Staging Tips to Help Sell your Houston Home before Moving

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The real estate market is starting to turn back around, which means if you have been waiting to sell your house, you might be considering listing it in the near future. According to HAR.com, single family home sales in September 2013 are up 23.5 percent from September 2012. This trend looks like its going to continue growing for the foreseeable future. This overall is great news that many of us have been waiting for, but can also present some challenges when it comes to trying to sell you home.

Single Family Home Sales 2013 HAR

Source: HAR.com

More homes listed for sale on the market means more competition. How can you make your home stand out from the crowd and sell on average faster than other homes and for a higher price? The answer is relatively simple to accomplish by yourself or by hiring and expert. As you could probably tell by the title of this article, that answer is staging you home.

What exactly is “staging your home” and everything that entails? The short answer according to Wikipedia is: “the act of preparing a private residence for sale in the real estate marketplace. The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money. Staging techniques focus on improving a property’s appeal by transforming it into a welcoming, attractive product that anyone might want.”

The idea of staging a home is to maximize your selling price and minimize the amount of time on the market. Therefore you don’t always want to spend a ton, if any, money. Follow these home staging tips to help accomplish all of the above for a relatively minimal cost. This could help you immensely in the long run.

1. Clean

Your home should be spotless! Many potential buyers will be turned off by having a dirty toilet, nasty kitchen sink, stained floors or dirty windows, just to name a few. This is the time to roll up your sleeves and scrub all those places that need some TLC after years of use. You can save some money here by doing the cleaning yourself. Focus on one area at a time and don’t leave that area until it is spotless.

2. Declutter

Minimize decorations that are on tables, walls, floors, countertops, etc. You should remove personal photos and knick knacks that might bring you joy, because the potential buyer might find it difficult to imagine their own items in it’s place. Remove your magnet collection from the fridge and beanie babies from your display cabinet.

3. Paint

Painting is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to make a big impact in any home. Choose neutral, earth-tone colors that are appealing to the eye and go with pretty much any decor. If you talk to your local home improvement store, they should be able to recommend the most common neutral colors, that help sell home quickly. If there are any spots areas on the wall that need repair, be sure to do this before painting, instead of just trying to cover it up. Inspectors will usually find any blemishes which could cost you at closing and overall sell price.

4. Furniture

If you don’t have a budget to hire a professional stager, nor put new furniture in your home, try using your furniture. You should downsize the amount of furniture in each room in order to make the home feel bigger and more spacious. If this means removing some furniture from the house completely and placing it in temporary storage, it could be beneficial and worth the investment. You should have a nice dining room set with either place settings or a center piece. If your bedroom has more than 4 pieces of furniture, try reducing it to just the basics. You’ll be surprised how open your home will feel after doing this.

Tip: Be sure to move or remove any furniture that blocks a natural flow through the home.

5. Accessories

Plant staging in homeKeep the accessories to a minimum, but you want to include a few that will help make your home feel more “homey.” Try getting a new rug for a large room. Not only does this make the room feel more “homey,” but it also makes it feel larger, and you also get to keep the rug when you do sell your home. Plants are also good accessories to include when staging your home. If you cannot keep up a real plant, buy a fake one, because this could backfire if your plant starts to die.

6. Stage Home Before Photographing

Many home buyers today use the internet to search for their dream home, and the photos are what might bring them to see your home in person. If they see a home that doesn’t follow any of the above tips, they might not hesitate to click on the next home who did use them. Be sure to open all the blinds and window coverings to let in lots of light. Also, take the photos from a lower angle than you would normally. This will make your home appear larger and more open.

7. Make it Smell as Beautiful as it Looks

You want your potential buyer’s first impression to be the best, and if your home has a stale smell to it, this can ruin everything you’ve worked so hard for. The most common scent used by realtors to increase feelings of comfort and happiness is vanilla. Be cautious not to use too many air fresheners as this may make buyers feel you are trying to mask an odor.

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Photo Credit: REAL ESTAGING via Flickr.

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