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Don’t Scare Potential Buyers Away When Selling

By Tales of an Interior Stylist on Oct 17, 2013

Chicago home staging tips, ideas, selling house

Yes, Halloween is just around the corner and we’re all feeling the spirit of the season, but you may not realize that it’s your home that is scary! You may think your stuff is wonderful. You may think, “Come on, this is how real people live”. You may think, “I’m not changing that to sell my home”. The reality is, you may too be scaring your potential buyers away with the condition of your home.

When prepping your home for sale, you want to make the home appealing to everyone. You want buyers to picture themselves living in, and seeing the potential of their new home - not leaving and talking about the clown picture collection in your home. That means you need to remove distractions, pack up the really personal stuff, keep it clean and tidy and consider - what may be normal to you, may scare a buyer.

From too personalized collections, too much stuff, to just plain everyday life – When it comes to selling a home, these things have got to go.

Lawn Ornaments/ Over Done Seasonal Décor: Angels sculptures, crouching bunnies, blow-up Spiders, Hay bale and scarecrow greeters at the door and sneaking gnomes. Instead, showcase your lovely manicured, mulched and cut lawn. Exterior 1st impressions are a clue of a well maintained and beautiful home.

A Cluttered Foyer: Your foyer is like a handshake – the introduction to your home. Welcome your potential buyers with hospitality and panache. A foyer should be spotless, shoeless and has a guest closet that Martha Stewart would swoon over, not the people from that ‘Hoarders’ show. If you have a foyer table, add a vase of fresh flowers, a bowl of wrapped hard candies and your Real Estate agent’s listing materials.

Very Personalized Collections: Although you may have a passion for clown paintings, taxidermy or Precious Moments figurines, people buying a home may not - and if they do, may get distracted by seeing them. Collections, especially personalized ones, should be packed up. Instead, focus on a room’s arrangement; showcase your rooms’ detail, layout and how the potential buyer could use the space.

Acres of Family Photos: Too many photos overwhelm, especially the huge family portrait over your fireplace mantle. The psychology of marketing a home for sale is the buyer seeing themselves in your home, not YOU in your home. A few small frames in a bookcase or on a bedroom dresser are fine, just not on every wall and surface.

Chicago home staging tips, house, selling

Animal Items: Cat towers in the living room, fish tanks in foyers, cages, beds and exposed litter boxes. Most people are animal lovers, but not when buying a home. While the home is on the market, these items need to be removed or tucked into a remote area. People respond to the 5 senses when viewing a home - even seeing a cat box that is clean, will make a person scrunch up their nose.

Bathroom Rug Sets: Tank covers, toilet seat covers and small bath area rugs. No need to blanket a bath in fluff. Showcase your bath’s shiny bright condition by exposing its shiny clean surfaces and well-maintained tile.

Home Staging Tips, Chicago Selling Your Home

Too Many Personal Products: We all know what happens when we shop at Costco or Sam’s Club. From bursting linen, bedroom, pantry closets to inside a shower, on top of a counter or dresser and under the sink – too many personal products take up space, make a space look cluttered and tells a story of you and your family. Instead, organize products in opaque plastic bins or handled baskets that can be tucked away for showings.

Messiness: You wouldn’t sell your car unwashed and with chicken nuggets in it? So the same goes for your home. Give your home bath. Wash the windows, clean carpets, paint if the walls necessary and live like a Model Home family, with your house ready-to-show at all times. Try purchasing some large flip top containers you can have stationed in each room. Use them to tidy up every morning or before showings.

Darkness: Drawn drapes, burnt bulbs, missing lamps, turned off lighting. If they can’t see it, why would they buy it? Light up your home like a beacon. Get those exterior lights on a timer, open your sheers and blinds, replace and check every bulb in your home and if a room can’t be shown in the evening because there isn’t a lamp in the space – Go buy some.

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