Simple is best when staging your home for sale.
So say local real estate agents with years of experience in helping sellers get top dollar for the home sweet home they are leaving.
And the best part: That simple does not have to be expensive.
Things such as giving the front door a fresh coat of paint or putting flowers in the entry way or having the exterior windows power washed are cost-effective actions to take when seeking top dollar for one’s home, Keira Dreher, an associate broker and Realtor with Keller Williams in Eagle River said.
“Sixty percent of a buyer’s judgement call on a home they look at is based on what they see when they first approach the home,” Dreher said. “First impressions really do matter.”
She suggests re-painting rooms that have brighter, personalized colors in favor of neutral colors that allow potential buyers to view the room in terms of their own tastes.
Removing personal items during home staging is also recommended.
Dreher suggests having a “disinterested” person such as an associate of one’s realtor walk through the home to identify items that would distract potential buyers from seeing themselves living in the home.
“The buyers have to be able to feel themselves in the home and not you,” Dreher said.
This includes removing personal photos, kids artwork from the front of the fridge and clutter on the counter tops.
Sherri Sapp of Remax in Eagle River agrees with Dreher about removal of personal items.
“You know that family shrine in which you have the photos of the kids from kindergarten through high school with every award they have won – you know all those hockey and music awards,” Sapp said with a knowing laugh. “That has to come down.”
She says the “staging” experts recommend removing all personal items. She agrees with one caveat: She thinks a couple of family photos left out in strategic spots will convey the message that a happy family lived in the house. It could help the next family picture the same scene for them.
Sapp said that cleaning and more cleaning is the most important part of staging a home.
“Nothing goes as far as soap and water,” she said in terms of making the most out of the showing of a home. “I think it is the best investment.”
Dreher also emphasized deep cleaning when a home is for sale.
She said that buyers – even if they don’t keep their current home super clean – are looking at the baseboards and the light fixtures in a potential home to gauge how well the home has been taken care of in the past.
“The best way for a seller to maximize the amount of money they will get for their home is to present that home to buyers in the cleanest manner possible with the least amount of clutter,” Dreher said.
Suzanne Cool is a property management expert with Jack White Real Estate in Eagle River.
She has a relevant piece of advice for showing a home: Keep the toilet seat lids down.
That might bring a snicker or two, but Cool believes toilet seats down send an organized message.
She suggests removing tablecloths from dining tables and fabric runners from other decorated areas. Cool said new furniture and new furniture only should be used in staging a home. Placing a formal table setting for two out on a dining table with placemats sends an inviting message.
She also suggests updating décor, but keeping it limited.
“Whatever is new or in at the time,” Cool said. “For instance, right now seashells are very popular. But don’t overdo it.”
Editor’s Note: Read more about what other home staging experts recommend online at www.thebalance.com/top-home-showing-tips-1799070.