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staging the house

541 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Olma
What do you consider to be the bare minimum in each room when you're trying to sell your house? This weekend, H and my FIL are renting a truck and clearing out the boxes in our basement to make it look bigger. I've started packing up some closets in our home to make them look larger, too, as we are getting ready to put our house on the market in May.

I've already prepped our hall closet and our pantry - both painted and purged.

Got any other tips to make our house more presentable/stagable? Each room except for the kitchen and bathroom are painted a neutral color. We don't have much furniture in each room. Do I need to pack away more of DS's toys in his room to make that room look larger, too?

We want to do it right this time - tried to sell it not too long ago and we obviously weren't succesful but also did not go through all of this trouble.
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I don't have experience with this, but when I have looked at places to RENT it creeps me out a little if there are too many personal effects lying about.

Does that make sense? Like tons of family pictures on the walls and lots of nic naks. It makes me feel like the house belongs to someone else and is unavailable, or something. Or like I am taking another person's home.

Make sure the outside looks nice...first impressions say a lot and I would imagine a little investment in landscaping could pay off in the long run.

We're house hunting at the moment.

All I need to see to get an idea of the house is the large pieces of furniture. Sofa, coffee table, dining table and chairs, sideboard, bed, dresser, bedside tables. Pictures on the walls is nice, makes it feel homier, flowers help the smell, but that's all you need, really. More than that makes the rooms feel smaller.

Little maintenance things matter, too. It give the impression that you aren't the sort to have horrible crawl space mold, or a leaking roof, if you've fixed the little things I can see.
pics would be so helpful! what does your realtor say?
When we did ours, we only kept each living area furnished only with some uncrowded seating. The only other items were placed specifically for looks. It was like a hotel lobby ! All the other furniture and all personal items were packed and put into storage. The bedrooms were just the bare minimum - made bed, dresser with nothing on top of it, and a bedside table with just a lamp. All of our personal stuff that wasn't put into storage was all things we could hide away easily when we made the bed for the day. We also stripped down the kitchen cabinets, putting 90% of our dishes and cookware into storage and keeping only the bare minimum - one day worth of dishes and just a few things to cook with. We did the same with the linens, keeping just a day plus a couple extra towels, and put the rest into storage. Same with the bathroom cabinets and the pantry and even the clothes in our closets - 90% of our stuff was in storage, because we wanted the house and all of the storage space in it to look very uncluttered.

It was like we were camping in our own house. was totally worth it. That was a different market then, but we had three offers the first weekend our house was listed. And when it was time for our move, (which was a local move), it was very easy because we only had to have the truck take the large furniture that was left in the house. Most of our smaller items and personal things had already been packed and were already out of the house. This turned out to be a HUGE benefit, because we were supposed to have a full 12 hours between getting the keys to the new house and surrendering the keys to the old one, but our closing for the new house was delayed and we ended up losing about six hours of our moving time that day. If we hadn't already basically emptied the old house to show it, we never would have been able to clear out on time. And then we were able to bring our other stuff out of storage at a more relaxed pace. When we move again, we will probably do it the same way.
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pics would be so helpful! what does your realtor say?[/QUOTE

We haven't met with her yet - we still have some things in the works before we meet with her and our mortgage guy. H might be getting a new job soon and therefore, he'll need to receive his first pay stub before we can do any talking, we're just trying to get things ready and get a good head start this time around.

Landscaping is all taken care of. H just planted some really nice bushes out front, mulched and put solar lights. It looks really, really nice. Great curb appeal!
When we sold our home 2 years ago, we cleared out:
75% of the toys,
all out of season clothing and 25% of the in season clothing.
We took out any dishes, kitchen item that would not be used in the next few months,
at least one piece of furniture per room,
Cleared out all the storage areas so people could see them
all personal photos
put a smaller table in the dining area to make it appear larger
touched up painting
cleaned all traffic areas and the walls

In the morning when the house was on the market, we made beds asap, cleared out all dirty dishes and cleaned, put away. Fresh towels in the bathroom etc. IT was a pain but the house was under contract in 6 weeks.
Put away all personal hygiene - razors, toothbrushes, extra shampoos. Your bathroom should have nothing except pretty towels and a soap dispenser/dish.

Turn all lights on when showing your house.

Fruit bowl in the kitchen.

Face items (food in the pantry).

I wouldn't do flowers or candles, some people are allergic and/or might not like that scent.

No family or personal photos.

CLEAN (don't forget the porch - it's the first impression when the buyer's are waiting for the realtor to unlock the door).
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Have a clear, defined purpose for each room/area, keep things clean and simple, wash windows and pull away curtains so you have lots of light, then turn on all the lights even during the day when you have buyers coming, the house will look much larger and spacious this way.
Before you list your house, take a tour of the other houses on the market that are comparable to yours and see how you can make your house stand out. We did this when we sold our house, it was already a slow market, but we were able to sale in 10 days, because we staged the house and made it stand out from the others -- my many hours of watching HGTV finally paid off

Also, buy some cookie dough and keep in the fridge and before buyers are coming in, just bake a couple of cookies and leave them out with some tea/lemonade. I did this every time and the realtor said it was a real hit with everybody.
Good luck!
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