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Home Staging Checklist:

___ Get rid of all items in your home that are unused and have no real sentimental value. These types of items can often be found in closets, cupboards, basements, and garages. Sometimes they are on bookshelves or even in your everyday living space. The more you are able to move out, the more the next buyer will want to "move in." Have a plan for what to do with the stuff you no longer need. If you put it in the basement, attic or garage then you just simply move it.  Make piles for Goodwill, the dump, garage sale, and storage and then get rid of it.  Another good way to get rid of items you no longer need is to use Freecycle. Here, you can list items you no longer need and then choose someone from a list of takers to have them. The best part is the person wanting the items comes to your home on your timetable to get them. You can find a freecycle group in your area by going to www.freecycle.org.

____ Create as much “empty space” as possible in your kitchen cabinets, pantries, drawers, and your refrigerator. If an area looks jammed, then it sends a message to the buyer, that there is not enough storage room.

____ Make your rooms look as large as possible. For example, if the dining room has an oversized china cabinet, consider removing it.

____ Most people have a mass of clutter in their bathrooms. You may have half-used shampoo bottles, hair accessories, curling iron, foam curlers, shaving cream, tub toys, lotions, medication, books and magazines, oils, candles, toilet paper, etc. To present your house well you need to box up and move out the stuff you are not using.

____ Unless you have a massive space, you should remove extra chairs from the tables. Also remove extra leaves from the table. This will make the room feel larger.

____ Remove all area rugs unless you have a large hardwood area. Buyers do not want to see your carpet or your hardwood floor or your linoleum. Rooms and floor plans open up when area rugs are removed.

____ Closets are great for accumulating clutter, though you may not think of it as clutter. Put into storage items like wrapping paper, Christmas decorations, photo albums, extra clothes and shoes.

____ Rearrange the bedroom closets and kitchen cabinets. Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means: alphabetize spice jars, neatly stack dishes, turn coffee cup handles facing the same way, hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction, and line up shoes.

____ Painting is not expensive and gives your home a new, fresh, clean look.  Neutral colors sell. It's a fact.  Try to convey an image of quality and neutrality.  Potential buyers walking through your home want to imagine themselves as the owners.  If you use styles or colors they would never select, you've just turned them off. Staying high-quality, but neutral is safest.

____ Stand a few feet away from the entrance to the bedroom. What do you see? Whatever you see is the first thing that a buyer will see.  Is it pretty?  Is it bulky?  Does it make the room feel small?  Move anything from the doorway that is not inviting.

____ If you have a spare room have it feature only one use. If your spare room is used mostly as an office, then, get rid of the spare bed and the extra dressers. Get rid of the boxes of storage items in the closet. Keep the essentials of your office such as a desk, filing cabinet, bookshelf, and a nice chair in the corner with a small table and lamp.

____ Rent a Storage Unit. Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around.  You don't want buyers scratching their heads and saying, "What is this room used for?"

____ Make the house sparkle!  Wash windows inside and out.  Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.  Clean out cobwebs.  Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks. Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.  Vacuum daily.  Wax floors. Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures. Bleach dingy grout.  Hang up fresh towels.  Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows.

____ Leave the garage free from storage. People like to think that they might actually be able to use a garage for something other than storage.

____ Get everything off the counters. Remove all appliances from the countertops including the toaster. Doing so will make you kitchen look larger and more spacious. It will also keep the buyer's eye from stopping on a particular item rather than getting a full view of the room.

____ The kitchen and baths need to be model perfect because the kitchen and baths sell the home.

____ Have you taken away so much that your home no longer has any sparkle? Although your personality needs to be removed, the personality of the house still needs to come through.

____ One of the most important factors to consider when placing items into a room is the idea of transition. As your eye moves around the room, you do not want it jumping from place to place or piece to piece. The movement of the eye should flow - not bounce. To accomplish this, you want to avoid abrupt changes in height.

____ Give each room a touch of the unexpected. This can be done with artwork placed in an unusual way, using a piece of furniture in a way that you normally would not use it, or adding a dash of color where the eye least expects to find it. Be creative.

____ Follow the "like-with-like" rule of the thumb. Tall with tall, small with small, wide with wide, and narrow with narrow will guide you throughout the decorating process. Mimic the shape of each space you are decorating. For example, a sofa should be accessorized with horizontal art so you are complementing wide with wide.

____ Recognize that your major competition comes from newer homes. People will take a newer home over an older home if all else is equal. That is why it is essential to give an older home something that puts it above the rest.

____ Remove and replace favorite items.  If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. I f the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won't want it. Once you tell a buyer she can't have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal.  Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.

____ Look outside the box. You do not always need to use an item for its intended purpose. For example, do not just use a tablecloth for a table; make it a slipcover for your ottoman. It can save you lots of money and time when you purchase a tablecloth at a local chain verses buying yards of fabric and by purchasing the correct size it can become a no-sew project. Always keep your eyes open for new uses for everyday items.

____ Select a focal point for your room and subtly orient other furnishings and some lighting toward it. If there is a fireplace, it will nearly always be the focal point; other focal points might be bookcases or built-in shelving to house lovely collectibles, or a sofa with a striking painting on the wall above it.

____ In a bedroom, unless you have no other choice, you want to see the foot of the bed when you walk in. You do not want a bed to cross the doorway because it blocks the flow and makes the room look smaller. It is better to see the foot so that you can see the pretty pillows.

____ One of the easiest ways to create color is to add beautiful accent pillows to any room. Introducing a complementary accent color in a room can make a room come alive. Accent pillows not only add color but texture and warmth as well. By adding throw pillows in a coordinating or contrast fabric to a couch chair, bench, or bed, you can transform your room and add instant warmth inexpensively!

____ One way to see if your home has curb appeal is to walk across the street and have a good look at your house. Where did your eyes go? They should be drawn to the front door and entryway. If they are not, then you need to do something about it. Keep the sidewalks cleared. Mow the lawn. Paint faded window trim. Plant yellow flowers or group several flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Marigolds are inexpensive. Trim your bushes. Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.

____ People do not see their house as a product that you have to market and sell. However, selling your home is like packaging. People look at the outside before deciding to come in. Then they look at the inside before deciding to buy, and it is mostly based on looks. It is packaging. You need to wrap up your product, your home, like a beautiful package.

____ Once you have gotten the front yard in shape, it is time to work on the backyard. The most important areas of the backyard are the patios, decks, and porches. Getting these areas up to date will give the buyers a feeling that they are getting bonus space.

____ New window treatments can make a world of difference. They can add value and style to your home and be something the buyers view as a bonus - something they will not have to buy or replace when they move in. The caution, however, is that you keep the treatments neutral (keep your personality out of the room) and that you make sure they do not block the amount of light that comes into a room.

____ Many homes have the louvers of the blinds turned down to face the floor. A more enhancing way to use blinds is to turn the louvers up to reflect much-needed ambient light onto the ceiling.
____ Have no cleaning products that are visible. You want the buyer to think that the house cleans itself. Put away laundry baskets and dish drainers as well!

____ Clean your refrigerator even if you are not leaving it. People will still look inside and a dirty refrigerator will turn them off. If you are taking it with you, you may as well clean it now. If you are leaving it, then it is imperative to have it sparkling.

____ Clean the stains in the bath tub by making a paste using hydrogen peroxide and cream of tartar. Use an old toothbrush to rub the mixture into the stain and rinse thoroughly.

____ Make sure your house does not have any unusual odors. It may come from a pet, your carpet upholstery, or even from spices in your home.

____ Clean your microwave. One way to do it is to fill a paper cup with water and a few tablespoons of baking soda. Nuke it for about 30 seconds, or until you see the contents explode. Then just take a paper towel and wipe it all off. The explosion spreads the cleanser over the entire area, and you can even use the moistened rag or paper towel to wipe outside the microwave and its surrounding area.

____ Sometimes, refreshing a room can be as easy as changing a light bulb. Bulbs like GE Reveal filter out yellow rays common in ordinary light bulbs, making colors, fabric, walls, and artwork appear richer, crisper, and more vivid.

____ Add pampering accessories! Candles and fluffy towels can add the pampering feeling you are trying to achieve. They offer visual comfort with color and texture as well. Psychologically, we all crave that long soak with a good book, and even if we are only in the bathroom for 10 minutes to whip on some make up, just seeing those items displayed promises wonderful baths to come!

____ If you have dark cabinets, a light colored handle or something in shiny gold will enhance them. If you have light cabinets, you can give them the sleek look by using handles of the same color so that they are hardly noticeable or by using brushed silver handles. With light wood, you can also use darker handles, gold, bronze, or even colors.

____ Sometimes renovations are needed. However, here are five that you should avoid:

- Adding high end appliances to a modest home
- Adding hand painted tiles to the bath or kitchen
- Adding a central vacuum
- Adding air conditioning (unless you are in an area that all homes have it)
- Replacing windows with newer models

____ Make minor repairs. Replace cracked floor or counter tiles. Patch holes in walls. Fix leaky faucets. Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam. Replace burned-out light bulbs. If you've considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!

____ Each room should be embellished with accessories artwork, mirrors, accent tables, silk trees and florals, as well as dishes, bedding, and towels so all areas look inviting.

Presentation is everything and staging is presentation! The result is improved functionality and complementary space. Following the techniques above you will maximize your equity while reducing the market time for your home.

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17 Other Freebies & Helpers For Sellers

 

As A Seller Which Statistics Should I Watch? Questions to Ask Realtor
What is the Process of a Home Sale? Steps To Selling
What Am I Competing Against Landscaping Tips
Common Seller Mistakes Home Staging Checklist
Determining Your Home Value Negotiations
Get A Rough Estimate in 10 Seconds Home Staging Profit
Title Insurance What Are Comps?
Home Inspections Coupons for Sellers
Free Market Analysis  

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3 Real Estate Calculators for Buyers First Time Homeowner Buying Guide Find Your Competition How Can I Sell My Home By Myself?
Buyer Affiliate Partners 7 Buyer's Freebies and Helpers Seller Affiliate Partners 17 Seller Freebies and Helpers

 

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