How does a Home Stager prep her home for sale?
It's all happening: we're moving! We found an adorable brick bungalow in U. City, set to close in a few weeks. Fingers crossed everything works out!!
photo courtesy of Shutterstock
In the mean time, we can now start prepping our home for sale. We're honestly in pretty good shape, seeing as two of our bedrooms never get used and we hardly ever enter our living or dining room. But, like everyone, we've got our share of baggage and clutter to deal with in order to get our home in tip-top shape to put on the market.
So how does a home stager do it? Here is my to-do list before we list!
Our basement and closets have inevitably filled up with old baby gear, unused clothes, tools, home decor items, kitchen-wares and the like. One of my first to-dos is to get rid of stuff I know we won't need at the new house. If we were ready to part with it at this home, no point in moving it to the new home! So sell, donate, give away, or recycle to your heart's content.
Once we get rid of old/no-longer-needed items, it's time to comb through the remaining goodies in storage and organize them. This means investing in some extra-large plastic storage bins (with lids!!) and putting loose like-items together. For example: sports equipment like tennis rackets, balls, free weights, etc.; arts and crafts stuff; and holiday decor (keep each holiday together). This way its all packed and ready to move into new storage space at the hew house.
While we're at it in the organization phase, we'll save a few bins for personal and decorative items that we will put away while our home is for sale. Potential new buyers love a glimpse of their potential new home's previous owners, but do NOT need to see every family vacay, birthday, or developmental milestone of the kids. We recommend removing around 2/3 - 3/4 of the personal goodies, leaving mostly neutral and impersonal decorative items.
It's also time to develop a game plan for hiding every-day necessities that aren't as visually appealing to potential buyers. Invest in smaller organizational baskets and bins to hide bathroom countertop items inside a closet or vanity; tuck kitchen appliances away in a cabinet in as neat a manner as you can; store off-season clothing to make your closets appear less full (a.k.a. bigger); and stick all paperwork, bills, and home-office items in a hanging file system for easy access and transfer to the new house. Added bonus to de-cluttering: jump-start on organization at the new house.
5. Repair and Deep Clean.
Last but not least in the slightest, repair and clean. We will hire a handyman to touch up any scuffed paint, swap out light bulbs, tighten loose hardware, and repair any minor issues that the eagle eyes of potential buyers will inevitably hone in on. We'll also hire a cleaning service to give our home a thorough once-over right before showings begin. Buyers might not point out how clean it is, but they will definitely point out dirt.
So there you have it! 5 easy steps to get the house ready for sale. I'll keep you updated on my progress as I get to work!