How to stage your home like a pro

1. Clean house
Make sure your house is clean! Get rid of odours - a huge turnoff for prospective buyers - by opening windows, washing floors and walls and cleaning your rugs and upholstery. Next, de-clutter your space. A jam-packed house not only makes the house look cluttered, it makes the house look smaller. When you are selling, the objective is to make your home look bigger! A lot of sellers these days are actually taking out a third of their furniture to show off more of the space. Place your items in storage, call a local consignment shop or charity to pick things up, or use a relative's garage. Don't use your own garage for storage, because buyers will want to look in there. Having 2 sofas and a chair in your livingroom might crowd the space. Take out one of the sofas to create more space.

2. Give it a fresh coat
If you have a little extra time and money, a paint job offers the most dramatic results. If the paint doesn't look fresh or if the walls are painted in wild and bold colours, buyers will be turned off. Dark colours also make rooms look smaller. You have to clean up the look of the rooms with a fresh coat and make it look bright with light neutral colours.

3. Add layers
Give your house a soft, lived-in look by adding curtains, blankets and cushions. Cover the old blinds with a fresh new set of curtains. It'll create a luxurious impact that buyers like. Fill three attractive vases with fresh blooms and set one on the dining-room table, one in the entryway and one in the master bedroom, or even in the powder room.

4. Define spaces
If you're trying to sell an open-concept house, make sure you put prospective buyers' minds at ease by clearly defining spaces. Using rugs is one way to establish where one room ends and the other begins. Arrange your furniture in traditional vignettes so buyers can easily grasp your home's layout. People want to walk into a room and envision what each room is used for and how they will fit their furniture in that space. If one of your bedrooms is empty or is being used for other purposes (office or T.V. room), change it back to a bedroom by adding a matress ...and make the bed! Even though the listing may say 3 bedrooms, some buyers may not see it that way.

5. Get outside
Don't forget about your home's exterior. Create a good first impression by placing some attractive planters along the steps, cutting the grass and weeding the garden. A fresh coat of paint to the exterior will also brighten things up making yours look like the gem on the street. Colourful annuals really add to the curb appeal, as well. Keep garbage hidden from sight and make sure there is nothing in the driveway so buyers can envision themselves driving in from a hard day at work.

6. Be natural
It's not necessary to set the dining-room table, and don't start baking cookies in the oven before buyers drop by. Anything that's too clichéd or over-the-top will draw skepticism from buyers. Buyers just want to see a nice, clean product that they can see themselves living in.

7. Sleep on it
Everyone knows kitchens and bathrooms are important when it comes to selling your house, but today's buyers are also focusing on bedrooms. So whether you're sprucing things up or refitting with new furniture, don't forget the master bedroom. Nice window coverings, decorative pillows and attractive bedding can inhance the look of the room. If you have dark colours on the wall, repaint it a light neutral colour to make the room look bigger. Also, take some of your clothes out of the closet to create the perception of large bedroom closets.

For more information on staging your home, buying or selling real estate in Hamilton, Burlington or Oakville, Ontario, or if you have questions about current market trends, mortgages or interest rate information, please visit me again on my website www.seansells.ca or call me at 905-220-9198 and I'd be glad to answer any questions to accommodate all of your real estate needs.

Sean Kavanagh

Sean Kavanagh

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage*
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