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Staged To Sell

Maria Contreras Marketing Manager, Consumers Credit Union
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Staging a home for sale is not a new concept, but it has gained steam with today’s crowded real estate market. If you want to sell your home, it has to stand out. Staging is not to transform your home into the eighth wonder of the world but to make it appeal to the broadest possible group of people.

Don’t confuse staging with decorating. The moment you commit to marketing your home for sale, you need to commit to transforming your home into a place that potential buyers can easily picture as their home. This means that you need to be prepared to emotionally detach.

Depersonalize and declutter. This practice helps the property show off its best features by putting a room and its architecture in the best light. Staging before putting your house on the market will also help you keep your home cleaner and get a head start on packing.

Basic staging steps include:

  • Neutralize - Put away family photos, religious items and collections.
  • De-clutter - Pack up knick-knacks, clear off countertops, and remove up to half your furniture. Consider renting a storage locker until your home sells.
  • Rearrange - Arrange furniture so buyers can move smoothly through the home. Highlight focal points, such as fireplaces, with furniture groupings.
  • Let it shine - Clean or replace carpets, wash or paint walls, pressure-wash siding and decks, and scrub, scrub, scrub—especially in bathrooms and kitchens. Turn on all lights and open drapes for showings.
  • Landscape - Mow and edge the lawn, trim the hedges, plant flowers. If your yard doesn’t look well-maintained, buyers will assume your home isn’t and drive on by.

If your funds are limited, spend money where it shows. Buyers form first impressions from your front door and foyer, so make sure they sparkle. Is the doorknob wobbly? Is the doorbell broken? Is the doormat shabby? If you’re debating replacing carpeting in the entryway or a back hallway, choose the entryway. Be sure your changes make economic sense. Do normal maintenance, such as replacing stained or chipped countertops, but don’t install an expensive hot tub.

Consider hiring a professional stager. Too often the tendency is take the process personally, but you shouldn’t. Sometimes only a third party specialist can bring the neutrality and objectivity needed to accomplish the goal. Professional staging can be an inconvenience, but if selling your home in the shortest amount of time and for the most money is your goal, hiring a professional might be the answer. Realtors can recommend stagers, or you can consult the International Association of Home Staging Professionals’ website.

Whether you’re fixing up your home for resale, or looking to buy a new home yourself, Consumers Credit Union can help. Stop by or call 877.275.2228 today. You can also apply online at Consumers Mortgages.