Monday, July 6, 2009

Staging your Home Quick Tips

Everyone appreciates a lovely, well cared for home!

QUICK TIP #1: Remember the three “C’s”

You have probably heard, “there are a million reasons for people to be poor in this world, but there is no reason not to be clean.” No one wants to move into someone else’s filth. Your home should be sparkling clean – bathrooms, appliances, windows, mirrors, cabinets and countertops, etc.; floors should be shiny, dust-ball free and squeaky clean; and furnishings that don’t look shopworn are just the beginning of clean.

Get rid of it. This is probably the biggest challenge in any home. Not only is it messy, it makes the house appear to be smaller. In the process, de-personalize the home. Family photos on the bureau and awards on the wall make buyers feel that they are invading a seller’s privacy. Go for a simple, streamlined look and put away the personal items.

“Paint and Petunias”. Studies from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University show that minor landscaping and new paint actually return 109% of the dollar cost. Color is very subjective, so make sure when you are painting to make rooms look fresh that you don’t overuse strong colors. It is best to keep the colors subtle and mellow. Remember, you want the prospective buyer to visualize THEIR style in YOUR home.

QUICK TIP #2: Follow the basketball rule*

It's no secret that America is a nation of consumers. And all of that stuff we buy is strewn about our homes. In the living room of one luxurious homes that staging guru Barb Schwarz * staged, she unearthed a grand piano beneath mounds of clutter - something she did not notice when she first visited. So while you might like being surrounded by your collection of trophy fish or glass figurines, these items can be a real turnoff to a potential buyer.

Here's a rule of thumb: Remove all items that are smaller than the size of a basketball. Pack up at least half of your books. And stash the photographs of you and the kids on your Hawaiian vacation. You want the buyer to be able to envision himself in your home -- not you.

*Source: Ellen Florian, FORTUNE. Barb Schwarz is the CEO and founder of and has personally staged more than 5,000 homes over the past 33 years.

QUICK TIP #3: Set the scene

Just before a showing:

• Just before the agent arrives with the prospects, open the drapes and window shades to let in as much daylight as possible. Turn on lights throughout the home. If it happens to be night, be sure that all of your outdoor lights are on, especially landscape and pool lights.
• Open all the doors between rooms to give an inviting feeling. Have soft jazz or easy listening music playing. It will put people in a buying mood.
• Pick up any newspapers or magazines that may be lying around. See that the counters are free of unnecessary items and that any dirty dishes are put in the dishwasher. Empty the wastebaskets, put the toilet lids down, hide your laundry and grooming items, and place baskets of new, color coordinated hand towels in the bathroom.

For help on staging your home for sale, contact ROI Staging at To help find a real estate professional in your area, visit or call 800-451-8055. You

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