How to Stage Your Home for Sale

When it’s time to sell your home, staging can make a big difference.  For higher-end homes, it might be a good idea to hire a professional.  But what if you prefer to stage your home on your own?  Here are some tips on preparing your house for sale in Grand Rapids.

Outdoor Staging

StagingBuyers begin judging your house the moment they drive up.  So make sure the outside of your home looks fresh, clean, and tidy.  To improve curb appeal, strongly consider doing all of the following:

-Power wash sidewalks, walkways, porches, and the exterior of the home
-Mow the lawn, pull the weeds, and remove old decorations from the exterior
-Plant new bushes and flowers
-Wash the windows from the outside
-Add easy to read house numbers
-Finish small repairs, such as squeaky doors or sagging eaves

Clean So It Looks and Smells New

In many cases, it’s not realistic to replace everything in your home that is worn out or outdated.  However, you can make what you do have really shine by cleaning your house thoroughly from top to bottom.

This might feel like a huge job, but put yourself in the buyer’s shoes.  If you looked at 10 houses, and only one sparkled with cleanliness, which would you remember most fondly?  Buyers tend to look at a lot of similar homes as they search.  Make yours the cleanest.

Pet odors, sink smells, and stale smoke are large turnoffs for buyers.  When confronted with a negative smell, many buyers will simply walk out.  Cleaning, deodorizing, and replacing bad scents with good ones makes an enormous difference.

If this job seems overwhelming, try using a checklist.  There are many available online, such as this one.  Make sure you focus on the kitchen and bathrooms… these are big house sellers!  Alternatively, you can hire home cleaners to help stage your home in Grand Rapids.  Prices can range from $10 – $50 hour, so research the best cleaners for your situation.

WindowDe-Clutter and De-Personalize

Clutter seems to sneak into the house when no one’s looking.  Organizing it and clearing it out can be a real bear.  But the effort is well worth it.  De-cluttering makes your house feel brighter and more spacious, and allows buyers to really picture themselves living there.

De-cluttering can result in some tough decisions and long afternoons.  For some help, you can visit this basic de-cluttering guide.  Remember that there are a lot of moderately priced storage garages and climate controlled facilities available in Grand Rapids.  Even if you spend $15-$30 per month to store some of your items, you will be happier with a quick sale.

If you have personal mementos, consider storing them temporarily.  This makes it easier for your buyers to picture their family living in the home, which will help you get more offers.

Pay Attention to Each Room

Look at your house as if you had never seen it before, paying close attention to each room.  Try to set up your rooms to appeal to the largest number of buyers.  You might use that ‘side room’ as a workout space and office combo, but would most people?  While you love your bold purple paint scheme, is that a style that everyone adores?  In addition, make sure every room has one defined purpose.  It may mean spending some time painting and re-arranging, but the more people can envision themselves in your home, the more offers you will get.

BedroomMake sure the furniture in each room isn’t overwhelming.  If there are too many ‘big items,’ the house will feel much smaller.  Consider removing or rearranging your furniture so your house has a nice walkthrough ‘flow.’  This might mean that you are a little less comfortable as you settle down for the evening, but it will speed up the sale of your home.

Floors, Walls, Ceilings, and Fixtures

We’ve left these for last, because they are more structural changes.  But if you are willing to go the extra mile to stage your home for sale in Grand Rapids, take a close look at your floors, walls, ceilings, and fixtures.  Consider replacing worn or stained carpet, or refinishing your hardwood.  At the very least, clean your floors, walls, and ceilings well as you can.

If you have wallpaper, seriously consider removing it and repainting to a neutral color.  Most buyers see this as an extra step they don’t want to take, and wallpaper styles rarely match up perfectly to a buyer’s taste.  If you have holes in your drywall, consider patching them, and fix any discolorations in your ceiling.

Finally, take a close look at your fixtures.  Are your door handles and light switches old or outdated?  Does your ceiling fan have an annoying click?  Consider upgrading to newer options.  These can be low-cost, high-impact improvements to the house, and many of these projects take just a few minutes.

Overall, you don’t want to spend a fortune staging your house for sale in Grand Rapids.  However, by making your house feel clean, welcoming, and move-in ready, you will be happier with your offers.

As always, feel free to contact us at Honeybee Homes at (616) 606-3390 for additional help regarding your home.