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Top 10 of 20 Mistakes When Staging – Continued

11. Don’t add personality. Now is not the time to bring in your unique style into the home. Staging is all about de-personalizing the space, and creating more of a luxury hotel or a Model Home look that will appeal to most everyone.

12. Don’t neglect the outside spaces. With outdoor entertaining becoming more and more popular with each year, the importance of these areas should not be overlooked when selling the property. A neatly groomed front yard and a cozy and comfortable backyard can turn some lookers into buyers instantly. So mow the lawn, plant some blooming flowers, add some outdoor furniture and you’ve created an outdoor oasis that buyers will instantly imagine themselves enjoying for years to come.

13. Don’t neglect the refrigerator and the pantry. Go through your entire fridge and pantry and get rid of any old and expired items. Thoroughly clean the entire fridge and pantry from the inside out, and then neatly organize only fresh produce and food items back in. Make sure that there aren’t any odors when you open the fridge. A good tip to remember is to leave an opened box of baking soda in the fridge. Baking soda absorbs odors and prevents them from interacting with each other.

14. Don’t neglect the closets and the storage spaces. According to a recent study, 86% of buyers said storage was one of the most important items on their wish list. When you move, you are going to have to pack anyways, so why not get started a bit earlier and do something that will benefit the sale of your home at the same time? Purge through all the clothes and linen closest and other storage spaces, get rid of anything that hasn’t been used or worn in over a year or two, pack away seasonal items and only keep the essentials. It will make the closets and storage spaces appear a lot more spacious if they are not crammed with clothes and other things. Attract more potential buyers with an organized home by installing closet design organization systems in lieu of cabinets

15. Don’t neglect the laundry room/area. Often the laundry room or area becomes a catch – all place for all the odds and ends that you couldn’t figure out where else to store. It is time to address this issue and de-clutter. Make sure that the only things that are left are laundry related and are neatly organized.

16. Don’t neglect the garage. People are looking to buy space, so having your garage piled with boxes and other items will make it look smaller. Store all things off premises if possible. If you can’t find a friend or a relative to ask to help out, there are other storage solutions that are affordable these days. The investment will pay off in the long run.

17. Don’t neglect the basement. Most of the time the basement is a place for all things unfit elsewhere. Excess furniture, clothes, books etc. Pack whatever you’ll be taking with your to your new home away in boxes and arrange the rest in attractive seating or lounging areas. Poorly maintained basements can leave a bad overall impression on an entire house.

18. Don’t keep your photos and knick-knacks out. Buyers are there to potentially find their dream home, and it would be impossible to try and imagine their own lives, when they’re surrounded by constant reminders that this is someone else’s house. So eliminate anything that will cause buyers to be reminded that it’s not theirs, since you want them to feel at home and envision their own family enjoying the space.

19. Don’t list your house if you’re not ready. It is truly false economy to rush and list your house if the house is not ready for showings. Instead invest the time and money to prepare your house to be viewed and judged from all angles, and then watch it be snatched up in the first few showings, because people will fall in love with it, when they see how well maintained the house is.

20. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. It can be an overwhelming and daunting task to know exactly what to do and how. A professional stager will provide you with the knowledge and expertise to transform your home into a Show Home, which will be invaluable to the success of your home’s sale. Depending on the scope of the project the investment in staging can cost you anywhere from $300 to $5000 dollars, and it will certainly be recuperated after your house sells. And remember one last thing, your first price reduction will probably be more than the investment in preparing your house to show at its best!

Source: Design & Stage, 8/22/09

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