By Cindy Cigdem Gokay, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Ask any qualified real estate professinal and they will tell you that home staging, or prepping your home for the market, can make or break a sale. To help ensure your home is showcased in its best light, here are 15 staging benchmarks to cover.
1. Make An Entrance: You know the saying: “You never have a second chance to make a first impression." Your foyer is the first thing your buyers see, so make sure it’s inviting. Shoes should be stored properly in closets; mail should be stored away and out of sight. Imagine your self as a buyer walking into the apartment for the first time. Walk out and walk back in if you have to, what do you see?
2. Get Rid of Clutter: All the small knickknacks, collectibles, and valuable items should be removed and stored for a clean look. Allow the buyers to see the amount of space, not your belongings.
3. Remove Personal Items: You want to make sure the buyer can envision living in the apartment. If they see all your photos, trophies, diplomas, etc, they won’t be able to envision themselves living there.
4. Organize Your Closets: Storage spaces sell apartments. Buyers will open up your closets, so it’s a good idea to organize and toss out any unused items. If your closets are overflowing, it gives the impression that you don’t have sufficient storage.
5. Clean House: You want buyers to concentrate on the apartment, not on the dirty counters or the unmade bed. Before a showing, make sure everything is neat and clean.
6. Minor Repairs: Buyers naturally expect minor repairs to be completed on a property for sale. If you decide not to take care of them, buyers can use this to bargain, earning you a lower selling price for the property.
7. Paint: A fresh coat of paint in a neutral color will do wonders. To make a room look bigger and seamless, paint it the same color as adjacent room. Moldings & trims should be painted a fresh white for a crisp look.
Need ideas for colors? Some of my favorite neutral colors are:
- Benjamin Moore Intense White – This off-white paint shade swiftly earned its place as my favorite. It embodies cool blue-gray undertones and looks crisp in any light. Paired with bright moldings, it exudes a clean aesthetic, seamlessly complementing various color combinations.
- Benjamin Moore – Linen White – When in doubt, go with linen white. It’s an off-white that’s light and airy and works great in any light.
- Benjamin Moore – Edgecomb Gray – This is a beautiful medium, grayish beige that looks fantastic in any room. Changes with light but never looks dark. Also shows off white moldings/trims.
8. Old Carpets: It’s better to have no carpets than to have dirty or worn carpets. If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, you can either have a professional come to clean or rent a carpet cleaner. If you have great hardwood floors but old rugs, just remove them and show off those floors. Buyers love hardwood floors!
9. Add Light! : Proper lighting is crucial to a warm and inviting look. Increase your bulb wattage for a bright look. If you have natural light, don’t hide it with heavy curtains/drapes.
10. Add Fresh Flowers: Add a bouquet of flowers to add warmth and life to your apartment.
11. Food Odor: Nobody wants to walk into an apartment when you cooked fish the night before. Crack a window or two, spray a room scent or light a scented candle to absorb the odors.
12. Old Tiles?: Re-grouting tiles and baths will make your bathroom look like new.
13. Spruce Up Your Terrace: Any space that looks unused is a waste of space. Emphasize your space with a coffee table and chairs and cheerful potted flowers. Avoid using your terrace as storage.
14. Toys: If you have kids, put away toys in a large toy box in your child's room, so all is stowed away and in one place rather than spread out.
15. Dress It Up: Dress your bed in light neutral colored sheets, duvet and pillows, and add pretty towels to the bathroom. If in doubt, go with white, it gives any room a clean, fresh look.