Posts Tagged ‘Staging a home for sale’

Now is the time for home owners contemplating a spring sale to spruce up their properties in anticipation of a potentially vibrant home-selling season, especially after our snowy winter this year here in Northern Virginia.

 Here are 10 inexpensive ways to make a property more attractive to shoppers.

  1. Improve first impressions. Touch up the paint on the front door and other areas that buyers see first.
  2. Clean up the landscaping. Trim the hedges and trees and plant some annuals in the flowerbeds.
  3. Paint the interior. A coat of light yellow or cream with contrasting white woodwork looks fresh and clean.
  4. Refurbish the floors. Buff the hardwoods. Install new carpets – or at least get them professionally cleaned.
  5. Take care of the big problems. If the house needs a roof or the front stoop is crumbling, get them fixed.
  6. Buy warranties. Putting appliances under warranty gives homebuyers a secure feeling.
  7. Improve energy efficiency. New windows or improved insulation tell a potential buyer the seller is on top of things plus they come with tax benefits – federal tax credit available up to $1,500.
  8. Replace light fixtures. Updated fixtures, especially at the entrance way and in the foyer, create a good first impression.
  9. Buy a stove. Home owners whose kitchen isn’t top of the line can jazz it up for a few hundred dollars by buying a new stove, which gives the room a fresh feel.
  10. Tidy up the bathrooms. Get rid of mildew, replace caulking and replace stained sinks.

SOURCE: U.S. News & World Report, Luke Mullins

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Correct staging is not only helpful, but crucial in timely home sale, especially in buyer market.

Let me point out that the purpose of staging is NOT to camouflage any hidden defects – that would be very unethical, dishonest, and most likely would be discovered by home inspection. Every home buyer is always recommended to order a home inspection conducted by a professional, knowledgeable home inspector.

Staging is meant to present the home listed for sale in the most attractive way possible in order to produce a timely offer.  No seller should underestimate the power of good staging.

Staging is different from decorating. 

Decorating is personalizing a home for a Family for everyday living. Staging, on the other hand, is decorating the home for sale in order to make it appeal to the largest pool of buyers.  

The sole purpose of staging is to produce offer. If that gun displayed in the gun chest in the hall way, or the deer head hanging on the wall in the family room offends half of the potential buyers, it should be placed in the storage.  Bright purple can be a beautiful color when matched with the right furniture, but if it chases potential buyers out the door, it is better to repaint it to a more agreeable color.

It is important to stage a home in such a way that is not over-staged.  In other way, it is important to stage a home correctly.


Below are a few tips offered by Debra Gould president of Toronto-based Six Elements Inc.  who offered five rules of thumb for handling walls in home staging.

Walls are a key element of home staging. They are the canvas showcasing the greatest attributes of a house. Choosing the right color that complements the furniture and the floor flow is important.


1. Remove personal pictures: Those wedding portraits and baby pictures have to come down, as do diplomas and awards. Personal items such as these are distracting to potential buyers. You want them to focus on the home itself, not who the current home owners are.

2. Pay attention to the condition of the walls: If the walls are beat up, dirty or chipped, it can distract a buyer and negatively impact the sale price. “Paint is the cheapest, easiest, and fastest fix you can do on a house,” says Gould. The colors, she says should be fairly neutral, but not to the point of boring.  Select an interesting neutral color palette with three to four tones, or colors that compliment the existing features of the room.

3. Hang mirrors: Big or small, round or square—there is a mirror out there for every style of home. “Mirrors are a great way to visually enhance a room and to help the room appear brighter,” says Gould. Mirrors can provide subtle stylish appeal or an anchoring focal point. Another benefit: they don’t cost a lot! But it is important to think about what the mirror will reflect—avoid unattractive or cluttered areas of the home.

4. Get some art: Select art work that accents the best qualities of a room. No controversial pieces, violent scenes, or religious art. “With staging, what you want to do is enable the buyer’s eye to move around the room and take in everything,” says Gould, and the art should help achieve that goal, not hinder it.  Don’t hang art too high. It must visually relate to the furniture under it.

5. Stay in proportion: Small pieces of décor get can get lost on large walls, while giant prints can be overbearing in an area with only a little wall space. Mirrors, paintings, and other elements of décor should relate to the furniture around it, Gould says.

Of course, floors, windows, woodwork are also important part of presenting a home.


I am a REALTOR who is also ASP, Accredited Staging Professional. If you, or someone you know, plan to list a home for sale and would benefit from my services, contact me personally for a no obligation listing consultation. I offer my staging service at no additional cost to you, the seller. It is part of my service as REALTOR.



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It is possible to sell a house even in 2008-2009 market – within 30 days. Granted, the sale price needs to reflect the existing market AND the Sellers must be willing to deliver a top-notch product: an exciting, well maintained house.  Distraught sellers who need to generate more interest in house that has been languishing on the market for months should consider these 10 steps from MSNBC financial guru Laura T. Coffey.  Read on: 

  • Remove the clutter. Pack up knickknacks, pictures, piles of paper and furniture that makes the place look crowded.
  • Let the light in. Take down any heavy drapes.
  • Scrub-a-dub-dub. Wash the windows. Shampoo soiled carpets, Scrub the front door. Repaint scuffed walls. Tidy up the lawn and trim the shrubs.
  • Get moving on the “honey do” list. Fix and replace everything that is in need of repair. 
  • Enhance the view. Erect a fence or plant shrubbery to improve or obscure the view of unattractive nearby properties or streets.
  • Ask for criticism. Consult with others for their HONEST feedback.
  • Make the House available for pre-viewing. Leave the house when potential buyers come around so they can talk freely and can envision THEIR furniture in your house. [Note from Vivianne Rutkowski: Once you decide to list your house For Sale, live like you do not own it anymore – the house belongs to the new owner]
  • Consider Rent to Own. Becoming a landlord may keep you from having to shoulder two mortgages.
  • Drop the asking price. Figure out the absolutely lowest amount you’re willing or able to accept. [Note from Vivianne: Buyers look to purchase the most house for their money – buyers shop by comparison. Wouldn’t you?]

[Note from Vivianne: Consider STAGING your house. As an ASP REALTOR, I can testify to the many benefits of Staging, as long as it’s done properly.]

SOURCE: MSN Money, Laura T. Coffey (01/06/2009); REALTOR Magazine

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