Many people are taking advantage of the hot real estate market to put their homes up for sale in the hope of attaining maximum value. One of the most popular strategies to sell their home quickly is home staging. Let’s discover how to stage your home.

But unless you take the correct steps to attract the right pool of buyers as quickly as possible, your home may become stagnant regarding a potential buyer’s interest level.

Home Staging – From Front to Back

To realize the maximum possible return on your investment, certain things need to be addressed before you place your home up for sale in today’s market. Unfortunately, too many people assume their home is suited to sell quickly but have not taken a sharp, critical eye towards specific things that would make their home much more appealing and marketable.

There is no better descriptive term in real estate sales than “curb appeal”, the initial perception of a home to someone who is seeing it for the first time. Curb appeal has been known to make, and break, a lot of home deals, and you need to pay attention to all the details.

If you have overgrown plants and trees, unkempt or dying lawn, a deteriorating paint job or a stained or cracked driveway, your home’s curb appeal drops significantly. It won’t matter if your house is stunning inside – the prospective buyers have already formed a negative opinion.

Investing a little time and elbow grease can realize big gains when putting your house up for sale.

Cracks in your pool deck or pool, a dilapidated pool cage or missing screens are also key things to address.

Inside the home, there are several things you can do to make it more appealing to a first-time prospective buyer. The objective here is to allow the person to envision themselves living in your home and encourage them to create a visual image of what they would do to make it their own.

Things like an unusual paint color in a large portion of the home or outdated or elaborate wallpaper may hinder the home’s marketability. While you may love the bright yellow kitchen, not all prospective buyers may feel the same.

A shiny gold wallpaper in the bathroom may have been in style 15 years ago, but a more neutral choice will increase the property’s overall appeal and does not require a lot of money or work.

Clutter is the Enemy

Home Staging Imagine your first impression walking into the home while having to step around kid’s bicycles and toys, piles of personal belongings or the cat’s favorite bed. You need to envision your own home like a stranger, more importantly a prospective buyer, will see it – and this can often be a difficult problem.

We’ve all seen the television shows on the home improvement channels where hidden cameras capture the initial reactions of people walking through a home about to be marketed for sale. Visitors often speak the hard truths about a home’s décor, lack of light and furniture placement that are a hard pill for the homeowners to swallow.

In fact, this type of honest feedback should serve as a wake up call, making the homeowner take the appropriate action to make their home much more appealing quickly and easily to a buyer.

Many prospective sellers will take this opportunity to undertake a complete spring cleaning, throwing out things they haven’t used in years.

You can even hire a small dumpster to be placed in your driveway so you can take your time and really go through all your household items and get rid of things that you no longer use, and that will make your home’s interior and garage much more attractive.

Personal items that may be special in your family can also be a little overwhelming to a first time visitor. Your collection of empty wine bottles along the top kitchen ledge or the 10 sofa pillows with motorcycle logos on them may not have the same appeal to a potential buyer as they do to you.

The key is to neutralize your décor and interior design to offer the widest appeal to the most people possible.

If any of your furniture – either because of size, location, or angle – creates a negative first reaction, you should consider either removing it altogether or rearranging it to make more sense for the space. Of course, if your couch appears too large for the room, you may not be able to move or get rid of it. But you may be able to remove or reposition some other piece of furniture, like the 30-year old, giant wooden bookshelves or that old futon that just takes up space.

Clean, Clean, and then Clean Again

Fewer things can turn off a buyer than a sink full of dirty dishes, unmade beds, or a greasy hood range. If you have stained carpet or tile, dirty windows or walls with unsightly dirt and marks, you may want to consider hiring a professional cleaning service to do a deep clean on the interior rooms.

Once that is done, always do your best to keep your home’s interior clean and tidy, because you may be at work or traveling when a REALTOR® wants to show your home.

Putting your home on the market can be a catalyst for you and your family to reduce the amount of clutter in your home, from extraneous items on shelves or tabletops to things on the wall in the kids’ rooms. But you’d be smart to consider what you end up doing with those items.

Family heirlooms and valuables can always be packed appropriately in preparation of moving to your next home but think long and hard about keeping and moving things that you really have no use for in the future.

There are many professional home staging companies available here in Naples and Fort Myers to come in and show you a plan for staging your home successfully and to get the biggest bang for your buck in today’s real estate market. But many times, a critical eye and achievable action plan can make a huge difference in whether your home sells quickly or languishes on the market for months.