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Moving on Up: Five Staging Tips for a Successful Home Sale

Posted by Holly McDowell on March 20, 2020

We are all a bit like Goldilocks in search of a spot to settle in: not too large, nor too small, a place that meets all our needs.  Sometimes our current home is no longer a good fit. This discomfort combined with Spokane’s hot real estate market may be enough for you to take the step to sell your home. Whether you are upsizing, downsizing, or right-sizing, it can be a daunting task to dress your home from having that lived-in look to a place future buyers can envision themselves. This is where a home stager steps in, and why staging is a service offered to all listing clients. Stagers help create an emotional experience, showing buyers a lifestyle they may have in your home.

In the current market, you can sell homes in any condition. Well-staged and prepared homes still sell faster and better, often going for well over the asking price. Read on for our top five staging tips for a successful sale.

Curb Appeal

The landscaping around your home should be well-maintained, regardless of the season. Pay special attention to the entry. This is the buyers’ first impression of the home. Consider fresh paint on the door, a potted plant, or add a new doormat.

Less is More

A great rule of thumb for spaces such as a closet or pantry is to allow for 20% empty areas. Stash stuff out of sight on showing days or rent a temporary space to store larger items, like furniture, that makes a small space feel crowded. Tuck away daily use items, such as pet bowls, laundry baskets, and dish drying racks. These small changes make a big difference. Focus on the living room, dining room, kitchen, and at least one bedroom to make the greatest impact.

Not Too Personal

In addition to pet items, remove most photos, kids’ toys, hygiene items, etc., but don’t go overboard. Some items – artwork, plants, a few mementos – make the space personable and unique. Look for opportunities to create pockets of emotion for varying demographics. Kids’ artwork on the walls appeals to families, golf clubs or travel books convey an active lifestyle, and a dining tray with glasses or a set table suggests entertaining friends and family.

Clean and Listen Up

Once they visit, buyers form an opinion in seconds, and it is not just what people see that can influence them. Bad smells can quickly sink a sale. Owners acclimate to their home’s smell and don’t generally notice any odors. Ask someone you trust to take a sniff and give you an honest opinion. If needed, use a light fragrance, as needed. In addition to cleaning the home from top to bottom, consider playing soft background music during showings to create a welcoming vibe.

Best Bang for Your Buck

You can’t go wrong with fresh paint, especially warm, neutral colors. And if the carpeting or flooring is worn, it’s best to replace it. Buyers automatically deduct the cost of flooring in their head from the asking price, and may not have enough funds after closing to pay for the replacement.  Plus, you get that new carpet smell. Other nice touches that make a big impact: fresh flowers in the kitchen, matching light bulbs (replace those that are burnt out), and clean windows inside and out.

The greatest challenge when preparing your home for sale is knowing where to stop. Hopefully, these five home staging tips provide a great starting point and make the process feel less overwhelming. Do you have questions or want a home evaluation? Please reach out, it is my pleasure to assist you.

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