The Power of Staging

When you are considering selling your home, you want it to look its very best. Shaw Baker Realtors can help you achieve this. We want you to get top dollar for your prize possession. We have been helping clients stage their homes for years and sometimes it's just a little tweak to a client's existing set up, or sometimes it's more extensive.  Once your home is ready, the photographer comes in and does their part. The better these photographs look the more buyers will want to see your place. The more buyers, the better chance of a quick sale at the right price.  Where to start? We won't lie, it does involve a lot of hard work but it is worth every minute of time you put into it.  We thought we'd provide some tips for homeowners to get their home ready for sale. Whether or not you consider cleaning, painting, and fixing small issues part of staging, we certainly do, as it all goes toward making your home look amazing. We are happy to go through your home with you to give you some direction on what would be important to get it ready. This is an important part of the 'prepare' part of our marketing plan.

Start by decluttering. There is nothing that will turn a buyer off faster than a house full of stuff. Less stuff gives the appearance of more space.  Start with one area at a time and do the classic three piles, or three boxes - one to keep, one to donate, one to get rid of.  A big upside of doing this is knowing you won't be hauling all of your junk to your new place! Imagine arriving to your new home with only what you need! Diabetes, Big Brother, Value Village all still take donations of household goods and there is a used clothing drop off box at the firehall if you happen to live in, or nearby, lovely Glenayre.

Clean like your life depends on it. I mean really clean everywhere. Now your place has been decluttered you should be able to get in all the hidden nooks and crannies. Clean the vents, the cold air returns, the exhaust fans, baseboards, wash the walls, moldings where necessary just for starters. I follow  Go Clean Co on Instagram who shares all sorts of tips & tricks and some very satisfying cleaning videos! Check her out for some cleaning motivation.  We can help with names of local cleaners if you need them. Importantly, make sure there are no lingering smells of pets or smoke. You may not smell these odours anymore but a buyer might. It can be nice to have fresh flowers or baking on the day of appointments! 

Neutralize & De-personalize your space. If you have walls of family photos or a lot of knick knacks, it's a good idea to box some of that up for the move. Again, it helps a buyer to visualize themselves in the space if there is less of your stuff to get past. You are moving anyway so it shouldn't be too much of a hardship to box some things up. Onto neutralizing; if you already have neutral paint colours you are a step ahead. If you have some wild paint colours, or maybe some darker shades that might be considered a little dated, you should consider painting some of your main living areas. I wouldn't worry about kids bedrooms, but if your living room is dark green for example it would go a long way for it to be painted a neutral colour. One of our favourites, which seems to go with everything, is Classic Grey by Benjamin Moore.

Fix it up.   Go around your place as if you were someone looking for problems; chipped paint, loose cupboard doors, leaking taps are all relatively easy fixes. Dealing with these issues now will avoid these items being noticed by a buyer. They may take these deficiencies as a sign your house isn't well cared for even though that might not be true. You may come across a repair that needs professional help. It's best to get this taken care of before buyers start pointing it out. We can help you find a professional to help with any small jobs.

First impressions.  What will buyers see from the street? What is your curb appeal like? Depending on the season you will want to devote some time to making sure your grass is cut, landscaping is neat and tidy, and if you can, clean or power wash the hardscaping areas. It is always nice to see a lovely planter next to a front door!

Final touches.  This is where we come in; while we do not store a lot of furniture, we have a huge assortment of 'soft staging' items to use in our client's homes. By 'soft staging' I am referring to cushions, bedding, throws, a variety of tasteful knick knacks, artificial plants and some artwork. We can arrange furniture if your home needs it, but usually we can work with the client's own furniture. We often move furniture around to provide more walking area/space or a better angle for photographs. We can provide white bedding on all the beds, white towels in the bathrooms, nice cushions and throws which will all photography nicely and be the neutral palette we're looking for. On your end, you can make sure all your lights work (new bulbs etc). A light bright room photographs well. 

It sounds easy when you write about it in a blog, but I know its hard work. You can look at this way, the cleaning and the decluttering would likely have to be done anyway if you've moving. However, when you do it before it goes up for sale you get the satisfaction of seeing the home at its best, and you will reap the rewards of the top dollar you will get in the sale price.  We are always happy to chat regarding the current market and offer free home evaluations. We can guide you through every step of the process including getting your home ready to sell. We can't wait to hear from you. Contact us today!

Jayne Edwards