Over the years I’ve learned to turn to the professionals when it comes to challenges and projects that are out of my comfort zone. I send my taxes to an accountant, I take my car to a mechanic, I call a decorator to decorate…wait, no I don’t – I’m a decorator! But you get my point. If you’re shopping around for a Realtor®, be sure to choose one who offers comprehensive home staging in their complimentary services package.
If you have the slightest inkling of selling your house, there are some “pre-staging” measures you can take that won’t conflict with the advice that a professional stager will give you. First, evaluate your time and budget. Set yourself some serious guidelines and deadlines. Puttering around with no end goal will only waste time and money doing things that just won’t matter in the long run.
We all feel our home is our castle, but when it comes to selling your house you need to step back and look at it like a product that will be marketed to the masses. It’s impossible to know what people want exactly, but being a staging professional for over 10 years I can confidently tell you that it’s just as important to consider what people don’t want.
Depersonalizing a space means removing all the large and plentiful family photos, degrees and personal collections throughout the house. I’m not opposed to a few small framed personal photos here and there, so leave some behind for your staging professional to make the final call.
Update or neutralize decor choices by removing old and outdated wallpaper and painting over loud and bright colours that aren’t suitable for selling your home.
Leave all closets, china cabinets, bookshelves (enclosed and floating), storage cubes, display cabinets, kitchen and bathrooms vanities and medicine cabinets 50% full. If you pare down these areas in advance, you will have more time to spend with your professional stager on big picture adjustments that will showcase your home.
Sort through all contents of your cupboards and the infamous “junk drawer.” Time and time again I hear from my clients that they thought they really didn’t have much to do until they looked behind closed doors and drawers to deal with the hidden chaos we all have.
Start your pre-staging clean now. This will make maintaining your home during the selling process a lot more manageable.
Freshen up grout in tubs, showers and tile floors. Get working on scrubbing glass shower doors and, if needed, change out damaged or dated sinks, toilets and tubs. I recommend holding off until you meet with your professional stager before running out to buy new lights or making major decorative changes.
Get quotes on flooring improvements. If flooring is dated or damaged and you feel it’s inevitable that it will need to be changed to sell your home, get quotes for the work but WAIT for your professional stager to lend their advice on how to make the right selections for maximum return.
Book the painter or handyman. Start booking appointments to get quotes for painting and other work; this will enable you to determine timelines and budgets ahead of time.
Seek out off-site or portable storage possibilities if needed, even just to get an idea of the process and cost. Your professional stager may suggest that excess storage will be needed.
Examine your exterior. Winter pathways and driveways should always be clear and safe. Early spring clean up is essential and summer maintenance is a must.
Lesley King CCSPOwner/Operator Stage Presence Staging & Design
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