You know that when you put your house on the market you need to stage it so that it will be it’s most attractive and appealing to buyers. When you use our buy before you sell strategies, you can certainly choose to wait until you’re in your new home and out of the old one before allowing visitors into your home.
But with our 21 day “pre-launch process,” when we heavily promote your home with a video tour, a floor plan with dimensions, a neighborhood amenity tour, all combined with info about how homeowners with properties not even on the market can still buy it too… we generate excitement before anyone wanting to tour your home will be able to walk through it, by pre-scheduled appointment, on the promoted “Open House Event” time and date.
So it is possible to stage a home while you’re still living in it, even when you have kids and pets, if you’re essentially preparing for the initial photography needed to pre-market, followed weeks later by the event that we host! Not only does this process create urgency when prospective buyers understand how many others want the same home (and that the sellers will be able to evaluate all offers at the same time by the deadline several days later), everyone gets a fair chance to make their best offer. You don’t have to endure the typical constant interruptions of showings spread out over weeks and potentially longer.
So for you Charlottehomeowners, here’s how to stage a house you live in.
Clean It and Keep It That Way (but Only for 1-2 days Total)
The first and second-most important step to stage a house you live in is cleaning it. The second and most important step is keeping it clean. You would THINK everyone knows that doing this is simply impossible though!
So the real job, especially if you have kids, is the cleaning/ staging for photos and video once, and once for the event we all plan well in advance. After the initial deep cleaning, all you have to do is map out, schedule, and assign a smaller pre-event cleaning.
Once cleaning is done you can begin staging by replacing kids’ brightly colored or cartoon-character bedspreads with neutral-colored blankets that match and complement curtains. You can also store larger kids’ toys and keep out only the smaller favorite ones. Of course there’s more of this type of thing to do in the family room, Owner’s Suite and kitchen too- but the idea is to “neutralize” your individual personality.
Move Out Both Physically and Mentally
To stage a house you live in, you also have to move out physically as much as possible, as well as “moving out” mentally and emotionally. With respect to moving out physically, you’ll begin by decluttering and emptying cabinets and drawers where feasible. Some experts recommend putting at least half of your belongings in storage (mobile storage solutions like PODS are easy and affordable too).
You also need to move out mentally to stage a house you live in. That means changing your mindset – thinking of your house as already sold, as no longer your home. A good way to accomplish this shift in thinking is to make your house look as if someone else (other than you and your family) is living there by putting away everything that marks it as uniquely yours. Doing this for photos and once again for “the event” can actually be easier as you emotionally prepare to move from the house which no longer really looks or feels like your home. You need to think of the house at this point like the “retail product” that it really is.
Get Out as Much as Possible
If you’ve thoroughly cleaned and done a large portion of the staging, once photos and video have been done, in the 3 weeks before the “Open House,” you have a great reason to try to get out of the house when you can. You could plan outside activities or visit friends and relatives. You could also eat out a little more often. Having a strategy to minimize how much of a “light re-clean” will be needed just once before the promoted showing event will be more than worth it.
Don’t Try Staging Alone
Perhaps the best thing you can do as a Charlotte homeowner to stage a house you live in is simply to get some expert help. Sure, you can do all the prep work and some of the staging yourself. But for the rest, you should use a professional stager or get some expert guidance from your agent. On average, a professionally staged home can sell several above the asking price, and their time on the market is cut significantly. In addition, a well-staged home keeps buyers’ attention on the staged spaces so there’s less focus on inevitable flaws every home has.
Of course “one size or style doesn’t always fit all,” (or every house). Some homes may work with simple decluttering and a strategic modification here and there. If the cost is making you hesitate to professionally stage a house you live in, just remember that you will more than likely make that money back at sale time, so consulting with a professional can be worthwhile. Another option is to use a real estate professional with proven experience in merchandising homes to understand how to “target” your “model home” to the broadest number of likely buyers. Either way, cleaning well and decluttering, with minimal strategic modification or more extensive staging – knowing how to have the winning strategy is essential for getting top dollar for your home.