Is it time to sell your Loudoun home? What an exciting time! An experienced realtor will be a big ally through the process. They will help you determine an appropriate asking price, market your home and ultimately sell it. However, before the house hits the market, chances are it is going to need a little refresh. Your home’s current décor may work perfectly for you, but may not be suitable for staging purposes.
Thanks to popular shows on networks such as HGTV, today’s buyers are looking for a turn-key home. They want the home they purchase to be move in ready and not come with a list of projects. So why not put in the effort to do some upgrades and stylize your home before the listing goes live? Doing so will likely lead to a quicker sale with a higher offer. Isn’t that what every homeowner selling their home hopes for?
As a professional stager, these are the 6 areas sellers should focus on before officially putting their home on the market.
Boost Curb Appeal
Whether you are selling a townhouse with a postage sized front yard or an estate with an expansive porch, you want to get potential buyers excited before they even get out of their car. Keep grass and shrubs trimmed and take care of unwieldy weeds. It’s a good idea to clean your gutters, pressure wash the exterior and have your driveway resealed, too. Putting away kids toys is also a must.
Head to the store and pick up some plants with a pop of color and a fresh doormat, too. This attention to detail will be noticed and appreciated by potential buyers. They will feel confident that you maintained everything well.
Add a WOW Factor to the Foyer
The foyer is the first room a potential buyer will see and is bound to leave a lasting impression. Adding a WOW factor is sure to leave them with a good one.
This WOW factor doesn’t need to be elaborate – but rather, memorable. Something like a dramatic painting or an accent wall can quickly draw people in.
Looking for a bigger WOW? Consider giving your staircase a fresh look. Painting the handrail, newels and newel cap a rich looking espresso or black color will definitely catch the eyes of those looking at your home. While the paintbrushes are out, spruce up the balusters with a fresh coat of white paint.
Clean and Declutter
These two words are always the first sellers hear from realtors when they come to preview the property. But, what exactly do they mean? You may think your home is clean and uncluttered, but it needs to appear that way to potential homebuyers.
We suggest going through each room and making 3 piles – Keep, Donate and Trash. Immediately dispose of the trash pile and contact a local charity to pick up the donate piles.
Your “Keep” pile will move with you but may not be appropriate for staging. If an item is smaller than a football, it may be considered clutter and should be packed away now rather than waiting until you are ready for the big move.
Give your closets the illusion of looking larger than they are by packing clothes that aren’t currently in season. A closet that is half full will be easier to keep neat and organized while your home is listed and be one less thing you need to pack later. Talk about a win-win!
A Fresh Coat
We’re talking paint! Nothing can update a home more efficiently than a fresh coat of paint. There is something about fresh, clean baseboards that really makes a home feel welcoming.
Updating the color scheme of you home to a neutral palette is highly recommended. Some people like a pop of color while others don’t. It is easier for those that do, to imagine an accent wall in a bold color than for those that don’t, to imagine a more subdued room.
Greys are currently trending and there are plenty of tones to pick from. Select shades that complement the flooring, fixtures and other permanent pieces in your home.
Depersonalize (Sorry that you have to pack away your family photos)
Depersonalizing a home before it goes on the market has many benefits. Not only will it help minimize clutter, but will also make it easier for a potential buyer to imagine their own things in the home. Additionally, with just about every listing being on the internet, do you really want your family photos and other personal effects out there for the world to see?
Religious items such as Bibles, Crosses, Mezuzahs or faith based art should also be removed from plain site. You never know who will be coming to look at your home and you don’t want to risk offending them.
BONUS! Packing away these items now gives you a good head start on packing.
Fresh Floor Plan
Take a look at how the house flows from room to room. Rearranging furniture to make the flow more inviting is a good idea. You want potential buyers to be able to move through the rooms of your home with ease.
Pulling furniture away from the wall will make it easier to walk the room and view it from a variety of angles. Symmetrical arrangements usually work well. For example, 2 chairs paired with a lamp make for a welcoming conversation area that potential buyers can imagine themselves spending time in.
If you’ve creatively used an extra bedroom as a home gym or converted your formal dining room into an office, you should return it to its original purpose. Haul out the fitness gear and filing cabinets and replace them with furniture more traditionally found in those rooms.
Getting a home ready to sell can be a daunting process. The best advice I can offer is to continually maintain your home. It can be a tough pill for many homeowners to swallow when they have to invest so much time, energy and money into prepping a home for sale and not get to enjoy the fruits of their labor themselves.
Whether you choose to stage your home on your own or hire a professional, you are sure to find it a worthwhile investment.
Over the last 20 years Andrea has been involved in various forms of design. From her experiences with detailed event planning, she has transformed ordinary ballrooms and restaurant spaces into extraordinary environments. In the retail jewelry business, she has created artistic displays that invite purchases. Color and accessorizing were always her forte. Designz combines all these talents to create the homes of her clients’ dreams. She will transform your home from “blah” to “ahhh” as seen on and inspired by HGTV.