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Beyond just being me, I am a wife, mother and entrepreneur constantly on the hunt for new ideas on how to live my best life. Visit me at www.clementsinteriors.com.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Preparing Your Home for Sale - Stage 3: Staging

When discussing the last of the three steps in preparing your home for sale, I could go on for days about the proven benefits of staging your home and the statistics that demonstrate that a properly staged home will sell faster and for more money than a home that is not staged. I could bore you to tears with how to place your furniture just so, and why indigo blue is not a colour you want on the walls of your family room when you’re selling your home, but I won’t. In the end, a few hours with a good stager will help you determine what furniture should stay and what should go, what elements of your space you need to change and what works just as it is. Staging is a process that for each house is as individual as the house itself.

What I will tell you is that there are two major things you can do to significantly improve the odds of selling your home quickly and at the best price possible. The first, de-personalizing will go a long way to making your Realtor’s work more efficient and effective. The second, creating an experience will help potential buyers connect with your home.

If you’re like me, over the years you’ve squirreled away just enough stuff to make your space comfortable and familiar. You’ve surrounded yourself with wonderful personal belongings that tell people who you are. Whether it be a collection of antique china, the stuffed animals on the spare bed that once was your child’s, or all the family photos over your fireplace, we all strive to make our homes a reflection of ourselves and of the life we’ve led in the years since we moved in.

After placing a great deal of focus on making your house a home you now face the often difficult task of ridding your space of all the items that made it uniquely yours, but you must do so in order to prepare for the prospect of someone else living there. Stripping your home of your personal touch is a very important part of getting ready to sell.

The reality is, prospective buyers going through your home may not like what they see and for many homeowners this can be a difficult pill to swallow. Your taste in d├ęcor, the wall colour selections you so painstakingly made and the shag carpet for which you searched high and low to give your bedroom that je ne sais quoi, simply may not appeal to everyone. Your personal tastes and indeed your personal belongings, often distract a buyer from seeing your property as somewhere they could picture themselves living. Such distractions can make it difficult for them to feel a connection with the house.

De-personalize your home by removing any and all (or at least as many as possible) personal photos, monogrammed items, kids’ trophies, children’s artwork and drawings on the fridge… anything that indicates that your family lives there. Taking the “you” out of your home removes all emotion and sentimentalism from your property, allowing others to connect themselves with your space.

Once your home is de-personalized, you need to “set the stage” for it to be sold. Create an experience for people viewing your property so that they have an emotional reaction to your home. Doing so will increase the chances that a buyer will feel it is a space they want to live in.

Pay special attention to the front entrance by making it welcoming, open and bright. A good …rather great first impression is something no one forgets. Make beds with serene, relaxing linens so buyers find a space they would want to return to. Ensuring the lights throughout the house are on will give a sunlit, warm impression of your home. Putting on some quiet music will go a long way to making your house more inviting and buying fresh flowers for a few of the rooms will add colour and life. I have even gone so far as to bake some pre-mixed cookies just prior to a showing to ensure that sweet smells permeate the house. There’s nothing more inviting then the smells of fresh baking!

Put effort into creating a cozy and inviting house that is free from items that identify you as the homeowner will ensure that your space is staged for the perfect buyer!

Janice Clements

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