You want – no, you need – to get the most money you can from the sale of your home. And you’d like it to sell quickly. To accomplish those goals, you’ve got to present your house in such a way that potential buyers fall head-over-heels in love. To woo property shoppers into making an offer, you’ve got to dress your property to the nines, which, in real estate terms, means staging.

There are some elements you can’t control. You can’t change the location of your house. You can’t change its age. But you can make sure your house is in good condition, and you most certainly can influence perception. Here’s the scoop on how to stage your home to sell.

Goodbye, Clutter Bug!

Your first order of business -and perhaps the most dreaded- is to remove clutter. Ugh. But it’s necessary. Consider it part of packing and getting ready for your new adventure. Grab a trash bag (or twelve!), a few storage bins, and start sorting through all the stuff you forgot you even had! Pack it, store it, organize it, trash it, or get rid of it by way of sales or donations. Get rid of the clothes you no longer wear, the toys the kids no longer love, the dishes you haven’t used in a year. Sort through the piles of paper and keep what you need but trash the rest. And don’t forget the junk drawers.

It’s not all about the little things, either. Consider furniture. Big, bulky furniture can make rooms look smaller than they are and create a vibe of “stuffy.” Store big pieces of furniture you won’t need until you move, and arrange what’s left into comfy, cozy conversation areas away from the walls.

Remove Traces of You

Some elements make your house feel like your home. You have photos of loved ones framed on the wall. You’ve got your collection of trinkets on display. Your religious items are out in the open reminding you of your faith. Your political opinions are evident in the books on your shelf or the autographed picture of you and your favorite politician. You may even have a welcome mat that has puppies on it to remind visitors that the dog is a cherished and respected member of the household. But all of these things can deter would-be buyers. People shopping for houses want to let their imaginations run wild – to picture themselves adorning the space with their belongings, which they can’t do if yours overwhelm them.

The Clean Machine

With the clutter gone, it’s time to get to the dirty work. If you’re not into the whole deep-clean thing, that’s okay. Hire someone. Or, save the bucks, roll up the sleeves, and get ready to apply some heavy elbow grease. Clean the ceiling fans, air vents, and baseboards. Wash doors, scrub walls, bleach the toilets and sinks, and leave no dirty stone unturned. Consider having the carpets shampooed, too. People care tremendously about the condition of the carpet and will use stained or damaged carpet as a way to bargain for a lower price. A fresh coat of paint can also give walls a bright, fresh feel.

Love it from the Outside In

Don’t forget the curb appeal. The first impression house-hunters get from your home is the one that will stay with them as they tour your property. Give them something to love. Pull the weeds. Mow the lawn. Plant flowers.

Little Tricks

Use white linens in the bathroom to give a spa-like feeling. Add baked goods or bowls of fruit to the kitchen – they create a sense of nurturing in the room; so do live plants. Open the window coverings to let in natural light – light makes rooms appear spacious. Light candles; they smell good.

Keep it that Way

Getting the house show-ready is one thing, but keeping it that way is another challenge altogether, especially if you’ve got a busy household with loved ones coming and going. But it’s important. Make the beds every day. Keep the cutter away. Don’t let dishes hang out in the sink. You never know when the right buyer is going to walk through that door and love your house enough to make it his or her own.

Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Maggie Clemens a call today at 619-800-1145 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.

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