Proper staging is essential when you are getting ready to market and sell your home. The biggest mistake you can make is not following the practical and effective staging routine. Staging basics include lawn care, painting, cleaning, depersonalizing, and decluttering. Minor renovations are helpful, major renovations need additional consideration before undertaking. Here are some common staging mistakes & how to avoid them.
Make a Plan: Put together a staging plan with your seller’s agent. Implement the plan. Delegate, hire someone, or do it yourself. It is that simple. This is how you will avoid common staging mistakes. Start with a plan.
Major Renovations: A new master bathroom or a complete kitchen remodel isn’t necessary for the staging process. There are a number of smaller renovations that work wonders with a modest budget. New faucets, new light fixtures, and new door handles carry a lot of weight in the staging arena. It is best to discuss larger renovations with your seller’s agent. They will be working on your behalf and helping to price the home. Your seller’s agent will advise you on which of your proposed renovations will provide the best ROI and which projects to let alone.
Old Paint: We always advise sellers to paint the interior rooms of their homes in a light neutral color for the staging process, as this will make rooms feel more spacious and brighter. You don’t get a free pass on painting if the rooms in your home are already a light neutral color. Roll up your sleeves and get to work, or hire a professional painter. The walls need a fresh coat of paint!
Not Hiring an Interior Designer: Having a friend or neighbor walk through your home is a great way to get feedback on the condition of the rooms. The second set of eyes will help to point out things you have missed. Hiring a professional interior designer is even better. A designer's objective eye will make a quick assessment of what is outdated, what items should be updated, and how to create space. A professional designer won’t simply push all the furniture against the walls to make a room feel more spacious, because that doesn’t work. They will help to create interesting and inviting spaces with furniture placement (both practical and clever), design elements, and other tricks of the trade.
Hanging High or Low: It is important to depersonalize your home (i.e. remove family photos and kid’s drawings). Buyers will want to imagine themselves living in your home so you need to set a proper stage. This doesn’t mean you want to render your home lifeless. You will still want to embrace a little character. When hanging artwork or photographs to replace the personal photos you removed, the center of the pictures should be 57” to the floor. It’s that simple. It’s the standard. It isn’t too high or too low. If you are hanging multiple pieces as a collection, the collective center of the group is the center to mark for 57”. Keep multiple pieces 3”- 6” apart for proper space and balance.
Not Decluttering: Excess furniture and clutter needs to be removed. Your real estate agent will politely remind you when you aren’t finished decluttering. Your interior designer will tell you the same thing. Your friend and neighbor might be a little more forgiving … so trust the professionals and clear it out! We will sometimes recommend sellers rent a storage space for excess furniture. When the process is complete we recommend keeping small or medium sized empty storage bins in every room. When you need to quickly declutter prior to a showing, simply stash items in the bins and put them away.
Clean, Clean, Clean: I think you missed a spot. Keep cleaning, and keep it clean: the floors and windows, all the surfaces in the bathrooms, all the surfaces in the kitchen, the appliances, underneath the appliances. Keep cleaning.
An Urban Meadow?: Perhaps not mowing your lawn is an environmental or political statement. It’s time to mow. A well manicured lawn and landscape are essential for staging your home. There may be urban meadow sections of wildflowers and natural growth that are part of the landscape design but they should only represent a portion of the landscape design when you are staging your home to sell (in most markets).
I look forward to helping you sell your home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I am a resident and have a lifetime of Eastern Shore relationships, resources, and real estate experience to market and sell your home effectively. Contact Chuck Mangold today!