If you take a look at some pictures of homes that have been staged for sale, at first glance you might see what looks like just a nice room with welcoming arrangements of furniture and walls and windows that look airy, cozy, and inviting depending on the style of the home. But if you take a closer look you might also notice some differences between the home you live in now and how homes look when they’re staged for sale.
While a tidy kitchen, when you aren’t trying to sell your home could still have clean dishes in a drying rack, or your family room might have family pictures lined up on the walls like a gallery, a staged home takes a different approach. Rather than focusing on livability, a staged house focuses on the sale. And something that appeals to clients? A neutral color scheme, a paring-down of personal accessories, and--maybe most of all--cleanliness.
Just how clean does your home need to be for selling? And how can occupied home staging work with you as you live in your home while having it on the market? We’ll break down these important factors and let you know Heidi Ross Design can help you quickly and efficiently sell your home.
I think I keep my house pretty clean—what’s different about cleaning when it comes to selling?
When you live in your home, the cleaning that you do is different from the cleaning required when buyers look at a house. When you live in a space, you clean up after your pets, but might stop noticing when hairballs get stuck under beds or other pet mess that is hidden away in basements or the lingering smell of a cat or dog. And that pile or newspaper or bills might look orderly to you, but if it is left on the counter or floor, it will surely change how a buyer perceives the space.
You naturally don’t notice the little messes that occur—and those things can turn buyers off. A spill in the bottom of the oven probably doesn’t bother you, but it can for a potential buyer. Food crumbs and spills in the fridge or microwave can make the kitchen seem old and worn out, even if it’s not. These types of details are especially important when staging a bathroom for sale—buyers don’t want to think about current owners using that space, but want to envision themselves or their family there. This is hard to do when a buyer is making mental notes on lack of hygiene of the current owners. Unfortunately this is what is really going on in a buyer's mind. They are criticizing the seller's lifestyle rather than viewing all of the wonderful assets your home has to offer! Remember, buyers look for reasons NOT to buy a home. They are looking at a home through critical analysis, as indeed they should.
What do I need to clean?
That’s not to say that in staging your home you need to take everything out and start from square one. Deep cleaning is a good idea, though—either by yourself or with the help of a hired professional. Hit the kitchen, bathroom, carpets, and windows, along with other big-ticket areas like the entry. Clean or repaint walls, and carefully clean along the baseboards. Scrubbing grout and toilets is a good idea, too.
Here is a bullet list of target areas to be cleaned:
If you’re still living in the house as you try to sell, it might be time to cut down on your furnishings. Heidi Ross Design professional staging company can help you make determinations about how to arrange the space to give the biggest and best impact to buyers. Removing personal photos and mementos and any clutter can help get the space looking bigger and less “lived in”...more impersonal. This will help the buyer envision themselves living there and can give you a jump start on moving.
This is especially important for taking those listing pictures that will help sell the home online. Even in a space that’s roomy, online listing photos can make a space look smaller and gives buyers the opportunity to notice cluttered or unclean spots. While this means that you might need to rearrange your home to benefit from virtual staging and pack up some possessions while living there, it’s a sacrifice that’s well worth it and can help you make maximum return profit.
How can I get help staging my home for sale?
At Heidi Ross Design, we are local home stagers helping clients in Memphis and the Greater Mid-South sell their luxury homes and maximize their profits. We walk you through every step of the staging process—whether you’re staging a vacant home or an occupied one. Ready to get started and find out about staging prices? Contact us for a free quote and get started on a process that can streamline your home selling experience.
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