Selling Your Home – Staging Your Home – Part 2
In my first post on staging your home in preparation to putting it on the market, I mentioned, Clean up… Clear out… Fix in… Fix out. Let’s start with Fix out. Backwards, yes, but the saying sounds better that way! Take a note pad with you and go outside. Better than that go across the street and look at your house. Pretend you don’t live there. Can you see the house? Does it look inviting? Is the yard mowed, trimmed, clear of stuff? Is the paint peeling or does the driveway, sidewalk or the roof have moss on it? Imagine the For Sale sign out front. If you (remember you don’t live here) drove by and saw that sign would the house beckon you to take a look? We are talking Curb Appeal.
Fix Out: The pots out front add charm but the base of the pots could stand a little scrubbing. The tree nearby is overgrown and parts are dying. A good trimming is needed to see the house. If you are selling right away get bigger plants. It will look better. Some nurseries will help you select plants and even plant them for you, but there are all kinds of books and magazines that tell you how to do that. And don’t forget to water them daily if the weather is warm. Make sure your front door is in good shape and painteded a pleasing color as shown. Spray painting the door is preferable so you don’t have brush strokes. And you need to take the door OFF to do that. New bark in the planting beds is usually a good idea.
Fix In: After you fix up the outside it’s time to tackle the inside. Using the same approach and notepad, walk around your house taking an inventory of things that need fixing. Having it in one notebook and checking off the items as they are done will keep you on track. A well maintained home will always sell faster and bring a better price than one that is not. All functioning parts of your house need to do just that, function! Furnace, water heater, stove, oven, toilets, etc..
Speaking of toilets, new toilet seats should be put on so they are bright, sparkling clean.
If you need to paint, and that is usually the case, this is not the time to add bright accent walls. Neutral tones are best and even though dark colors can be used dramatically and effectively, when you are selling is not the time for dark. Do it in your next house just for you. There are exceptions, a powder room perhaps. (See pictures in Part 3) Once I was working with a seller that did a great job of fixing up his home as I had suggested. However, he didn’t wait for me to pick out the paint colors. I arrived to find he had painted the whole interior of the house bright, high gloss white! Bad idea. Neutral, yes and sometimes white would be alright but high gloss NO. Even then in most cases it is better to use light beige or tan or taupe, boring, maybe, but there is a reason builders use neutral colors. Everybody’s stuff goes with it. That being said, watch those undertones! I once was attending a class on color. The instructor said the average American man can distinguish between 250,000 colors. Sounds good, right? However, the average American woman (he said) can distinguish between 2 million or more colors. Perhaps this is why Larry can’t match up his socks (and he only has 8 pairs!) Who should pick out the paint colors?! Larry has other redeeming qualities!
Wallpaper. Don’t even get me started! Don’t do it to sell your house. Your chances of picking out something that your buyer would like are almost nil! Wallpaper is a very individualized taste. Buyers balk at the idea of having to remove it.
Next post will be dealing with Clear Out, Clean Up AND the real Rocket Science part of staging. Posted by Kathleen Leavitt Cragun ©