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BEFORE Selling Your Home... Staging Tips for Home Owners

The goal of staging a home before putting it on the market is to create a space that is warm, inviting, and neutral - so that as many potential buyers as possible can envision themselves in the space you have created. The following are some tips to help you accomplish those goals.

1. Consider home improvements that will make the biggest impression for minimal cost. The TWO MOST BENEFICIAL improvements we have seen in our experience are PAINT & FLOORING (particularly carpet). You may have a gorgeous mural painted in a room or bright colored accent walls that YOU love, but this may be a turn off to potential buyers. Putting on a fresh coat of a neutral colored paint throughout the house can do wonders on the first impression your home makes. New flooring is another incredible beneficial improvement. Most of us are fairly hard on our floors (between wear and tear, kids, and animals) and potential buyers can often smell odors that we no longer detect because we have become desensitized. Replacing flooring not only has the potential to modernize the look of your home, but the new carpet smell creates a “new home” sensation that is highly desirable to many buyers.

2. Declutter. Clear as many surfaces as possible leaving only items that are necessary or that enhance the visual appeal of a room. In kitchens, remove appliances from counter tops before listing pictures are taken and before home showings. In bathrooms, remove ALL personal hygiene items (such as toothbrushes, razors, hair products, bar soap, etc.). In other rooms, clear all surfaces leaving only items such as plants, neutral artwork, lamps, etc. Purchase matching, stackable (opaque - you don't want everyone seeing what's inside) bins to store items in that you do not want out in the open during the listing period.

3. Depersonalize & decorate with simple, modern touches. While you don't have to take down every family photo, or elements that make a home look like a space that where love abounds, you DO want prospective home buyers to be able to envision this as THEIR home, not yours. This can be an emotional process for sellers, but it is important to have a mindset that you are handing this home over to people who will make it a part of their personal story, just as you have. After decluttering and depersonalizing, you want to create a warm, inviting space with modern, clean, and simple design that is welcoming to these potential buyers. Here in Hawaii, modern coastal vibes with cool colors (blues, grays, and greens) are often very desirable. Using light, airy colors and textures such as white accents and sheer curtains will help to brighten your space and make it feel larger rather than closed in.

4. Have your home professionally cleaned. A home that feels or smells dirty can be a pretty major turn-off to potential buyers. It is very easy to get desensitized to how our home smells or looks, because we LIVE in it, and it’s not practical to have a perfectly clean house all the time in the midst of busy lives. BUT, during your listing period, you want it to be as clean as possible so staring off with a deep-clean by a professional leaner can give you a head start on getting (and keeping) it looking spotless! Keep Clorox wipes or other quick touch-up cleaner solutions handy, so that you can get it back in shape in a hurry if a showing gets scheduled.

5. Don’t forget about outdoor spaces. Many people have different priorities in a home. For me personally, (and lots of other buyers in Hawaii) outdoor spaces are incredibly important. We live in a state that has amazing views and weather and we like to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors with our friends and family. So, make sure you capitalize on any outdoor spaces you have available by adding seating/dining areas and installing and/or maintaining clean, simple landscaping that enhances your space!

6. Get a second set of (critical) eyes. Having someone come and give a second opinion on your home and any potential concerns is incredibly important. Many realtors will do this as part of their listing consultation. It’s not always easy to hear someone critique your home (especially when you have worked really hard to get it “perfect”) but a second set of eyes can often shed light on a few blind spots that have been missed. Getting your home ready to make the absolute BEST first impression when it hits the market takes a lot of work but can be incredibly worth it in the long run!

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