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Friday, June 10, 2016

How to Stage Your Home for Sale

Written by  Charlotte Ashton

Thinking of listing your home? What should you do to get ready? Here are a few suggestions. No matter what your objective – whether it be to sell “as-is” (putting little to no money into it) to totally updating to get top dollar – there are things you can do to help you get more profit.

I suggest that you minimize, depersonalize, declutter, and clean all properties whether selling “as-is” (making no repairs) or not. Now is the time to sort through belongings and get rid of things you are no longer using and then organize what is left. It is best to remove family pics that are hanging on the walls as potential buyers may have difficulty picturing themselves there. Clean and freshen up floor and wall surfaces. Paint and replace older carpeting or other floor surfaces if in worn shape or dated, if budget permits. Also cupboards, cabinetry, countertops in kitchen and baths may be best updated depending on age and condition and of course your budget and your objective. Lighting fixtures are relatively inexpensive and go a long way to update a property, as well as appliances. Make sure all mechanical systems are in good working order (unless selling “as-is”).

Make sure the exterior appears to be well kept. Clean and freshen up. Paint if needed. Straighten up the yard, trim up any overgrown shrubbery, and do a little landscaping. Maybe add a couple plants or flowers or small trees or bushes and mulch if landscape is lacking. First impressions are so important. Update doors and or shutters if budget permits. If not well kept on the outside often folks won’t bother to set up an appointment to see the inside.

Even if you are selling a family home that is in need of updating, it is important to clear it out and clean it. Buyers can get so distracted if there are personal belongings everywhere and wonder what happened to the person or people living there. It is also really hard to get a real good look and in some instances can actually be a hazard to the buyers looking if there are belongings strewn everywhere.

If you are interested in doing some updates it is wise to have a knowledgeable agent suggest updates then get estimates. Be sure you can actually make a decent profit before rushing to make some upgrades. It has to make sense to put in the time and effort before making a commitment. This is obviously the best-case scenario if you are in a position to make upgrades as usually the more move in ready properties are the ones that move quicker as long as they are priced right. Plus who doesn’t want to make a little extra profit? Word of advice is to make sure improvements are not overdone. For example if the neighboring homes are all similar in age and condition with no real high-end improvements, you don’t want to add all high-end upgrades. Though the upgrades with help sell it, it won’t add that much more dollar value to the home and will lesson your return. Besides you don’t want to make it the most expensive house in the neighborhood. If, however, for example granite and stainless appliances are an expectation in your neighborhood and you can afford to do it, then I would recommend it.

So minimize, depersonalize, declutter, and clean as a minimum. Upgrade and fix up if you can and it makes good financial sense.


Charlotte Ashton has been offering full-time services in the tri-state area since 1997, with an emphasis on quality customer care. She is licensed in Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Contact her at 240-707-3200 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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