Prepare Your Home

Presenting Your House: Getting buyers to linger and dream

There are dozens of small and large steps involved in presenting a house for sale. Ideally, your house will be in perfect, move-in condition, but that is not always practical or possible. Some houses are sold “as is” or as “fixer-uppers,” with little cosmetic improvement. Minor flaws can detract from home value, however, and “staging” a property will often help produce a better sale price. We will be glad to consult with you regarding presentation strategies.

When preparing your house to look its best, you may find our Presenting Your Home Checklist helpful. But don’t feel that you have to do all of this yourself. If you need a good painter, for example, or a plumber, gardener, or window washer, we will be happy to refer you to excellent people in the area.

Staging Your House: The secrets of showing a house to its best advantage

One of the most effective steps in preparing a house for market is staging. True to its theatrical heritage, staging in real estate means making your house look its best when put before that most critical of audiences, the buyer. Staging typically pays for itself in higher sales prices.

Staging starts with the basics: removing old furniture, carpets, and draperies, and improving the landscaping. But it goes far beyond that. The challenge is to create an atmosphere, to create spaces that buyers will want to live in. Staging may involve supplementing or removing existing furniture and art, or furnishing entire rooms. The challenge might be to make small rooms seem larger, large rooms feel cozy, or dark rooms look brighter. So stagers sometimes remove doors, dot the floors with lamps, and increase the wattage of bulbs. They may remove furniture to create a sense of space, or bring in special pieces to accent the house’s charm.

If it isn’t practical to remove a boring sofa, for example, stagers will strategically place attractive pillows on it. They will hang art on the walls and decorate the kitchen. Is the back yard uninteresting? A stager might use a wall of potted plants to turn it into a beautiful garden—and hide an ugly fence in the process.

Whether it involves furniture or feng shui, good staging has a powerful subliminal effect on buyers. Entering a well-staged house gives you a feeling of order and calm. At bottom, staging is like makeup. Makeup can’t change a person’s worth or character, but it can accent their best features. In the same way, staging brings out a house’s inherent charm. It’s a worthwhile investment, because a well-staged house almost always attracts higher offers.