Home staging tips that help sell homes for top dollar.
1.  De-Clutter:   Sort into piles as you go: "Toss" - for any items that are broken, worn or missing pieces,  
Donate" - for any unneeded, unused or outgrown items to go off to charity, "Put Away" - for items out of their
storage place, and "
Storage" - for any out of season items, collections (more on this later), and anything else you
can do without while the home is on the market.  When all surfaces and hot spots are clear, it's time to attack the
closets and the garage.  Empty the closets and garage of at least half of their contents.  It is worth it to put items
in short term storage if needed.  The last impression you want to give potential buyers is that the home doesn't
have enough storage!  Clutter in homes turn buyers off and distracts them from noticing the great features your
home has to offer.  Besides, by sorting out and packing up what you don't need now, you'll get a jump on packing
up to move later.

2.  Depersonalize:  That means your collections, no matter how much you love them.  Personal items like
your antique doll collection, family photos, diplomas, and memorabilia will distract buyers and divert their focus
away from the features of your home.  You want buyers to remember your house as "the one with the beautiful
cove moldings and gas fireplace," not as the house with the vintage teacup collection.

3.  Lighten it up:  Remove heavy drapery, open blinds, shades and curtains to let in plenty of natural light.  If
you can, remove and store screens in key locations, especially where the windows frame a beautiful view.  
Replace light bulbs with the maximum allowable wattage for each fixture in your home.  Turn on all the lights in
your home before you leave for a showing.  Your electric bill may be a bit higher, but your house will show better.  
Dark homes appear smaller.  People want bright, light, open and airy spaces, and they're willing to pay top dollar
for them.

4.  Clean until it sparkles:  Now that you have all that natural light coming in...clean, clean, clean!  Clean
until you can pass the white glove test.  Everything needs to shine, including windows, woodwork, fixtures, tile
and grout, sinks, tubs and showers.  Scrub all appliances, and clean the oven.  Dust areas that may get
overlooked in regular cleanings, like window blinds, fans, AC vents, and live or artificial plants.   Don't neglect the
area outside the front door; wash down the door, shine the door hardware, clean the bugs out of the light fixture,
and clear out any cobwebs in the corners.  Potential buyers may end up spending time at your home's entrance
while the Realtor wrestles with the stubborn lock box.

Consider hiring a weekly cleaning service to help keep your home sparkling clean while it is on the market.

5.  Maximize your first impression opportunity:  Buyers form their impression of your home within the
first minute or two.  Make sure the spaces they'll see within that time look their absolute best.  Drive up to your
home and try to see it as a new buyer would.  Is your yard green and neatly edged?  Are your plantings nicely
shaped?  Do they enhance your home, or hide parts of it?  Is your home's exterior color scheme current?  If the
outside paint job is in good shape, consider adding an inviting, new accent color to your front door and trim.  
Power wash the driveway, front walkway, steps, or porch.  Replace any hardware that looks old and tired,
including door hardware, mailbox, lighting, and house numbers.  Fill a planter with annuals or create a flower bed
close to the door to add a pop of color.  Inside, your foyer or entry should be bright, (shiny clean) and welcoming.  
Keep fresh flowers or greens from your yard in a vase on the foyer table.  If you don't have a lamp in your foyer,
add one and make sure it's turned on for all showings.  Invest the most time and effort on the first room buyers
enter off the foyer.  If they don't like what they see in the first room, they may not want to see more!

6.  Leave your home for all showings:  Put yourself in the buyer's shoes.  Wouldn't you feel more
comfortable walking through someone else's home if the seller wasn't present?  Buyers will linger longer and
feel free to explore the home's possibilities if you are not in the home.  And be sure to take your pets with you.  
Yes, your pet may be cute and gentle, but you may have potential buyers that aren't pet lovers.  Buyers need to be
free to access all areas of your property.  Remember, you want buyers to focus on your home, not on your pets!

For a professional consultation, contact Roomscapes at
Preparing your home for sale
R e i n v e n t .  R e f r e s h .  R e n e w .
H o m e   S t a g i n g   T i p s
Sandra K. Tuell
Certified home staging professional by Realty Enhancements International.
Interior Arranger and Color Specialist, Interior Arrangement and Design Association.
M a k e  M y  H o m e  S h o w  R e a d y !