So you decide to sell. And your realtor tells you to declutter. What does that mean? What do you actually need to do? Over the next few posts, we will look at how to execute a DIY staging.
POST 1: ENTRANCE
Entering the home starts at the front. The teeny tiny photo of your front porch in the MLS listing is every prospective buyer's first impression of your home. The better it looks, the more visits you will get. The more visits you get, the higher a chance you will be able to maximize the sale value of your home.
The moment the buyer steps out of the car, they are surveying your property. Everything from the side walk, garden, front steps, windows, door and door handle. This is your first "real life" impression and you don't get a second chance.
This sweet little house in east Toronto was a one bedroom condo alternative. The homeowners started with a Home Staging Consultation and followed through with all of our recommendations. They planted colourful, seasonally appropriate plants, mowed the lawn, re-painted the front of the house, repaired the retaining wall by the sidewalk, changed the door hardware, and replaced the porch light.
Here is a check list so that you can prep your home for sale, and nail the curb appeal.
1) Tidy, Trim and Weed. A tired garden gives the impression that the house may be tired too. Tidy up dropped branches, leaves and other debris. Plant some seasonally appropriate colourful annuals or perennials (be sure to water regularly, or select low maintenance plants!). Don't forget to stay on top of mowing the lawn!
2) Hide the Bins. No one needs to see overflowing garbage and recycling bins on your front porch. Store them in the back, down the side, or in the lane. Make sure the bins are emptied regularly, and that there are no residual odours!
3) Repaint. Fresh paint makes tired things look newer. That is indisputable. Take the time to re-paint your front of house, including the porch.
4) Bugs Away. Clean the windows inside and out. For streak free solution, try a vinegar water mix, with a touch of dish detergent. Wipe with newspaper or squeegee. Remove all spider webs and wipe down, top to bottom. Repeat as needed, especially if the house is on the market for several weeks.
5) Hardware. Unless it's vintage, in a well-kept-up-and-totally-cool kind of way, ditch the old doorknob / lock set and replace with something new, modern, and sturdy. Anyone opening the door should have a good experience with the first thing they actually touch - the door knob!
6) Lighting. Make sure your front porch light is, at the very least, in working order. Check the tint of the bulb. Remove any yellow, blue or red bulbs. This isn't a disco, it's a house! Stick with bulbs that read 2700-2800K on the temperature chart. This gives a nice warm light, not blue.
Stay tuned for our entrance check list. If you need more help, or would like a check list that is tailored to your home, don't hesitate to contact a Design Professional for a Home Staging Consultation.