At Tish Flooring we’ve learned quite a bit from our Realtor friends over the course of 26 years. The old saying, ‘you never get a second chance at a first impression’ is one lesson you re-teach us every year. So, we know that listing and preparing a property for showings can be a little hair-raising. And, for sellers, we’ve learned that their primary goal is to inspire potential buyers who attend an Open House to leave with a deep desire to make an offer – immediately.  

So, stack the deck in your sellers’ favor with some strategic planning, cosmetic updates, and a little good old-fashioned elbow grease. Here are 9 home staging tips that are guaranteed to help MOVE THAT LISTING!

Ditch the floral curtains and bring on the neutral tones

The objective for sellers is to present an Open House as an opportunity for potential buyers to easily envision making the property their own. In this regard, to be straightforward and albeit a bit impersonal to the seller, the property is simply a product. Too many visual connections to the sellers and their own aesthetic make the product less appealing to a buyer.

For instance, if the home is filled with loud colors or too many personal effects, family photos, etc., it can be a distraction, or worse, a deterrent. Introducing neutral paint and carpet colors (beige, light grey, mocha, eggshell) will unify and open the spaces and create a clean ‘palette’ for the buyers as they envision the ‘product’ becoming something much more intimate and personal – their home.

Scrub, clean, and make it gleam

Visitors and potential buyers can be quickly put off by a dirty house. Make sure the seller has the home ready for its close-up! The importance of clean, bright interiors cannot be understated. Leave no surface unwiped, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. Dust shelves and furniture; sweep all floors spaces and corners; scrub grime build-up in showers, tubs, toilets, sinks, and appliances. All surfaces should be gleaming and looking as close to new as possible. Buyers expect it.

Flooring must be clean. Period.

While doing a deep clean, sellers should absolutely not neglect flooring. Hire a professional carpet cleaning company to spot treat and brighten up your carpet. This is especially important if you have pets so you can get deep into the fibers to remove hair and dander.

For hardwood floors, use the proper cleaning agents and give them a good sweep. Sellers should have tile and grout cleaned on walls and floors as well.

Can you say “current”?

Is the home still rockin’ shag carpet, cheap wood paneling or tacky wallpaper? There’s retro and then there’s dated. Obviously, home buyers aren’t looking for dated. Where it is most needed sellers should bring floors and walls into the 21st century.

Replace shag carpet with stylish and elegant patterned or textured plush carpet. That wood paneling may be dated, but certain laminate or wood flooring products installed has become an increasingly popular design effect. This will add character and interest to a space such as an accent wall in a nook, study, or living space that otherwise feels bland. Or somewhat less expensively, homeowners should just remove the paneling, prep the surface, apply a bright, neutral paint and add a hip, framed picture or wall hanging. 

Open up spaces by rearranging furniture

Open floor plans that have ample light and breathing room are extremely desirable to homebuyers in 2018. Sellers can create a sense of openness and volume by rearranging furniture in a way that accommodates traffic lanes and promotes unobstructed movement from space to space. Eliminating certain pieces of furniture, especially too many small pieces, will have a significant, positive impact as well.

Less clutter. Much less.

The message should be pretty clear by now: personal effects should be kept to a minimum. Prospective buyers value and, in fact, expect a blank palette on which to build their vision for their future home as they walk through. They will have a hard time doing this if mess, clutter, and too many of the homeowner’s personal items are in full view.  If major de-cluttering is needed advise your seller to box and store their open-to-view personal effects elsewhere or in a dedicated storage space if possible. Tossing them haphazardly in a closet won’t suffice.

The exterior should be exquisite

The property exterior really is the first of the first impressions. Outdoor furniture should be thoroughly cleaned and free of leaves, rust; it should not be in worn or damaged condition. If it is in poor condition suggest that your seller consider storing it or throwing it away altogether. Fire pits and bar-b-que spaces should be inviting and in ready condition for a marshmallow roast or cookout.

Sellers should make sure their grass is cut, flower beds and gardens are crisp and well-maintained, and that bushes are freshly trimmed and manicured. Exposed trash cans, unkempt vehicles in or near the driveway, and loose toys or dog poop in the yard are all big no-no’s. A welcoming, orderly exterior will most definitely set the mood for a successful Open House.

The nose knows

So, you and your seller have va-voomed visitors with visuals (pardon the alliteration there).  Now elevate the showings with the essence of flora or other fragrances. We’ve learned that brownie-scented candles or fresh baked chocolate chip cookies have a calming effect. For that matter, a few plates of these goodies available for visitors to enjoy during their visit to their future home (let’s hope!) would be another detail to tip the scales in the seller’s favor.

Every detail you and the homeowner attend to can and will differentiate your listing from competing listings.  A pleasant olfactory experience is one of those details.

Consider a professional home stager

If you really want to knock your showing out of the park, you might consider bringing in a professional home stager. More than likely a fellow Realtor in your office will know just who to direct you to. A certified home stager is trained to utilize the elements that are already in place and to create a setting that is irresistible to prospective buyers in your particular neighborhood.  In general, we are told that hiring a reputable, professional home stager is worth the investment.

Need new flooring to help get your listing market-ready? Call Tish Flooring today! We make shopping for flooring easy – we bring samples right to your clients! Evenings, weekends, no problem! Schedule a FREE in-home measurement and estimate online or call 879-TISH (8474).