Staging and Maximizing Returns

If you are planning to put your house on the market, I assume you will want to sell quickly and get as many offers as possible. It is therefore important to highlight your home’s strengths and downplay its’ weaknesses. 

Here are some super tips for staging your home and increasing it appeal to prospective buyers...

  • Boost curb appeal.  Make sure the exterior of your home is inviting and will attract many people.  If they don’t like the way it looks on the outside, they might not bother with the inside:
    • Power wash siding and walkways
    • Hang easy-to-read house numbers
    • Plant blooming flowers and fresh greenery
    • Mow lawn, and reseed or add fresh sod as needed
    • Wash front windows
    • Repaint or stain the garage door and/or porch floor as needed
  • Create an inviting porch. Even if it is very small, make it feel welcoming with a clean doormat, plants and maybe even some furniture if it is large enough.
  • Lighting is important as well.  Make sure the porch lights work and are kept on in the evenings (sometimes potential buyers will drive by). Illuminating the front walk with solar lights is a nice extra touch, especially if you will be showing the house during the evening.
  • Lighting in the home is also important.  Either get new fixtures or clean the ones you have and make sure all bulbs are working.  Use lighting to create ambient moods in your home.
  • Get your house cleaned. From shining floors and gleaming windows to clean counters and scrubbed grout, every surface should sparkle. This step is a must so you may want to hire pros to do some of the really tough stuff, especially if you have a large house.
  • If you are serious about staging your home, de-clutter.  It's not easy, and it may even require utilizing offsite storage (or a nice relative's garage) temporarily, but it is well worth the trouble. Think of it as finishing half your packing for when you move.  Clean and clear surfaces, floors, cupboards and closets equal more space in the eyes of potential buyers, so purge or pack anything unnecessary or unsightly.
  • Revamp the kitchen.  If you can’t afford to get new cabinets, then paint them and get new handles.  Keep the counter tops clear (no kettles, toasters, mixers etc…).  Use fruit or flowers to add a pop of colour.  Make sure all appliances are cleaned (get ne front panels if needed).
  • Tone personal style down. You want your home to appeal to a large number of people so keep it neutral. You can bring your personal style back into your new home.
  • Accessorize. Think vases of cut flowers, a basket of fresh farmer's market produce on the kitchen counter or a bowl of lemons beside the sink.
  • Style your dining room table. The dining room is often a blind spot in decorating the home. Between dinners, a large dining table can look bare and uninviting, so styling it up with visitors in mind can increase the appeal. An oversize arrangement can look too stiff and formal, so try lining up a series of smaller vessels down the center of the table instead.
  • Give all your floors a thorough cleaning and steam clean carpets, but consider having wood floors refinished if they are in rough shape. If you don't want to invest in refinishing floors, the strategic placement of area rugs can go a long way.
  • Rearrange your furniture. In the living room, symmetrical arrangements usually work well. Pull your furniture off the walls and use pairs (of sofas, chairs, lamps) to create an inviting conversation area.
  • Choose sophisticated neutral colors. But that doesn't mean you need to go all white, either. There are a lot of rich earthy (yet neutral) tones that create a sophisticated backdrop that makes everything look more pulled together. Trimming and baseboards could also use a coat of fresh white paint to make rooms look crisper.
  • Create a gender-neutral master bedroom. Appeal to everyone with a clean, tailored master bedroom, free of personal items and clutter. You can't go wrong with clean, crisp linens, tasteful artwork and a blanket folded at the foot of the bed.
  • Open those closets! Open-house visitors will peek inside your closets. Closet space can be a make-it-or-break-it selling point for buyers, so show yours off to their full advantage by giving excess stuff the heave-ho. Again, this is really important, so even if you need to store a few boxes elsewhere, it's worth it. Aim to have 20 to 30 percent open space in each closet to give the impression of spaciousness.
  • Clean up toys. Of course there will be families with children looking at your home, but just because they have kids too doesn't mean seeing toys strewn everywhere will sell them on the place. When people are house hunting, they are imagining a fresh start. Show them that in this house, it is possible to have a beautifully organized kids' room, and they might be swayed.
  • Use spare rooms wisely. If you have been using a spare bedroom as a dumping ground for odd pieces of furniture and boxes of junk, it's time to clean up. Each room should have a clearly defined purpose.  Think about what potential buyers might like to see: an office, a guest room, or a kids' room? Whether you buy, rent or borrow them, furnishings to making a real room out of a junk room, will have a big payoff.
  • Clean or replace any filters in appliances and vents.
  • Use only perfect personal accents. Especially in the bathroom, it is important that anything left out for visitors to see is pristine. If you have a gorgeous fluffy white bathrobe, hanging it on a decorative hook on the door can be an attractive accent -- but if your robe is more of the nubby blue floral variety, you might want to hide it away. Look at every detail with a visitor's eye -- bars of soap should be fresh and clean, towels spotless, the garbage always emptied (you get the idea).
  • Encourage people to explore the whole house. By placing something that draws the eye at the top of the stairs, in hallways or in corners, you can keep potential buyers interested throughout a whole home tour. A piece of artwork, a painted accent wall, a window seat, a vase of flowers, a hanging light or even a small, colorful rug can all work to draw the eye.
  • Show how you can use awkward areas. If you have any room beneath the stairs, or a nook or alcove anywhere in your home, try to find a unique way to show it off. By setting up a small workstation, a home command center with a bulletin board, or built-in shelving, your awkward spot becomes another selling point.
  • Beware pet odors. If you have pets, get all rugs steam cleaned and be extra vigilant about vacuuming and washing surfaces. Also be sure to keep any extra-loved pet toys and doggie bones hidden when tours are scheduled.
  • Create a lifestyle people are looking for. Generally speaking, you want to play up what your neighborhood or area is known for. Have a house in a quiet, grassy suburb? Hanging a hammock in your backyard and a bench swing on your porch could be the perfect touch.
  • Stage the outdoors too. Even if your condo only has a tiny balcony, play it up with a cute cafe table and chairs. When people see this, they will picture themselves sitting there enjoying the view.
  • Think seasonally. Make sure your garden is in beautiful shape in the summer, and that any extra features you have, like a pool or a fire pit, are cleaned and ready to go. Take advantage of the weather.  Your home should be warm and cozy in autumn and winter, and bright and breezy in the summer.

Royal Lepage
Viraj Tanna

Viraj Tanna
Sales Representative




Contact Me

8 Sampson Mews,
Suite 201,
Toronto, ON,
M3C 0H5 


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