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Staging 101 – Think Like a Buyer and Present your Home In Its Best Light

January 19, 2008

A Properly Staged Home Sells Faster and for More Dollars

In today’s market with so many choices for buyers, be assured that first impressions are vital.  To ensure your home looks the best, keep these points in mind.  Most require only elbow grease and a minimal investment.
1. Paint or stain the front and garage doors, especially if they show any weathering
2. Remove any old, basically abandoned sheds or small structures, grade the area and replace the grass.
3. Make sure all outside light fixtures are functional, clean and attractive.
4. Fix that driveway!  This is the first thing a buyer sees and you want them to feel comfortable driving in.  A well-cared for driveway indicates a well cared for home to a buyer.
5. Make sure gardens and landscape elements are clean and trimmed and all hardscape is in good repair.
6. Fill in bare dirt under large shade trees. Shade-tolerant plants can be a great asset here.
7. All gardens should be cleaned out and updated for the time of year.
8. Have trees and bushes pruned and trimmed and all unsightly dead or fallen branches removed.
9. If the house needs painting and a full paint job is not in the cards; have it touched up professionally in the worst, most visible spots, usually the front.
10. If necessary (you’ll know if it needs it!) have the house power-washed and have gutters and windows cleaned.
11. Make sure grass is in good shape, weeds are removed, trimming done regularly during summer and snow is promptly and completely removed in winter.  (You certainly don’t want buyers slipping on ice!)  If the home is vacant, offering a home warranty can make buyers more comfortable.
12. Keep garbage and recycle containers inside the garage, along with all toys and equipment. Make sure the garage is neat and organized.
13. Decks should be washed and repainted or re-sealed, as appropriate.  Patio furniture should be in excellent condition.
14. Replace missing roof shingles.
15. If your budget allows, install solar lights along the driveway or a lighting upgrade to the front door area.
16. For evening showings, make sure lights are on outside and inside the house.
17. If it’s a holiday season, by all means decorate!  Always have some greenery or flowers for the season on the front step or porch; even a birdbath with a little garden around it says home.
18.  Have a trusted neighbor come by and give their input on the state of the home to see if you’ve missed anything glaring. Remember that home buyers cannot visualize beyond a state of disrepair.  Just a few simple changes will result in a higher sale price.

Part of my full service is a “staging report” which goes room-by-room to make suggestions on how you can improve the initial impact of your home, shorten the time it is on market and get top dollar.Patty Cunningham
Coldwell Banker Preferred
c. 610-659-4669

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