Cleaning and Home Staging to Sell Your House
As with many things in life, presentation is vital when trying to sell your home. By properly staging your property, you make it the best version of itself, and more in line with the expectations of your potential buyers. But what does staging a house involve?
Think of the word "stage". The first thing that comes to mind for most is a theatrical stage. Perhaps in a play or a movie. Set designers will decorate the stage with props and lighting and make it look perfect for that moment when the director yells "action!"
Your home is your stage, and potential buyers are your audience. By strategically placing furniture, cleaning, and even replacing items, you can make your home as appealing as possible to would-be buyers. Here's how you go about it.
Decluttering and Cleaning
The very first port of call when staging a house, and perhaps the one that has the most significant and immediate impact, is decluttering and cleaning. Check out Cleanzen’s cleaning checklist, next time you are cleaning your home. Emotion plays a huge role in the decision-making process, and even though your clutter will leave with you, many buyers will have that initial reaction lodged in their mind when it comes to making a decision.
You can use this emotional reaction to your advantage. By ensuring your house is clutter-free, you will create the first impression of a more spacious property than you might otherwise have done.
Don't stop at the decluttering, however. Giving your home a thorough cleaning adds to the impression your potential buyer walks away with. If the first thing that comes to their mind when they think of your house is revulsion at a stain on the carpet, they're more likely to pass.
What a buyer sees is important, but don't neglect their other senses. Try to have as many doors and windows open as possible during the sales process. If you live in a cold area, have the windows open before a viewing, but be sure to warm the house up before a buyer comes round.
Consider small details; close the toilet lid, make sure there are no dishes in the sink. Avoid scented candles or air fresheners in case they trigger a buyer's allergies.
A home is a huge purchase. For most of us, it is the most significant purchase we will make in our lifetime. It's not exaggerating to say that we have a relationship with our homes.
For this reason, it is essential to make your home feel welcoming and neutral when you stage it. It is difficult to feel an attachment to a home that very clearly belongs to someone else. Family pictures, personal heirlooms, trophies. All of these things make a home feel owned and can interfere with any connection a buyer might make.
You want your property to feel like a blank canvas-something a new owner can create a vision around that includes themselves. It's understandable to be proud of your home, but if you hope to sell it, you need to put your story to one side and make a blank page for someone else to begin theirs.
Start with the Important Rooms
Staging a home can be expensive, and sellers often don't have unlimited resources to sink into the sale of their property. Rather than spread your budget thin and do an "okay" job on the whole property, focus on a few principal rooms.
Start with the living room, followed by the master bedroom. After that, the kitchen should be your main priority. Of course, you should make an effort with the entrance area of your house; a buyer's first impression upon walking into the property should be a good one. And, finally, if you have the budget for more, consider staging any extra bedrooms you have.
You should only consider prioritizing rooms for the parts of the staging process that cost money, such as furniture rental or redecorating. Decluttering and cleaning, as mentioned above, is something that can be done for almost no cost, and should be considered essential for all parts of your home.
Removal And Rental of Furniture
As a general rule, consider removing about half of your furniture during the staging process. Doing so will significantly increase the amount of perceived space your property has, not to mention it will help with the decluttering aspect of staging.
What furniture you do keep for viewings should be as close to showroom-ready as possible. If your furniture is looking a bit tired, consider renting furniture to replace it during the selling period. Again, this comes down to that emotional impression; you don't want worn out, tattered furniture leaving a black mark in your prospective buyer's mental checklist.
You should also consider renting furniture if you have already moved out and your furniture has gone with you. Having furnishings around the property helps to give your buyer a sense of space, and mentally assess what they can do with the place should they buy it.
Keep Costs Down with Neutral Changes
It can be easy to get carried away during the staging process and end up repainting the whole house or installing entirely new carpets. Not only will this be costly, but it may also be pointless.
The chances are, your property's new owner will want to redecorate to suit their tastes. And, with all the colors available, there's a good chance they won't pick the same color you might choose for staging.
If you have to repaint anything, aim for lighter neutral colours. Being neutral removes the chance that a strong color choice might put your buyer off, and a lighter color scheme makes a room feel more spacious and open-particularly when combined with plenty of natural light.
Staging a home is all about giving the best first impression, and making your house feel like a fresh, blank canvas that your buyer can make their own.
You can also view it as somewhat cathartic. We often become attached to our homes, and in cleansing your home of all your personal touches, you gain closure on what you are leaving behind.