Thinking of selling your home this spring/summer? Proper staging can not only sell your home faster, but also help you get the price you want. You will be amazed at how a few changes in the styling of your home, can garner immense results.

1. Boost curb appeal. This is much more important than many homeowners realize. Most people will judge a book by its cover, without even looking inside. Potential buyers may decide to keep on driving if they are very disappointed with the appearance of the exterior of your home. Power wash the exterior siding, driveway and walkways. Wash windows and paint or stain front door, window frames and porch. Mow the lawn (aerate and reseed if necessary), and plant colourful flowers and shrubs.

2. The front porch. Placing a new doormat, a couple of potted plants and wicker chairs on your front porch can make your house look more welcoming and homey. Think of leaving porch lights on in the evenings, in case potential buyers drive by.

3. A sparkling clean house. This seems like it should be a no-brainer, but a dirty house can blow a sale. Don't expect a home buyer to imagine how your house will look after they clean it up. Fresh paint, gleaming windows, shiny floors and freshly scrubbed grout in the bathrooms, will not go unnoticed by potential buyers. If you are finding the housework too overwhelming, consider hiring professionals to do a deep clean. Creating a pristine environment will be well worth the expense.

4. Get rid of the clutter. Clean and straighten closets, cupboards and floors. Closet space and storage can be a make-it-or-break-it selling point for buyers. You want to create the appearance of space in the eyes of potential buyers. Clutter can take anywhere from 5 to 15 % off the value of your home. Buyers are less inclined to make a high offer on a house that looks messy and cluttered. You may need to rent an off site storage unit or borrow a relatives garage. Box up the items not being used every day. It is worth every penny to rent a storage unit!

5. Small touches. Now that you've made your house scrupulously clean and de-cluttered, it's time to add a little panache. Vases of fresh cut flowers throughout the house can add a burst of colour and fresh scent. A bowl of lemons or a basket of fresh, mixed produce on the island, counter or on the kitchen table will contribute charm to your home.


6. Dining room. The dining room can look rather plain when not being used to entertain. Consider setting an elegant, formal dinner table or consider styling your table with three or four small centre pieces on a long table.

7. Floors. Have all carpets professionally steam cleaned. If you are lucky enough to have wood floors (a big selling point), but they are a little the worse for wear, think of having them refinished. Small area rugs can be used to enhance the attractiveness of bare wood floors.

8. Living room. Too much furniture and book shelves running from wall to wall can shrink a room. Create as much floor space as possible. Symmetrical arrangements of furniture work best.

Decorate to draw the eye to the most attractive feature of the room. Whether it's a big window looking over the garden or pool, a handsome fireplace mantle or shining wood floors, don't block the view with furniture.

9. Neutral colors. To make your home aesthetically pleasing, use current, light colours in paint, carpeting and flooring. Visit show homes to see popular colours. Paint the walls and ceiling the same color to create a sophisticated backdrop.

Having your home professionally painted is the lowest dollar investment with the highest rate of return. A $40 can of paint equals thousands of dollars when you sell. A professional painter can use a sprayer to create a flawless finish.

When adding a pop of vivid colour to enhance your decor, think of using throw pillows, rugs, draperies or a bright coloured chair. Be mindful of how rooms will look in online photos and virtual tours.

10. Lighting. Lighting will effect all aspects of your home staging. Outdated fixtures will make your home appear older. Upgrade to modern lighting and utilize floor and table lamps to brighten up your rooms. Open all window coverings to take advantage of natural light when showing your home.

11. Bedrooms. Invest in lush duvets and pillow shams to best showcase the bedrooms (especially the master bedroom). Remove all robes, personal items and laundry. It is vitally important that it smells clean and fresh in the bedroom and bathrooms. Feature tasteful artwork and an attractive throw blanket folded at the foot of the bed.

12. Room designation. If you have been using a spare bedroom for storage, it’s time to clean it up. That junk room can be a guest room, a kid's room or an office. A dining room being used as a T.V. room may be confusing. An empty room will make it difficult for a potential buyer to visualize the scale of a room. Each room should have a clearly defined purpose.

13. Personal items. Prospective buyers want to visualize themselves living in your home. Depersonalize your home by removing and storing all photos and put away personal toiletries in the bedrooms and bathrooms when they aren't being used.

14. Odors. Yes, you heard me. I said it again! I can't emphasize enough, how important it is to avoid having any unpleasant odors in your house. Pets, diapers, garbage, cooking get the idea. Have carpets and rugs cleaned and be extra vigilant about washing all surfaces and garbage cans. If you have pets, they must not be in the house during showings. Be sure to keep the scratching post hotel and doggie toys hidden when tours are scheduled.

15. The backyard lifestyle. Lovely patio furniture and a built in barbeque or fire pit will score points. A hammock under the trees in the backyard or a bench swing on your patio could be the magic touch.

16. Stage the outdoors too. Does your condo have a tiny balcony? Style a cute, little café table and chairs, a charming tablecloth, a pretty tray of dishes or a vase of flowers. When people look at this scene, they won’t be thinking “small,” they will be thinking, “What a delightful place to eat breakfast!”

17. Use the Seasons. Every season has it's charm. Your beautiful spring/summer garden could be a very positive selling point. Building a fire in the fireplace and simmering hot apple cider on the stove will create a cozy vibe in autumn and winter.

Successful staging is very beneficial to your selling experience and extremely profitable. For more great suggestions, contact one of our experienced and knowledgable agents at HomeLife Benchmark Langley.

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