Home > Selling a home, Supply and Demand > Home Staging Advice? Really Rick?

Home Staging Advice? Really Rick?

When I told my wife, Shereen, that I was going to write an article about helping people make their houses look better when putting them up for sale – she just smiled, rolled her eyes and walked away. She, of course is more aware than anyone that I have absolutely no decorating or style sense.  I’m color blind, I hang paintings way too high and don’t have any real appreciation for nice curtains or furniture.

So, while I can’t tell you the best shade of off-white to paint your walls when selling, I do know that one of the most important things you can do to make your house look better is to make it look bigger.

It’s really an optical illusion but the fact is that the less stuff you have in your house, the bigger it seems.  So when you are putting your home up for sale, get rid of everything that you don’t need to live.

If it’s winter, empty your closets of summer clothes. A closet which is full, looks cramped.  If the rod that you hang your shirts on has “air” in between the shirts, it will look like you have more closet space.

Now that the holidays have passed, take all your cool food preparation devices off of your kitchen counters.  The bread maker, the pasta maker and the cappuccino machine are a lot of fun but they hide your counter space.  You don’t need to impress home buyers with your culinary talents, you need to impress them with how much space there is for their own things.

Go up to the spare bedroom, where you put all the odds and ends furniture that you never use.  Get rid of it.  An empty room looks bigger than a full one.

Bare your walls.   The photo gallery that fills the long wall in your hallway has great sentimental value for you, but at the risk of sounding harsh – buyers don’t care about your annual family portraits or pictures of your ancestors.  An empty wall is a blank canvass where they can imagine their own family.

Empty the garage. Keep in mind that a garage is a place to keep cars.  Even though you may have slowly let it become a place to store everything you’ve accumulated and don’t use very often – your buyers may, oddly enough, actually be looking for a garage to use as a garage.

What do you with it all?

Keep in mind that if you’re selling, you’ll be moving. When people move, they pack some stuff and trash some stuff. So, go room by room, and pick out what you’ll be taking with you, what you’ll be giving to someone else, and what you will be getting rid of.

For the stuff you’ll be taking with you but you don’t need right now, pack it up as if you were moving and put it in a self-storage facility.  There are lots of these around.  If you’re worried about leaving your things there, go check them out. Some are better than others.  Many have climate controlled compartments to avoid freezing or humidity problems.

For the things you will be giving to friends or relatives, do it now.  Move your unwanted stuff to someone else’s house.

Although moving things to a storage facility or to your sister’s house may cost you money – keep in mind that your movers will have less stuff to move when you do go to your new home so much of the expense of doing it in two stages will be a wash.

For the stuff you want to get rid of, either rent a truck and find out about your town dump or else hire a junk-removal company like 1 800 Got Junk.

Whatever you decide to do with it – just get rid of as much stuff as you can.  It will make your house seem bigger – and that can go a long way in how quickly it sells – and how much you get for it.

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