After looking at potential homes for months now, and maintaining a buyer’s outlook, I have recently come to have a new regard for sellers who actually try to stage a home that they are still living in.
My husband and I have just put our cute little home up for rent in North Phoenix and have hosted a few open houses already. Let me tell you, it is no easy task staging a home that still needs to be functional for every day jobs like cooking dinner, doing laundry, hosting parties, etc… we are pretty much learning how to function on much less… but to be honest, it’s kind of nice.
I hope I have re-decorated and watched enough HGTV to know how to stage a home, (sometimes I really miss having cable, if only for HGTV), but I do have a few tips that I have learned over the past few weeks regarding staging a livable home. Luckily, all this hard work paid off and we just signed a lease with a wonderful renter! The fact that we are still waiting for a house to come through only worries me slightly... well, a little more than slightly.
1. Box up any unnecessary appliances – avoid clutter at all costs. No one wants to live in a disorderly home.
2. Clean off counters and sinks - your buyers need to be able to imagine their tools and gadgets in the kitchen.
3. Re-organize closets and cupboards – yes, people do open these and inspect your towels and jackets.
4. Take down any personal photos and frames – it’s nice to add personal touches, but it’s hard for others to pretend they are living in a house has someone else’s pictures hanging on the walls.
5. Put away shampoos/conditioners/soaps – I found a large Tupperware box and simply put the essentials in a cupboard during the open house – it only takes five minutes and no one needs to see what type of perfume you wear.
6. Clean, clean, clean! This includes mopping floors, washing windows, wiping down cupboards, dusting book shelves and cleaning behind the toilet – I have found through months of looking at potential homes that many people don’t seem to actually mind living in a dirty home and as a buyer I find it almost impossible to imagine myself living in a grimy house.
7. Your house should smell good – I put candles in every few rooms so each area of the house smells fresh and clean.
8. Turn on lights and open windows – you want the house to appear light and open. Even if a home is small, there is no reason it can’t feel spacious.
9. Paint – if you haven’t already, you should paint every room a neutral color or at a least gender impartial colors. It’s hard to imagine putting a little boy in a hot pink bedroom.
10. Curtains or shades - last, but not least, add some sort of framing around the windows. Even if buyers are imaging themselves purchasing your home, they like to feel invited into each and every room.