Example of real estate home staging used to help sell Calgary house.

Home Staging | Prepare to Sell your House

There are many things you can do, at minimal expense, that can increase the appeal and value of your home. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry. We have had formal home staging education and have years of practical experience working with buyers. We’d be more than happy to help give you suggestions. It’s just part of the premium service we give everyone and doesn’t cost you a penny.

In the mean time, here are some of the basics you should know.

What is Home Staging?

Home staging is the term we give to making your property more appealing to buyers. Home buyers buy on emotion. They know that the home doesn’t come with furniture or other contents but those things create an emotional feel to the home that buyers respond to. Home builders have known this for years and are very good at staging homes. You will never find any toilet brushes, garbage cans or dirty laundry in show homes. What you will see are decorations and accessories specifically intended to create a positive emotional response in the buyer.

Real Estate Home Staging Costs

You could spend thousands of dollars and hire a staging company to refit your home. For some homes this may even be cost effective but for most people it is an unrealistic and unnecessary expense. Most people can stage a home very effectively using their existing contents or with just minor purchases. If you just don't know where to start, don't worry, the tips below are a great starting point.

Tips for Staging a House to Sell

Clean Everything
Often it’s the little overlooked things that turn off buyers. Things like wiping the dust off of baseboards and cleaning exterior windows are easy and effective. Vacuum and mop constantly, paying extra attention to kitchens and bathrooms. Don’t forget to wipe (not spray!) the exterior siding by the front entrance. As the Realtor is fiddling with keys, the buyers are standing there getting their first impression.
Landscape the Property
Keep lawns mowed and edged in summer. Keep snow shoveled of sidewalks, stairs and decks in winter. Consider selling in spring or summer if you have exceptional landscaping or in winter if your yard is a bit of a mess as snow can cover lots of ugliness.
Control Odors
Pet smells, cooking smells and even air fresheners will turn off buyers faster than anything. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you to have fresh baked cookies in the oven because you never know what smells are going to turn off a buyer. The best smell is always no smell!
Show the Windows
Open the curtains as far as you can, or better yet, get rid of them completely. Raise your blinds for showings, all the way. Unless you have a really crappy view of a brick wall, you are going to provide a positive feel when you show as much window as possible. It increases the light inside the home and provides a more spacious feel. Remember, buyers love space!
Lower Pictures
Almost everyone has their pictures too high on the wall. It’s weird but true, buyers have a positive emotional reaction when pictures are low. There is no exact height as the wall and picture play a part, but generally, you want the center of the picture around 5'2". Go into any show home and look at their pictures for guidance and ideas.
Eliminate Clutter
Buyers love space! Counter space, closet space, floor space are always big on the list of things buyers prize, so give them as much as you can. Remove everything from counters unless it is decorative. In a small kitchen that may mean having just a cook book and a bottle of wine. Work with what you have and avoid things that go bad like fruit or flowers unless you maintain them. In bathrooms the counters should have nothing on them except soap and one other decorative item and showers should be empty and the curtain pulled. Remove mats, trash cans and toilet bowl brushes. Nobody wants to be reminded of cleaning toilets when buying a house!

Take the same approach to the rest of the house. If your bedroom is small, consider removing the dresser completely. You can keep clothes in plastic bins under the bed out of sight. You’re moving anyway so start packing and get all the clothes you know you’re not going to wear out of the closet and into boxes in the garage or basement.

We would also be more than happy to pop by and give you some specific suggestions. Contact us to setup an appointment.

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