Best Place To Take Photos New York Fashion Week Do-It-Yourself Staging Tips for Home Sellers

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Do-It-Yourself Staging Tips for Home Sellers

The buzzword today with real estate agents is staging. Staging a home can change the home’s ambiance, which appeals to homebuyers and can command a higher price and speed up market time. By adding small decorative touches, rearranging or deleting furniture, or creating vignettes, a home can look like a professional stager was hired.

Mark Nash, author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home, has seen the best and worst of home staging as a Chicago realtor, and he shares some do’s and don’ts for home sellers who want to try to stage their home.

Do

-Pick up newer home decorating magazines. If you are not up to date on current decorating trends, it will help you become familiar with how interior design is marketed. Tab pages with inexpensive ideas that will make your home speak today.

-Invite a friend or estate agent over. A second or third pair of eyes will help you highlight the best and edit out the worst in your home. Be prepared for some constructive criticism. You want to hear it before you put your home on the market, not as feedback from potential buyers. Go room by room with a worksheet to take notes. Depending on how much time you have available for an update or makeover, you’ll need to prioritize and figure out what will give you the biggest return. Do this at least two months before you put your house on the market.

– Stages a home office if you don’t have one. They are not a trend; they are required for home buyers in 2006. Many home buyers today work from home part time or full time or want a place where they can organize their life and park a computer. Find an extra bedroom, walk-in closet or an unused corner and convert into a home office. Ensure that there is a convenient electricity, telephone and cable supply.

– Focus on living spaces. These areas are where the majority of home buyers will spend their time. Place a side table and a floor lamp next to a comfortable chair as a reading corner. Move sofas and coffee tables away from walls for a designer look. Use area rugs to anchor furniture groupings on bare tile and wood floors. Living rooms must have matching table lamps. Streamline family photos and place green plants in the room. Fireplaces must always be operable and lit during the season. Place clusters of candles and clear glass bowls filled with natural potpourri on side and coffee tables. Substantial wicker baskets can organize magazines, remote controls and toys. Limit trinkets to make room for staging materials.

-Be aware of kitchens. Place all tea towels and cloths in a practical drawer. Reduce recipe boxes, barrels of cookware, excess cooking machines and cookbooks by two-thirds to open up table space. For a quick update, put new hardware on the cabinets. Find a secluded spot for a portable dishwasher. Clean everything on the refrigerator door. Avoid throwing blankets scattered around the kitchen. Clean the windowsills to open up outside views. Organize cabinets with clear containers. If you can’t see the back wall of a cabinet, buyers will think you don’t have enough storage space. Ditto cabinets. Budget to keep an array of fresh fruit in a glass bowl on the counter. Edit family message boards. Remove old curtains and install new wooden blinds on windows.

– Spend time on sleeping and bathing areas. Often overlooked in the frenzy to get a home on the market, these spaces can make or break a home. Buy a set that consists of a matching bed skirt, bedspread, pillowcase and matching blinds. Buy a new shower curtain and separate liner. Wash the liner frequently if mold develops. Add complete sets of towels that coordinate with your new shower curtain. Remove all cosmetics from vanity. If you have an over-toilet cabinet, consider removing and placing a piece of artwork in its place. Remember to keep items in the “too much information” category out of sight. If you have a king size bed in a small room, you are paying to get buyers to get over this negative, so get rid of it now. Clear the dresser and bedside tables of excess. Make sure the bedroom gets maximum natural light. Install closet organizers in closets. Eliminate wall and door hooks for clothes. People might be looking under your bed, no surprises please.

-Remember first impressions in contributions. A simple console table with a mirror above provides a nice entrance. Make sure this room is well lit day or night. Place adhesive under rugs so buyers don’t trip or slip.

Do not

-Use cheap silk flowers. Nothing distracts buyers more than silk flowers that are past their prime, inappropriate for the season or thrown together. Throw them out now.

-Forget to upgrade Fido’s bowl. I have experienced more unhealthy food bowls, watering stations and litter boxes than I care to remember. We know you love your pet, but prove it to home buyers.

– Overlook window coverings. Buyers today believe that less is more in window fashion. They want the most light and the least decoration on windows. And no layered treatments with transparent panels please.

– Use low-wattage bulbs. Dark, dim rooms are unappealing to home buyers. They want to see what they can buy. Replace bulbs with manufacturer’s recommended wattage and especially the burned out ones. The newer low-energy bulbs cast neither homes nor people in a flattering light.

– Think everyone loves wallpaper. No two people have the same taste in this instant decoration finish. If it’s more than three years old, take it down and paint it a neutral color. And wallpaper boards are out.

– Paint with engagement colors. If you have decided that you are going to paint, stay away from bold or as I call them binding colors. Commitment colors are the ones buyers either love or hate. It can be difficult for buyers to superimpose their style on them. As one client told me “I don’t live in a magazine.”

-Think cleaning is part of staging. Cleaning is what you do before staging. Everything should sparkle and shine. Don’t forget the windows.

Use these DIY tips to put your home on stage at your local home sale theater.

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