8 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Staging


Before you have a professional stager come into your home, prepare your home by performing the following eight tasks

Are you preparing to put your home on the market? Your Washington realtor will likely advise you to have it professionally staged before they begin showing it to prospective buyers. Agents that represent buyers have reported a bump in sale price of at least 5% when a home is professionally staged, which can mean thousands of extra dollars in your pocket. A staged home will also sell faster—95% of staged homes solid in 11 or fewer days and 87% faster than non-staged homes. If you’ve taken your agent’s advice and booked a pro to stage your home, you need to do a bit of preparation first. Here are some ways to prepare your home so it can be staged quickly and efficiently.

Have a Friend Drive By and Walk Through

It’s easy to have blinders on when it comes to your own home. You’ve likely lived there so long that you don’t notice the broken step on the porch or the collection of dust bunnies in the living room corner. Before you start prepping, ask a friend to do a drive-by and take note of any exterior issues that need attention. Then have them walk through the home and point out areas that need to be cleaned, repaired, or rearranged. Once you have a list of ideas from a friend, have your Washington realtor do the same thing. Together, you can decide where to spend time and money to get your home in the best possible condition to be staged.

Organize and Declutter

Houses for sale in Washington that are cluttered with personal items are often passed over in favor of those that are organized and simply furnished. Before your stager arrives, remove any unnecessary furniture, clear off all countertops, and organize shelves, cabinets, and closets. Remove any personal items like knick-knacks, family photos, or unique artwork. The goal is for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in your home, which is difficult to do if your belongings are everywhere they look. If you don’t have a new home to move these belongings into, consider renting a storage unit to keep excess furniture and belongings until they can be moved into your new home.

Make Needed Repairs

Before you stage, walk through your home with your Washington realtor and evaluate anything that is in disrepair. Take note of holes in walls, worn or stained sections of carpet, doors that don’t close properly, loose knobs, or anything else that can be easily repaired or replaced. Once this is done, look at major repairs and replacements such as outdated appliances or leaking toilets and decide which you will spend money on and which you will leave. The more you can repair before you list your home, the more interested buyers will be and the fewer repairs they’ll request during the inspection period.

Have a Professional Cleaning 

It doesn’t matter how much work your stager puts into your home if it’s not clean. If you haven’t had a deep cleaning done in awhile, now is the time. When prospective buyers look at houses for sale in Washington that aren’t sparkling clean, their initial impression is much lower, and they may pass it up for homes that are more presentable. Even if you think you’ve done a good job keeping your home clean, you should still bring in some pros who can tackle tough stains or get to hard-to-reach places like overhead lighting or baseboards. A few hundred dollars spent on a professional deep clean is well worth it when it could easily lead to higher offers.

Address Personalized Features

You may love that funky wallpaper in the dining room or the pop of bright colors on the guest bathroom walls, but prospective buyers likely won’t. Before you stage your home, talk with your Washington realtor about anything that needs to be repainted or replaced that could turn potential buyers off. Hire a painter to turn colorful walls into neutral tones and consider replacing ornamental light fixtures or other pieces of hardware with options that are more universally appealing.

Improve Your Curb Appeal

Most home stagers focus on the inside of your home, so it’s up to you to improve the curb appeal and make potential buyers want to step through the front door. Houses for sale in Washington that have manicured lawns, colorful foliage or flowers, clean gutters, shrubs and trees that are cut back or trimmed, and inviting outdoor living spaces are much more likely to sell quickly than those with neglected exteriors. Depending on the current state of your home, you may also want to invest in a professional power washing, some exterior painting, or even a bit of decorative hardscaping to give your home that extra appeal.

Designate Rooms

Your stager will want to make sure each room is easy for potential buyers to identify. If you have spare rooms that you’ve used for storage, guests, or that have just stayed empty, now is the time to decide what they could be used for. Designating rooms as guest bedrooms, offices, libraries, or home gyms will help your stager bring in the necessary furniture and other décor and help potential buyers picture their lives in these rooms.

Make a List of Selling Features

No one knows your home better than you. During your time living in the home, what were the features you and your family appreciated the most? Was it that cozy nook in the dining room that was always warm and provided a perfect place to snuggle up and read? Or maybe it was the sitting area in the master bedroom that provided a perfect view of the sunset. Tell your stager which features you believe are the selling points in your home. This will help him or her stage them in a way that will help them shine.

If you want your home to compete against other houses for sale in Washington, you need to facilitate the staging process by making the necessary preparations. Once your home is staged, you can list it with an experienced real estate agent like Duy Hoang and watch the offers roll in.  

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