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(This is a guest posting by Alice Robertson. Alice began her career in the home organization industry as a professional house cleaner. After cleaning and organizing her clients’ homes for years, she decided to open her own home organization business. Over the years, she has built an impressive client list, helping to make spaces in homes and businesses more functional. She recently created Tidy Home as a place to share the great cleaning and organizing advice she has developed over the years.)
When putting your home on the market, it’s not as straightforward as simply getting an agent and listing your property. Instead, you need to prepare by decluttering and getting everything ready to stage. Here are some effective strategies to get your house market-ready.
Scope the Area
The best thing you can do to get an accurate picture of how to get started is to investigate other houses on the market in your area. Indeed, checking online listings can let you compare price ranges to find similar homes in your area, and see how they have been staged. By doing so, you can get an idea of where to begin your own process of depersonalizing, decluttering, and making your home look immaculate. Better still, you could ask other agents and homeowners questions you may be unsure of and get a feel of what buyers want and dislike.
Keep Clutter Out
Now that you have a plan in place, it’s time to declutter your property. To give yourself a solid start, focus on anything that might be expendable, such as broken goods that have been gathering dust. Next, move on to old clothes and perhaps even presents you only kept out of a sense of obligation. Still, if you are hesitant to let certain things go, keep in mind that many belongings can be moved out of the house for the time being.
Set the Table
It’s easy to overlook things like setting the table when staging your house. After all, we’re usually concerned with cleanliness and making our properties appear neutral. Thankfully, small touches can make a house feel like a home, without appearing lived-in. When it comes to setting your plates, choose a placement that works for your dining table and furniture, either casual or formal. Of course, even a basic setting can be transformed with a well-folded napkin, so practice different fold types until you find one you love.
Stage the Living Space
Likewise, you want your living spaces to be warm and inviting without having an overwhelming sense of personality. To achieve this, you should first find (or create) a focal point in your living room. This might be any special feature, furniture, or accessories you have available, such as a fireplace, a piece of artwork, or even a large vase with tasteful flowers. A good focal point will not only draw the eye from imperfections, but it will also help create balance. If you have a den in addition to your living room, you’ll have to give it a defined sense of purpose — is it an office, a media room, or a library? Once you choose one, you can then determine how to arrange your furniture to see how you can improve the room’s flow and movement.
Make the Bed
Last, but just as important, is the bed. You’ve decluttered your closet and organized your nightstand, but don’t overlook how the bed can transform a room. A focal point is necessary here as well, and that often involves the headboard. Of course, if your bed doesn’t have one, it can be replicated with a piece of artwork where the headboard would go. For some extra pizzazz, take a few tips from the hotel industry on how to make a bed look polished. This will include ironing your sheets and any duvet covers you use. This will give you crisp edges that make your bedroom appear cleaner and more professional than it otherwise would.
The bulk of the work can be done in a short amount of time. After that, it’s just a matter of maintaining what you’ve already accomplished. By making your home look clean, tidy, and open, and knowing what others in the area are doing, you stand a better chance of a sale.