How to stage your house for a quick sell

Which kitchen sells itself? A professional house stager gives tips on prepping your house for a quick sell. Photos by Kendra Garwood.

Staging Your House to Sell

By Kathy Feist

One of the first steps to selling your house is finding a good realtor.

The second step is preparing your house so it appeals to the potential buyer.

Kendra Garwood, owner of Staging in Style, has been advising homeowners on that very thing for the past 13 years.

“I tell them how to arrange the room,” she says. “Or point out if there are too many items in a room.”

“The goal is to try to have the rooms appear as spacious as you can so it will sell your home,” she says.

Here are some pointers on how to get to that goal.

Pack and purge. She advises clients to pack up what hasn’t been used in the past three months. “Hire a small moving truck. Get rid of the items. It’s the perfect time to purge and donate,” she says. Having too many items lying around is a telltale sign that there is not enough space in the house.

Photo opps. Because most buyers see the house first on the internet, she advises focusing first on rooms that will be featured in photos. Clear out closets and garages later. “Photos are so important to get traffic into the house,” she says. “If the photo’s not good, they’re not going.”

Invest in cleaning. Clean the house. Touch up walls, doors and trim with paint. “No one wants to move into a house that looks worn,” says Garwood.

Curb Appeal. This time of year she recommends placing mulch in the flower beds and trimming back annuals.  Buyers can make a decision based on the first three to five minutes of seeing your home. “They have an impression before they walk in the house,” says Garwood. She recommends posting summer photos of the house to show off its landscaping capabilities.

Front Door.  Make sure the painted trim around the front door isn’t peeling, the step rails aren’t rusted and the light fixtures are clean and in good condition. “Get the foyer fluffed and clean,” she says.

Vacant rooms. Don’t clear out everything. “Vacant rooms don’t photograph well,” she says. They appear smaller, they buyer has a difficult time visualizing the room, and there is nothing in the room to hide imperfections. “Make the room homey with a cozy color,” she advises.

Garwood says staging your house well can make all the difference in selling your house quickly.

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