Staging sells your home faster and for more money.

Whether you are living in your home for the duration of the sale or staging a vacant home, these are the things you must consider when preparing your home for the market.

The first and most crucial point to make is that people buy on emotion not logic. Staging your home properly helps to evoke that positive emotion needed to appeal to potential buyers. Just like the first time you meet someone, it is not likely you will remember their name but you will most certainly remember how they made you feel.

You have exactly 2 minutes to impress potential buyers. This starts the minute they see your home from the car which leads to my first recommendation to all sellers.

Curb appeal: Fresh landscaping, fresh paint if needed, power washing, gutter cleaning, a new door mat and mailbox to name a few. All of these things need to say, “Please come in to see more.” We want those homebuyers to be excited to see what’s next not dreading to see what’s behind the door.

Once inside, that feeling needs to continue and because this is the one of the biggest purchases a person will make we need to make it feel brand new.

The first thing to do is downsize. The best way to get started is by donating items you know you wont be needing once you move. Pack up all off season clothing to showcase more space in your closets. We typically use only 20% of our clothing 80% of the time so this should be easy. Remove the old armchair you inherited in college and any other furniture that looks like it has more stories to tell than you. Finally, depersonalize by removing family photos, college degrees, kids artwork and other items you wouldn’t see in a model home. When you’re finished no one should be able to tell who lives there.

Kitchens and baths should shine! Minor upgrades may be required. Simple grout cleaning, changing out fixtures or hardware or painting cabinets can create a new feeling for less than a renovation. Downsizing these two rooms is a must. The many personal items we use in these spaces must be kept away. Think about what you want to see when renting an AirBNB. This is how it should look. Like a beautiful retreat where people feel at home. Keeping countertops clear and the space as open and clean as possible.

One of the best things you can do to create that new feeling is to paint. Paint yields the biggest return on investment. Your home will likely sell for 10% more just by painting. Do not get caught up in an HGTV moment and try to achieve a designer color palette. Neutral paint is what sells homes. Using a gray, greige or creamy white is your best option. When in doubt seek professional advice to get the right color throughout.

Carpet: If you have old carpet you should consider removing it completely or replacing it with new. If you have beautiful wood floors underneath it is worth the investment to have them refinished. Most people suffer from allergens found in carpeting and this may deter them from seriously considering your home.

If you have pets I’m sure you love them as much as I do mine but they should be kept in a crate or at another location for showings. If you have a cat box, these can easily be moved for showings and I strongly recommend it.

If you have a vacant home staging is key.

The first place potential homebuyers will see your home is online. Having professional photos of your home is crucial to getting homeowners in to see it. Most people simply cant visualize a space and how it is intended to be used if they are looking at an empty space. A vacant room also appears smaller and leaves buyers puzzled on scale and flow.

As you can see it’s all a game of psychology. Creating a space that feels good will result in a great return!