Selling?  Stage your home first.

With so many homes up for sales these days in Edmonton it is hard to not only make the sale but get the price you want or need to get.  Often those selling their homes feel that it’s perfect just the way it is and if they’re comfortable living in it then everyone else will be too.  This just isn’t always true.  When people are searching for a new home they want to buy a place they can picture themselves living in.  If they walk through the door and can’t see themselves living there they won’t buy, just ask my wife if you don’t believe me.  Sellers need to make the house look and feel comfortable to as many people as possible.  One of the best ways to do this and keep the value of the house up is to stage it.

Once the house has been decluttered and the lawn cut and raked sellers tend to think they’ve done enough.  Usually they haven’t.  Here are a few things left to consider when staging or getting ready to sell.

One thing everyone will notice as soon as they walk through the door is the cleanliness of the place.  One of the great assets of a newly built home is that it is always neat and clean.  The pristine kitchens, the waxed and shining floor, the blindingly white carpets all catch the buyer’s eye.  Not all occupied, older homes look like a show home. They are lived in and they tend to look like it.  Having a clean fresh smelling home will sell itself.  Some homes have a distinctive smell to them.  A smell that the homeowner may not even be aware of.  Pets, cigarettes, air fresheners, perfume, food and a myriad of other things all lend a distinctive odor to a home.  Even though the homeowner doesn’t notice it, buyers walking through the front door certainly will.  Cleaning the home from top to bottom will help remove any lingering odors and make it look and feel clean.

MicroFiber Couch - Before

MicroFiber Couch – Before

MicroFiber Couch - After

MicroFiber Couch – After

Start with dusting.  Once you have de-cluttered, painted etc, start dusting.  Dust everything, picture frames, lamps, books, shelves; fridge tops, every surface you can think of.  Once you’ve dusted everything you want to keep the dust to a minimum.  To do this change your furnace filter and install filters in your floor vents.  Most home renovation stores carry filters for your vents, or if you want put a couple of dryer sheets in them to help trap the dust.

Along with dust comes pet hair.  A great many people are allergic to pet hairs, and too much hair or dander in the house may generate an allergic reaction.  People snuffling and sneezing as they tour the house are unlikely to feel comfortable.  If you have a cat or a dog you need to remove as much pet hair as possible.  Vacuum floors and furniture, and if that doesn’t work, try running a damp rag over the furniture to help pick up hairs.  The filters will help keep some of the pet hair and dander out of the air, but you will have to vacuum and clean on a regular basis.

Once everything else has been done, you need to have your carpets cleaned professionally, and you want to use an environmentally friendly cleaning company like EKO, to get the work done.  You want green not only to have your carpets looking their best but you want to remove any chemicals and odors left in the carpet.

Along with having the carpets cleaned, you need to have stains removed.  Those crayon marks from the grandkids, red wine stains from one of your wild parties, or perhaps wax from your Christmas candles.  All of those need to come out.  People won’t remember the colors of the walls, but they will remember the red wine stain in the middle of the living room floor.

If you have pets, invest in a black light.  Pet urine fluoresces under black light and you will be able to tell exactly where Fido has had an accident, and you will be able to mark it for your carpet cleaner.  Being able to find the exact spot where your pet has peed will help our technician not only eliminate the stain, but the smell as well.

This is also a good time to get your upholstery cleaned.  Again, if you have pets, you will want to have the pet hair removed from the furniture and any odors, nicotine, coffee etc that have impregnated the fabric cleaned up and removed.  Once the furniture has been cleaned, spread a blanket or sheet on it if the pet sleeps or sits there, that way you can remove the sheet, and the hair, when there is a showing.

Last but not least when staging and getting ready for tours of the house, you should consider having your mattresses cleaned.  Not only is it a good, healthy idea for your family to have the mattress cleaned but it will help keep the room smelling clean and fresh.

Remember not to take offence if the realtor asks you to de-clutter, repair or replace items, or wants you to clean your carpets and upholstery.  The more appealing your home is to others, the quicker it will sell.

Thanks for listening

owners