By now, I’m sure most, if not all of you, have heard of home staging…thank you HGTV 😉. Staging your home before listing it on the market is something you should take very very seriously if you want to get top dollar.

But let me take a step back for a second here. For those who don’t know what home staging is, I’m gonna tell you. In a nutshell, it’s “staging” the home with furniture and accessories to make it look appealing to the majority of potential buyers before listing it on the market. Staging your home is an investment but in the long run, it’s better than a price reduction lets say of about…$20,000. It’s silly to not stage your home these days (and no, not much has changed now that we’re in a pandemic).

According to the National Association of Realtors, 77% of buyers felt they were more able to see themselves moving into a home that had been staged. Doesn’t that just go to show you how important staging is?!

If you’re interested in listing your home for sale, chances are, you’re gonna need to do some homework. Your home stager or real estate agent will tell you everything you need to do before listing it so why not beat them to the punch and begin now? I’ve come up with a list of things you can do before you hire a stager or realtor to look at your home.

1.DECLUTTER EVERY ROOM

If you want to get top dollar for your home, decluttering is CRUCIAL. Yes, we get it. Life happens and our stuff tends to pile up in almost every room! But that’s a big no no. Potential buyers won’t be able to see beyond all of the clutter so start organizing, donating, and throwing away things you no longer need NOW. Every stager and real estate agent will all tell you less is more so you really should listen to the experts. If it’s too overwhelming, ask local stagers if they offer organization packages or simply find a local professional organizer.

2.PUT AWAY/PACK ANY PERSONAL ITEMS

One of the number one rules when it comes to staging, is to depersonalize your space. Family photos being the most popular personal item. Now would be a good time to begin packing these things away since you’re gonna have to do it anyway sooner or later! We want buyers to come into your home and imagine themselves living in it without anything distracting like your family photos. The idea is to keep it neutral so they can envision your home being their new home.

3.CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN

Now hear me out. I’m not saying you’re a person who lives in a dirty house. BUT I just want to stress how important it is to make sure your home is clean so that buyers don’t get turned off. This means having your floors cleaned (perhaps professionally), whether it’s hardwood or carpet, clean your windows inside and outside, deep clean your bathrooms and kitchen, and make sure to get all of the nooks and crannies because eyes tend to wander when they look at your home.

4.ELIMINATE ANY ODORS

Potential buyers can easily get turned off by odors that can be lingering in your home. Even though you don’t think your home smells bad, other people can be sensitive and maybe they’re just not used to your home’s smell. So it’s best to not take a chance and just eliminate those cooking smells, pet smells or other odors before anybody can say anything. There are a couple of great brands and products out there that really get the job done so feel free to check them out!

Smells Begone on Amazon

Moso Natural on Amazon 5.SPRUCE UP YOUR EXTERIOR ENTRYWAY

How many times have you heard how important having great curb appeal is? I’m sure plenty of times if you’ve been surrounded by realtors or watching lots of HGTV. Think about it, when your home is professionally photographed from the outside, wouldn’t you want it to look neat and put together so potential buyers are interested in looking at more pictures of it online before crossing it off their list of contenders? I would think you would want it to look nice and neat.

This could mean a number of things: getting your door painted (or changing it altogether if it’s in rough shape), buying fresh hardware to put on your door, fixing your gutters if they’re hanging off your house, updating your landscaping, buying a couple of lanterns, or maybe even adding a bench with some pillows to your cozy porch. Bottom line: if things are broken, buyers will notice. So fix them!

Photo Credit: Pella

These are just a couple of things you can do before you bring in a realtor or home stager into your home. They’re gonna tell you to do a few if not all of these things anyway so why not get a head start? Be prepared to have your home stager tell you you’re gonna need to paint, possibly rent furniture/accessories, and make some necessary repairs or upgrades. Just know he/she will be looking at your home through the eyes of a potential buyer so don’t take the criticism personally.

I hope these few tips have helped! And remember, if you live in Bergen County, New Jersey, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you or someone you know is in need of a home stager or real estate agent.

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