Selling your home can be a stressful experience, whether you live in Anchorage, Houston, or Cincinnati. One of the keys to making sure that your home sells as quickly as possible is staging it well. You want every prospective buyer to walk into your home and immediately be able to imagine themselves living there. So how do you do that?
1. Clean it Up
Obviously you know that you need to keep your house at least a surface level of clean. The counters should be wiped down; the floors should be polished, etc. What we’re talking about here is a deep cleaning. Wash your walls and ceilings. Polish every surface. Make sure that everything is shiny and new looking.
2. Clean it Out
If you don’t have to live in your home while you are trying to sell it, this is a lot easier. You can simply move to your new place and leave the old place empty (or with a few strategically placed pieces to help convey a sense of scale to prospective buyers).
If you do not absolutely need it every single day, get it out of the house. The good news is that in most cities (particularly here in Cincinnati), you can find local storage to hide old LeBron James memorabilia, put your son's college furniture somewhere out of site during the summer or store larger items you may be trying to sell. Put everything you do not absolutely need every single day into that storage unit. It's much less expensive than you might think.
PRO TIP: Use this opportunity to go through your stuff and get packed up for your future move now. This will make it easier to find what you need if you have to get something out of your storage unit. Plus, when you do find a new place to live you can simply load up your storage unit and move everything—you won’t have to worry about sorting through it all in the new place.
3. Decorate it!
In Cincinnati, we aren’t known for taking decorating risks. This is why it is good to decorate your home as simplyand as conventionally as possible. You might love that modern art piece hanging on the wall, but a more traditional painting will “home up” your house a lot better.
It's also good to show some hometown (or home state) pride. Hang a Reds and/or Bengals banner in the Den, a photo of Rosemary Clooney in the hall, and put books by Sharon Creech, Mike Resnick and Curtis Sittenfeld on the shelves! People who understand Cincinnati will recognize them all immediately and be more likely to want to buy your home.
At the same time, you don’t want to go over the top with the decorations. Use a few pieces to add a touch of character and leave it at that. You don’t want to overwhelm your interested buyers!
4. Don’t Forget the Outside
So many sellers focus only on the inside of the house when they think about staging. This is a mistake! The first thing a prospective buyer sees when he or she drives up to your home is the outside of it!
- Power wash the outside of your home (siding and windows)
- Make sure that your roof is in good shape (and looks that way).
- At the very least make sure your lawn is mowed and that your yard is free of toys.
- If you can afford it, hire a professional landscaper to come in and beautify the property with flowers and other garden-y type things.
Do this in the back yard as well, since people--especially those with children--look there too!
With any luck (especially if you use these tips) your house won’t sit on the market for very long. Before you know it you’ll be moved and settled in to your new place!