In a city like Washington D.C., prepping the “bones” of your house before investing in home staging is well worth it.
Home staging is all about making your house seem like someone else’s dream home: well-maintained, sparkling clean, beautifully designed, and worth a lot of money. But though staging your home is the biggest part of creating a fantasy for buyers, home staging works most effectively when your house is a clean slate.
So, how do you get your family home ready for staging? How do you take a cluttered, lived-in home and turn it into the clean slate your home stager needs?
Luckily, getting your house ready for home staging is not that difficult or time-consuming. As a home stager in Washington D.C., there are five main steps I always advise clients to do before staging their home to sell:
1. Pack up as much you can
Often, people put their house on the market before they’ve even thought about packing or sorting through their things. However, if you know you want to invest in home staging, you should start packing as soon as you can.
That doesn’t mean you have to pack everything in boxes right away—after all, you might still be living in your home while it’s on the market. But it does mean you should do the work of sorting through your things, getting rid of everything you don’t want to take with you when you move, and packing up all the items you don’t need daily. If packing feels like too daunting of a task, you should consider using the KonMari Method to pare down your items.
2. Make easy improvements to your home
You may not be in a position to remodel your home, upgrade appliances, or replace the flooring before you sell. However, everyone can make these easy (and inexpensive) improvements that help create the impression that your home is up-to-date and well cared for:
- Paint dingy walls
- Repair cracked tiles in kitchens or bathrooms
- Clean grout in kitchens and bathrooms
- Replace outdated light fixtures
- Replace broken blinds
Just investing a couple hundred dollars and a weekend into making these minor repairs can mean the difference between a home that looks like it “needs work” and a home that looks well maintained.
3. Deep clean your home
If your home is dirty or dusty, it makes buyers think that you didn’t maintain your home well (even though you likely did). Dirt or dinge can also be a distractor from the best elements of your home.
So, I advise clients to put in the time and effort themselves or hire professional cleaners to deep clean their home. Unfortunately, your average weekend cleaning isn’t going to pass muster with nosy buyers poking into every closet and peering into every corner. Here are some areas that routine cleanings miss:
- Clean baseboards
- Dust ceiling corners and ceiling fans
- Sweep out the fireplace
- Steam clean carpets
- Polish floors
- Vacuum or mop beneath remaining furniture
The last thing you want is for potential buyers to start thinking about how much the house needs a good scrub.
4. Spruce up your outdoor areas
Did you know that 99% of realtors say that the curb appeal of a home is important for attracting buyers? If you’re investing in home staging, you need buyers to be impressed enough by the outside of your home that they make it inside to see your beautiful staging.
Sometimes staging will cover outdoor furniture for deck spaces and porches, but curb appeal goes beyond décor. Here are some easy fixes to make sure the outside of your home is worthy of the inside:
- Paint your front door (especially if the paint is peeling or chipping)
- Clean out your gutters
- Rent a power washer to clean your walkways, driveway, and your deck or porch
- Mow your lawn or weed flower beds
- Make sure outdoor light fixtures are working, and if not, replace them
- Clean the outside of your windows
- Replace the mailbox and house numbers if they’re falling apart or dingy
- Remove any personal lawn ornaments
And if you don’t have any landscaping or outdoor space at all? You don’t have to create a gorgeous green view overnight. Instead, just keep the focus on ensuring everything is neat, clean, and functional.
5. Last step? Call a home stager!
Your home has been cleaned, organized, and eliminated of clutter. The outdoor space has been made to look the best it can. Now, it’s time to bring in a professional home stager.
The home stager’s job is to take your “clean slate” and fill it with tasteful furniture, décor, and design that will appeal to the majority of buyers in your area (as well as highlight the very best elements of your home!).
Why should you invest in home staging in Washington D.C.?
There are many reasons why home sellers should opt to stage their home. And if the biggest reason is financial (you can expect to pocket about $24,000 more on the sale of a $500,000 home), the second biggest reason is peace of mind.
When you have a home stager on your team, you don’t have to be a salesperson for your home, explaining what makes your home great. The design will do that for you. Plus, staging your home allows you to relax, knowing that you’ve done all you can to get the highest sale price for your house.