Showings That Sell: 6 Expert Staging Tips

After the steps have been taken to stage your home to sell and great photos have been taken in order to get buyers in the door, it’s important to be able to maintain this look for however long it takes to sell the home. Most likely you’ve already removed bulky items, de-cluttered and cleaned the home from top to bottom. This is also assuming you’ve followed your Realtor’s advice on any updates that were to be done like adding landscaping, painting or making specific repairs throughout your home. Here are some tips I’ve gathered from various real estate experts that will help you do the best job possible in showing your home and I’ve also included bonus advice for those who want to go above astaging_cookies1nd beyond.

1. Be prepared. When a showing is scheduled you should be able to get things ready in a moments notice. Always leave the home during showings. This will make buyers feel comfortable to openly discuss their feelingsabout the home without worrying about offending you. Try to remove any pets for showing and hide things that might remind buyers there are pets. This would include things like food bowls, beds and toys. BONUS: Have baskets throughout the house that are designated to tuck personal items away in or even take them to your car during showings.

2. Make the front porch extra welcoming. While their Realtor is opening the lockbox, buyers are taking in the details of your door, porch and entry area. Take the extra time to make this a welcoming area. Keep your landscaping maintained during showings. Clean, paint or replace your actual front door as this will be money well spent. BONUS: If there is room, create a sitting area. Add a few potted plants. Sit in that area and try to have a critical eye with thought to what an unfamiliar person might notice.

3. First impressions matter. As soon as buyers step in the door they will make a judgment based on the feeling they get. Make sure the first things that hit their senses are pleasant. Bright lights, pleasant smell, comfortable temperature, clean areas. It is important to have all of the lights on and blinds or curtains open. If you have pets, you will need to be diligent about hiding pet beds & blankets and keeping your home vacuumed and fresh. It’s important to remove bad smells and have the aroma pleasant without using products that create a strong overwhelming scent. Do not smoke in your home. Maintain comfortable indoor temperatures, even when you’re not home. You don’t want to create a fear that the heating or cooling units are not functioning properly. BONUS: If it’s an option, have some soft background music playing in your home. Place fresh flowers in an area that is viewable from the entry of the home. Keep a tube of cookies in your fridge and when you know there will be a showing stick 5-6 cookies in the oven then place them on a plate with a note that invites prospective buyers to take one. This will make the home smell good and give them a reason to stay a little longer. Place these cookies in an area that really shows off good parts of the house. They will make their way to that plate of cookies and linger in that area while taking in the best features.

4. Create a welcoming feeling. It’s important for the buyers to envision themselves living in your home. While staging, you likely removed items that personalized your home. But remember to add the little touches that allow people to feel free to look around without them feeling like they are in someone else’s private areas like keeping all the doors open or slightly ajar. Make sure your personal items are put away out of sight. Things like jewelry, mail, slippers, pajamas, credit cards, phone chargers, makeup or anything else that would make them think about you in the house instead of thinking of themselves living here. BONUS: Pick an area of your home that you can leave “set up” with plates, silverware and maybe even wine glasses. Something that will give the feeling that they could have a romantic date in this area. In the winter, light the fireplace. In the summer, set up a sitting area on the back porch. Write a letter explaining things you love about the great neighbors and school systems, as well as pointing out convenience to schools, area attractions, shopping and restaurants. Paint an appealing picture for the buyers you believe would be the target audience for your home.

5. Eliminate clutter. You probably eliminated a lot of clutter initially while staging the home. It’s common to start filling those empty closets with items you are hiding when getting prepared for showings. It’s important to leave some empty space in all closets and storage areas to show buyers that there is plenty of storage space. Closets and storage areas jam packed with items make potential buyers worried that there is not enough storage. BONUS: To create space in closets, double up your hanging clothes. For example, hang any jackets on the same hanger that already has a shirt on it. Or put two pair of pants on one hanger. This will enable you to remove unused hangers and create more space. You can also create space in a room by taking out the leaf in a table or relocating some of the chairs to storage.reading_nook

6. Put each area to work. It can be helpful for buyers to see each room used as it was intended. For example, if you have a formal dining room it should be set up as a formal dining room. But if that area is used as something else then make sure it is obvious as to the purpose. Just having a table with a laptop on it can be off-putting and make buyers view that as wasted space. BONUS: Create a story for areas that aren’t easily defined. Put an open book, flipped over so it’s cover-side up, with a pair of reading glasses next to a chair in lesser-used rooms (sitting area in your master bedroom or guest room). It can make a space that looked dead and wasted, suddenly look like a quiet retreat. Do you have a table in the second living area or a bonus room? Put out a board game. Make the prospective buyers think if they lived in your house, their lives would be fun.

Even if you do all of these things, sometimes it simply takes the right person to walk in the door and know they are home. It can become exhausting to keep your home show ready while waiting for that perfect person, especially if it doesn’t sell quickly. Try to stand back and look at your home objectively. Try to notice things that might stand out to potential buyers as a problem or distraction.

The New Braunfels area is growing at such a fast rate that there are new homes and neighborhoods coming up all the time. Another consideration is that in such a competitive real estate market it’s becoming less and less likely that people are looking for a home to live in for decades (like our grandparents did). That makes it key to show buyers a home they could buy and move right into without having to take on big projects. Using these tips can help you make your home ready for these types of buyers. Hopefully these expert tips will inspire you to come up with tips of your own. Feel free to share those with me, so I can add them to my list!

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