If you have children
Keeping your house clutter-free can be a challenge with kids in the house.
Put toys in containers that are solid, neutral colors. Avoid see-through plastic tubs, because potential buyers could be distracted by seeing the toys.
Have a dedicated “dump closet” that you train your kids to use, telling them to put their toys away in the containers in that dedicated, closed space. This way, the containers aren’t visible unless the closet is opened during a showing — even so, the containers won’t be distracting and will look neat.
It’s important to explain to your children that artwork will have to stay in desk drawers or another dedicated container for now and off the fridge or wall space.
Since not all home buyers have children of their own, it’s a good idea to “make over” children’s spaces. Convert the playroom into a simple space that buyers can picture their own belongings in. For example, turn the play room into an office or workout space. This way, it’s still functional to have kids play in but can be converted at a moment’s notice. You might also consider trying to replace kid-themed furniture with neutral colored pieces and repainting the walls the same.
To make this transition easier for your kids, have them use the dump closet or space mentioned earlier to each have a dedicated bin of their favorite toys, stuffed animals, and books. This will also help when sorting through what you can get rid of in the move.
If you have pets
As cute, cuddly, and lovable as your pets may be, their presence should be minimized when selling your home. Remove photos of pets from the refrigerator, walls, and tabletops. Seal up doggie doors. Keep pet toys, food, and water bowls out of sight. And pack up cages, carriers, and cat trees.
Be vigilant about eradicating hair and odors. They’re a big turnoff to potential buyers, and dander is a common allergen. Vacuum daily, or even twice a day if your pet sheds a lot. Use an enzyme cleaner to remove urine stains and odor. It may be a good idea to have your carpets professionally cleaned as well.
Invest in good food containers that don’t leak scent, and if there’s litter involved try and purchase a covered litter box.
If possible, get the pets out of the house—at least during showings. Send them to a kennel or pet sitter, or ask a friend or relative to take them for a short time. These may seem like obvious solutions, but many people overlook pets as a potential turn off by not recognizing people have different opinions and taste on animals.
If you have small spaces
You can’t easily add square footage to a home, but you do have ways of making your space appear bigger.
One strategy is to make use of light, color, and patterns.
Brighter rooms look bigger and more inviting, so maximize the light as much as possible. Place mirrors strategically to reflect images and light. Incorporating lighter colors on the walls and furniture will also help open up the room.
Especially in a bathroom, use a vanity mirror that’s either tall or wide — giving illusion the room is higher or wider than it actually is.
Stripes draw the eyes in the direction they point. So you can use a striped rug to make the room seem longer, or vertical stripes on the walls to accentuate height.
Decluttering is important when staging any home, but it is paramount when spacing is at a premium. Place an emphasis on storing anything you don’t immediately need. And don’t limit it to open areas. Remove half the items from your closets to give the appearance of more storage space.
Scale furniture to fit the size of the room, and keep walking pathways open. If you can, put some furniture in storage, or rent smaller furniture while your home is on the market.
In bathrooms, open shower curtains so buyers can see all the way to the back of the tub.
Still hungry for more tips? Download our DIY photography tips, and try some of these advanced techniques for staging your home for success.
CREDIT: American Lifestyle
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