Home Staging -Before and After
How to prepare your home for a smooth Sale
If a buyer pulls up to your home and sees a disaster in the yard they won’t even consider looking inside. Take a walk outside and ask yourself, “What do I see when I drive up to my home?”. Is the property welcoming, clean, and free of yard clutter? Is the paint chipping? Is the roof full of moss?
What is the condition of the paint on your home? There is nothing like a fresh coat of paint when staging a home for sale. At the very least, “touch up” paint where needed and put a fresh coat of paint on the front door. Repair broken windows and rotted sills. WASH ALL YOUR WINDOWS INSIDE AN OUT!
Which home would you buy?
When I moved into my first home I worked on the interior first. After all, that is what I looked at on a daily basis. I was not standing in the front yard looking in so I began my home improvements inside. I was always surprised when someone came inside and said “I didn’t expect this, it’s beautiful! But when it came time to sell I knew I had my work cut out for me.
I completely transformed the house by painting, adding new storm windows, a new roof, a new brick walkway, new garage doors and landscaping. I sold my home in a week with multiple offers. I got OVER the asking price and had no inspection issues to deal with!
You might say that this is a lot of money to invest in a home when selling but the gain on the sale was well worth it. If left in the original condition, financial loss would have been 80k from a reduced price and a longer time on the market.
Interior Home Staging for a Quick Sale!
Think “Light, Bright & Airy. Depersonalize the contents allowing the perspective buyers to mentally move and see themselves living there.
Put some fresh linens on the beds and new towels in the bathrooms. Replace valence with white sheers to let the light in.
Landscaping is very important so take a look around your yard. Installing a simple garden along the front or off the deck can really improve your curb appeal. Make sure all the leaves are raked, cut a new edge around gardens and add fresh mulch. Clean your decks and patios of mold, moss or stains. Adding fresh coat of stain, paint or sealer is recommended.
Each year I clean my bluestone patio with some bleach or patio cleaner and add some fresh stone dust. It looks like a new patio! It is so inviting to dream of sitting outside around a fire pit with friends and family. The tree was moved to another area of the yard and the patio was extended and re-arranged to have a more appealing pattern. See the project from start to finish here!
Patio before staging is not level and the landscaping is overgrown.
There is nothing warm and inviting about this outdoor living area. The overgrown yews are blocking the view of the pond and creating a closed in feeling. The landing is small with no seating for viewing the property and there are signs of rot. The patio is uneven, full of weeds and has no creative pattern to the stone work. The trees need trimming and one needs to be to be removed completely.
Let the buyers visual some amazing outdoor living with a nice set of table and chairs. Put a couple of Adirondack chairs in the yard to create extra outdoor areas to entertain. You can get plastic Adirondack chairs for $20 and create the “look”.
Add a nice table cloth with wine bottle and 2 glasses on indoor and outdoor tables
Home Goods and Marshall’s are good places to stock up some outdoor pillows, and staging props. If you sew, whip up a few pillows! Check out Affordable Fabrics for some in expensive outdoor fabric. I changed the whole look of my porch and patio with Fabric for $3 a yard!
Be very careful not to put too many outdoor decorations. No pink flamingos! Oh, I have to tell you this story!
I had a seller who was wonderful and artistic woman but her outside décor was not going to attract the masses. When I pulled up to the house she had all sorts of things hanging from trees like scales to with flowers in them. As we toured the back yard there was a garden full blue leaves that I could not identify. Now, I am an expert at landscape design and gardening and I must say I was stumped! What was this plant I asked?! She replied “Pachysandra, I didn’t like the color so I painted it blue!” This would be a good time to hire a professional landscaper.
Reseed any bare spots in the lawn and fertilizer a month before going on the market. Deadhead all annuals and perennials. Cut any dead branches on the trees and shrubs and it should go without saying to WEED your gardens.
Add annuals for seasonal color. Remove compost piles. If you have any rotted fencing I suggest repairing it, replace it or remove it. Be sure to clean the fence as well.
Are your roof and gutters clean from dirt, moss, and leaves? Do you have an old roof that needs repair? Are your fascia boards clean and in good shape free of any dirt, damage or wood rot?
Take notice of anything that would say this home has not been taken care of. Hire an exterminator if there are signs of insect damage.
If you roof is old and stained be prepared to get called out on it during a home inspection. There is nothing like a new roof to “frame” the picture of your perfect home! Clean your front entrance from any leaves or debris. Make sure snow is removed so no one slips.
Take care of broken or misplaced downspouts and if there is any pooling of water near the foundation of the house consider adding soil and grading it so the water rolls way from your home. Check your basement for areas that water gets in and if needed, install a curtain drain to redirect the water from the home. If you are downhill from the street it is a good idea to install a curtain drain. It’s can be an easy DIY project. Recruited the neighbor’s to help!
Plug up any open areas that rodents or critters can get into. Check crawl spaces under porches, decks, and attics for bird nests, rodents, carpenter bees, terminates and yes…SNAKES! Hire a professional exterminator to check your home before putting it on the market.
There was a home that had hundreds of bats living in the attic, another with baby snakes in closets, and to my surprise one fell out of the ceiling during a kitchen renovation that lived in the attic! Well, I guess you can argue that the mice population was down but I don’t think there are too many home buyers out there that are fans of snakes! Remove bees nests, spider webs and clean any stains left behind.
Take a look at all the fascia boards and overhangs on your home and make sure they are not rotted. Check around your garage doors for rotted trim which typically occurs where the wood meets concrete.
Make sure you have professional photo’s taken of your property! Make sure your home is photo ready. A professional photographer is not going to clean, dust, move furniture, declutter, or Photoshop pets and property defects out of the photos. So be photo ready!
It still amazes me the amount of homes for sale that have terrible pictures. In the graphic below this is actually the same house! This home was passed over on the internet even before a drive by!
Any type of sale requires “face to face” time with a prospect or there will be no sale. If a buyer pulls up to your home and sees a disaster, they will not go in to see the wonderful job you did staging your home. NO SALE!
I hear from so many sellers that “I don’t have the time or the money to fix anything. Let’s just put it on the market “AS-IS”. That is all well and good as long as you price it accordingly. There are pros and cons of selling your home as-is and ways to get creative about it. It suggests that there is something seriously wrong with the home or your are in financial distress. Buyers may fear that your home has not been taken care. The buyers may pass on the home before even previewing it or simply make a low-ball offer fearing the home needs major renovations.
Listen to your agent’s advice and don’t sabotage the sale of your home by overpricing it.
You can pay now to fix your home up or pay later by price reductions and inspection requests. So do your best to care for your home.
Does selling your home quickly for a great price appeal to you? Or do you prefer to keep your home on the market for months hearing criticism from buyers affecting you emotionally? Do you want to be inconvenienced by constantly cleaning, leaving the house with the kids and pets for showings?
Remember to think like a buyer, let them move in mentally and visualize the property as their home.
It’s all about saying to a buyer “I cared for this home and you will enjoy it for many years to come!”
Don’t drive by, COME ON IN!
Additional Resources on Landscaping and Home Staging:
- Home Improvements with the Worst Return on Investment by Bill Gassett
- September Gardening Checklist by Eileen Anderson
- Staging Your Home to Sell by Anita Clark
- Let Your Home Sell Itself by Wendy Weir
Real Estate information was provided by Eileen Anderson, a recognized leader in her field. Eileen can be reached via email at Eileen@eileenandersonrealtor.com or by phone at 860-966-2112. Eileen has helped people move in and out of many Connecticut towns since 2000.
Thinking of selling your home? I love Real Estate, sharing my knowledge and helping people find the home of their dreams!
I service Real Estate sales in the following CT towns: Avon, Bloomfield, Burlington, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, East Granby, Hartland, New Hartford, North Granby, Farmington, Simsbury, Suffield, Litchfield and West Hartford, CT.