Keep your sinks empty and the counters clean
This means no visible dishes, clean or dirty in or around the sink. This also means that your bathroom sinks should be clear of hair products, toothpaste, etc.
In the kitchen you should move appliances, jars and any other clutter into the cupboards, storage or waste bin. In the bathroom this means makeup, hair brushes, dirty soap dishes and anything else aside from perhaps a water glass. After you’ve cleared the counter tops clean them thoroughly including around the sink basins which often get a nasty dark grime around them. An old tooth brush will get this gunk up. Also, bathroom decor plays an important role. You want to make the bathroom feel relaxing and welcoming. Make it look as if you are entering a nice hotel or resort.
Make your appliances sparkle inside and out
In the oven you will want to clean the interior walls and the grates remove all gunk and grease. Outside of the oven you should clean the elements and trays. Remember to wipe all finger prints off appliances. In the fridge and freezer you should take the shelves out and clean them in addition to wiping down the fridge walls.
Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses
If you can see dirt, so will the potential buyer. If this means wiping/cleaning the insides and outsides of cupboards this is what you need to do.
House staging, translates into cleaning regularly. On a daily basis you need to make sure your bathroom(s) are spotless. A buyer doesn’t want to see any hairs in the bathtub, grime on the shower walls or splashes under the toilet.
Keepthe toilet lid down
An open toilet just isn’t appealing. A buyer will unlikely look in the toilet unless its open. Regardless, this isn’t what you want the buyer to see when they enter the room.
Make your floors shine
Anywhere you have tile or hard surfaces you should clean them almost daily. Steam mops work great using only water to clean thus avoiding harmful chemicals.
Clear out the cobwebs
A quick once over with a long handled broom will clean them out.
If you are anything like the majority of the population your house has dust in it. We simply don’t prioritize dusting when it comes to cleaning. So most homes need a major dusting done. Everything from bookshelves to the top of the TV to nick knacks and art.
Pick up any garbage
The exterior of our last house was on a busy street and it seemed that everything would blow onto our lawn and even make its way to the backyard and under the deck.
Wash the windows
Dirty windows are easy to notice, especially if they’ve never been cleaned. You can hire a company to clean the exterior windows for about $90. Try tackling cleaning the insides of the windows and all of the window screens. One tip here is to use old newspapers to wipe down the windows because paper towel leaves streaks and newspapers do not. Also, to clean screens I have found using the vacuum extensions worked wonders!
Dirty windows also reduce how much light gets into your house. You want to get maximum light into your house. As part of our house staging we take a lot of the window coverings right off the windows to allow more light in. They are often dated and look cheap so we eliminated a problem and brightened up the space! Make sure to open the curtains every morning.
Power-washers are wonderful tools
If you have a power-washer definitely use it or if not consider calling a professional ( Justin Mouser with Pegasus Power-Washing (972)832.2112 is awesome ). A simple washing can restore a decks, wooden furniture or fence making it look new again. Power-wash away dirt and weeds from between the interlocking brick in the walk way and power wash the driveway and sidewalk out front.
Clean out the garage
Garages aren’t expected to be perfect but they also tend not to get cleaned as much as other parts of your property. Organizing shelves, getting rid of cobwebs and giving the garage a good sweep will make it appear to be a usable space.
Vacuum the floor
Vacuuming regularly will do wonders for your listing. If you have pets it is imperative to get up as much loose hair as possible.
Pick up after pets
Try and avoid letting your pets do their business in the yard while on the market. First, grass will die. Second, not all people like pets. Third, a buyer will NOT be happy stepping in a pile your pets business.
You may want to also consider getting your pets off the premises for showings. We’re told that some people will smell an animal and be immediately turned off from a house regardless of your other house staging efforts.
Clean the cat litter every morning. Consider moving the litter all-together so it’s less likely to be seen by a buyer.
Air out the house
Getting some fresh air into your house is a simple and free way to freshen up a space.
This is THE big piece of advice you will get when it comes to house staging. You will need to remove clutter from your house. Buyers want to see an open space where they can envision their own belongings. Some hints on de-cluttering include going room by room and removing items you don’t love or haven’t used in the past 3 months. Get rid of what is essentially trash: junk mail, old newspapers and magazines, expired food and medicine, broken electronics and televisions, clothing you don’t wear or is beyond repair and old boxes / packaging.
While some items are garbage or recycling material you can also find a new home for goods by donating to charity. You may want to consider renting a storage unit while your house is on the market. If you’re overwhelmed with too much clutter you need to get rid of before showing off your home, consider a trash hauling service. These folks will take it off your hands no problem!
Adjust the thermostat
The point of a programmable thermostat is to control the temperature in your house based on your schedule. House staging isn’t just a visual exercise, there is a comfort aspect to it as well. Make sure the home is at a comfortable temperature for showings.
Use traditional bulbs – no florescent
This brings us back to having a bright, warm space and it insures better photography of the home as florescent give off a green hue in photos.
Removal of excessive family and wedding pictures and personal items will make it easier for a buyer to envision themselves living in the space. Put out a fruit basket. Adding a splash of color to any room can be visually appealing. Flowers don’t have a long shelf life so using fruit instead does the job.
Be upfront with prospective buyers
If you’ve had some issues with your house while living there be upfront. Prospective buyers will appreciate the honestly. Disclose things such as “I had to replace the furnace and chose to install central air and there was some galvanized plumbing in the house I replaced”. Conciser leaving out an old home inspection for buyers to look at if you have one. It’s good to indicate the issues you faced when purchasing the home. Include how you solved the problems with a date and solution description. In addition, present any energy efficiency features to the home. This is always a great selling point.
Play Music during showings
You can leave some low volume music playing. Just be sure it is not offensive or abrasive. Easy listening is usually a good choice.
Maintain your lawn. Keep the lawn cut and the weeds at bay. Continue to trim bushes off the house and water the plants. Curb appeal is king.
Plant flowers and lay down mulch in flower gardens. Yellow flowers are known to be appealing to buyers. Plant in various flower gardens and keept them watered. Consider purchase some hanging baskets that have flowers. The mulch is useful to keep the weeds at bay.
Make your outdoor space look used even if it is not. Put some chairs out to show a buyer how the space could be used.