50% of the items in each room and one-third of the clothes and boxes in each closet.  Since you’ll be moving anyway, it’s much better to get rid of things early by holding a yard sale, packing personal collections up and moving them to storage, or giving unused items to charities. 

Staging Phase 2:  Set the Stage

Phase 2 is the set of actions that literally “set the stage” to help the buyers visualize how they might live in your home.  While a staging professional can provide helpful suggestions for the clean-up phase, “setting the stage” is the phase where the specialist often provides unique ideas and value.  Think about the way a builder’s model home looks when you walk-in.  The furniture is tastefully placed and blended.  Fresh flowers may be on the dining table and a bottle of wine and wine glasses may be set out on the kitchen counter.  Lighting is set to highlight each room and your eyes are drawn to the home’s best amenities and views.   

Many things a staging professional proposes can be done at little or no additional cost to the seller.  Other recommendations can be more involved and it is always the seller’s choice whether to implement the stager’s suggestions.  

Overall Marketing Program

Staging your home can be a smart competitive tool and part of the overall marketing program to sell your property.  If you decide to use a staging assessment, a staging representative will visit your house or condominium and you will receive a detailed checklist of recommended staging actions for your specific property.  Together, we will review the checklist, discuss any costs involved, and determine which items you choose to implement.  If needed, I can provide you with names of local home repair experts and the staging firm can provide design services. 

If you are considering selling, please give me a call at 941-830-0999.  I’ll be happy to provide a Market Analysis for your property, tell you more about my comprehensive marketing program, and connect you with recent clients who can describe my unique personalized selling approach!

 

Checklists:  Preparing Your Home for Sale
 

Staging Your Home for Sale  –  Phase 1:  Clean It Up

Exterior Checklist

o     Inspect the roof and gutters. Repair any roof issues.  Ensure gutters are clean and painted.

o     Wash the windows and keep them sparkling

o     Ensure all landscaping is neatly trimmed.  Lower any shrubs that may be blocking windows.  Use mulch to control weeds and consider adding some blooming flowers to your beds.  Keep the grass cut.

o     Remove toys, lumber, trash cans and gardening supplies around the outside of your property.  Store these items in the garage or remove unused items.

o     Inspect your home’s paint job.  Consider whether a fresh coat of paint would make your property more appealing.

o     Make your front door a focal point that welcomes the potential buyer.  Polish the doorknob and lock.  Put down a nice welcome mat.  Set a large, potted plant to one side.  Add a seasonal wreath to the door.

o     Remove smaller items from the patio, porch, and pool areas.  Arrange the furniture to suggest an inviting environment.

Interior Checklist

o     Taking it one room at a time, remove clutter and excess furniture.  Consider the guideline of removing 50% of the items in each room.   Pack up personal collections and most family pictures.   Put extra furniture in storage or have a garage sale.

o     Clean-out the closets!  You don’t want to take all those old clothes and broken appliances with you, so get rid of them now instead of later.

o     Deep-clean the kitchen.  Make surfaces sparkle.  Store away appliances and knick-knacks that you don’t use on a regular basis.  Clean the inside of the microwave, the oven, and the refrigerator.  Straighten up the drawers.  Take the magnets, memos and pictures off the refrigerator.

o     Make the bathrooms spotless.  Remove personal items from countertops.  Ensure clean, folded towels are out.  Consider a transparent shower curtain to make the room look bigger.

o     Brighten each room.  Ensure all light bulbs are working and increase the wattage if the fixtures allow.  When a showing is planned, open the curtains to let the natural light in.  Touch up any damaged spots on the walls and consider whether a new coat of paint in a neutral color would make the room look better.

o     Ensure all appliances are in good working order and none of the faucets are dripping.

o     Get rid of odors.  Air out the house before showings.  Use potpourri, lightly scented candles, or cedar chips if desired, but don’t introduce strong new smells to mask other odors.  Where possible, move kitty litter and pet toys out of sight.

o     Vacuum and dust regularly.  If needed, have carpets professionally cleaned.

Copyright © 2005, 2006   Pam Neer   All Rights Reserved 
 
 
 

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Pam Neer, Realtor

941.830.0999
Contact Me

Michael Saunders & Co.
Licensed Real Estate Broker
1200 South McCall Rd.
Englewood, FL 34223
941.473.7750

 

 

Pam Neer can help you find your piece of paradise in: Cape Haze, Placida, Rotonda West, Boca Grande, Englewood, Eagle Preserve, Grove City, Windward at Cape Haze, Manasota Key, Gulf Cove, South Gulf Cove, Englewood Isles, and Boca Royale in beautiful southwest Florida.

 

Copyright © 2004 thru 2015
Pam Neer
All Rights Reserved

Contact: PamNeer@MichaelSaunders.com