Use this checklist to stage your home

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You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression; most buyers make an initial decision within 15 seconds of seeing a property. That’s why homes that are staged before going on the market sell 73% faster, on average than their non-staged counterparts, according to the Real Estate Staging Association.

Here’s how to stage your home to earn a return.


Enhance your curb appeal

  • Make sure exterior of your home is in pristine condition – freshly painted, cleared of clutter, with no visible repairs needed. A broken step, overgrown bush, or abandoned toys in the yard can spoil the appearance and your buyer’s first impression.Curb appeal is important because it sets the tone for what the buyer is going to see inside. If the buyer likes the exterior, he or she will be predisposed to also like the interior and you’re that much closer to selling your home. To see what needs to be done to sell your home faster and for a higher price, go outside, stand on the curb and try to look at your home the way the buyer will.
  • Walkways/driveways - Make sure walkways are clear of snow, weeds, or debris. Repair or replace cracked steps or pavers. Driveways should also be clear of vehicles, toys and debris. Park cars in the garage.
  • Landscaping - Keep your lawn mowed, edged and watered. Prune dead branches and plants. Weed flower beds and replace leggy, thin landscaping with fresh plants and flowers.
  • Exterior - Replace loose or damaged roof shingles, clean the gutters, and paint and caulk window trim and doors. Repaint the front door an eye-catching color that complements the rest of the exterior. Replace broken windows.
  • Entry - Power wash siding, brick, windows, and porches. Paint or replace furniture such as rocking chairs or porch swings. Replace mailboxes, light fixtures, door knobs or any other fixture that looks less than fresh. Put out a welcoming new floor mat.


Stage your home for showing

  • Eliminate clutter: not only is clutter unattractive, it’s time-consuming to sort through and expensive for you to move.
  • Keep, donate, throw away: go through your belongings and put them into one of these three baskets. You’ll receive more in tax benefits for your donations than pennies on the dollar at a garage sale.
  • Remove temptations: take valuable jewelry and collectibles to a safety deposit box, a safe, or store them in a secure location.
  • Remove breakables: figurines, china, crystal and other breakables should be packed and put away in the garage or storage.
  • Be hospitable: you want your home to look like a home. Stage it to show the possibilities, perhaps set the table, or put a throw on the chair by the fireplace with a bookmarked book on the table.
  • Have a family plan of action: sometimes showings aren’t convenient. You can always refuse a showing, but do you really want to? If you have a showing with little notice, get the family engaged. Everyone has a basket and picks up glasses, plates, newspapers, or anything left lying about.