In a difficult housing market, the key to finding interested buyers is to make your listing as attractive as possible. While some homeowners may be tempted to repaint and redecorate their house, some judicious staging will be even more effective. Staging, the act of setting an environment so that it's attractive for a purpose, can be a realtor's best friend. Here are five of the best staging tips for effective sales.
- Pay attention tot he front door. Scrub the door, molding, and siding around the edges. Paint the door if it's chipped or peeling. Consider replacing the knob if it's old. Add planters to each side with colorful plants to give the doorway a warm, inviting look.
- Remove all personal items from the public areas. Your homeowners will probably be living in the home while it's listed; have them remove family pictures, personalized decorative touches, and anything that might identify the home as anything but a potential buyer's.
- Open curtains and drapes when you show the home. Bright light and airiness make rooms look bigger and more inviting. Pay attention to the view outside all the windows before you leave the room open. If bushes or branches obstruct the view, ask the homeowner to trim them back. If you find an particularly unattractive view outside one of the windows, cover it with a gauzy sheer curtain to obscure the view without calling attention to it.
- Pay attention to the floors. Have the carpets steam-cleaned, clean and wax wooden floors, and scrub tiles and the grout in between them. Floors are easy to overlook, and most buyers won't pay attention to a clean floor, but dirty floors are a major turn off.
- Make sure the bathroom is sparkling clean. Scrub every inch of the room, including the walls and ceiling. Put out new towels and matching accessories. If there's a sliding glass door over the tub or shower, use lime remover cleaner to make sure the glass is completely clear. Replace the shower curtain if it doesn't look absolutely fresh and new.
Potential buyers know that homeowners are living in their homes, but they react more favorably if they don't see an excess of evidence of this. This is the time when they're imagining how their own family may fit into their new house. If your listed house has too much evidence of the old family in the way, a buyer may have a hard time seeing how their own family can fit. Allow buyers to dream about a house and you'll encourage them to bid on more of your listings.