Most real estate professionals will tell you that the quickest and easiest way to attract buyers is to “stage” a home for sale. Home staging can help you sell your home quickly and for the best possible price. But whether you decide to hire a professional or do it yourself, there are two rules that are paramount to staging your home effectively: CLEAR THE CLUTTER and REMOVE PERSONAL ITEMS.
So, let’s start with clutter. If you’ve got kids, and they made Santa’s nice list, you’ve got toys galore. That’s fine on Christmas morning, but don’t leave the piles of presents under the tree because that will leave buyers focused on what your kids got rather than the house they want. If there are presents the kids must have out and about, try wrapping a few good-sized boxes with lift-off lids. They can stow toys there and your tree will look lovely with just a few tastefully wrapped unopened gifts beneath its branches. Only you — and your little ones — will be the wiser.
Christmas cards are a double don’t — clutter that also counts as a personal item. Don’t hang them up or display them this year. File them away — or recycle them. You want buyers to see your house as their own; pictures and cards from your family and friends will serve as a distraction. Don’t even display those pictures with Santa for the very same reason. Take them to work with you and put them on your desk, or send then to Grandma where they are sure to be proudly displayed all year long.
For that matter, all family portraits should be taken down to depersonalize the space. Other “personalized decor” including photographs, trophies, refrigerator magnets and children’s art work on walls and bulletin boards should also be removed.
There’s no doubt that the holiday season is one during which you should focus on family and friends. But when you’ve got home for sale for the holidays, your celebration needs to be a little more subtle. Look forward to next year when you’ll be decorating, rather than staging, your new home.
Lara Taylor – Realtor/Broker
Twitter – @AskForLara