Step one is to go through the home and declutter and depersonalize EVERYTHING. I typically tell my clients (if they still live in the property) to pack up and remove ALL personal items. Lets not forget, the goal here is that they are selling and moving within a month anyway so start packing NOW. Friends this includes closets and inside cabinets! I like to go through with sticky notes and pick decor that I want to use in the staged design so they know what to leave unpacked. Because lets be honest, the majority of items will need to be packed. Buyers do not want to see your stuff. They want to imagine their things in the home! Less is more in fashion and home staging.
First impressions are so crucial! If your front yard isn't neat and tidy many buyers will not even make it inside to see the property. As a former Landscape Architect I believe strongly that this is a huge opportunity to put your home above others with some fresh flowers, bark and like my Grandma always said, "some good ol' fashion elbow grease!" I also love a seasonal wreath. My favorite one to use here in the Seattle is a artificial fern wreath from Target. It's super simple and adds a pop of color to front doors.
Let in All the Light
Remove all heavy drapes. When the home is photographed it needs to have all the window treatments up and open! All the lights should also be on. Buyers won't notice lights on but if they are off and it is the dreaded "D word" (dark), oh my...it's recipe for selling disaster! So let in ALL the light possible.
Clean, Clean & Clean Some More
No one wants to walk into a listing and think, "ewww, this home is dirty, it must be neglected." I highly recommend downloading a checklist of some kind and going room by room and deep cleaning every nook and cranny. If you find anything that is broken during this process FIX IT. Don't wait for the inspection to note a million items that need to be fixed. I also like to caution clients that some people are sensitive to fragrances (like candles and diffusers) so it's best use natural elements like fresh flowers and citrus when possible when holding open houses. The goal is to smell fresh and clean.
Give Purpose to Every Room
Once everything is minimized and clean it is now ready to literally SET THE STAGE to SELL! Providing a clear singular purpose for each space is critical because unfortunately buyers are not very imaginative. If you have an empty extra room add a rug, desk, chair and hang a piece of art and suddenly you have a home office. Appeal to the masses with adding in finishing touches that make it feel like a welcoming home. I like to make sure that the color story flows from room to room in the entire home. This does NOT mean it all needs to be the same but simply flow together.