So what do you do when your broker informs you that he would like you to start blogging for the company? Well, when you’re a woman who doesn’t post anything but pictures of momentous occasions on Facebook periodically, you panic slightly. Putting things out there for the internet community to critique seriously takes me out of my comfort zone. So, the wheels start to spin. What shall I blog about? Well, I decide my first real estate-related blog has to at least be about something that is near and dear to my heart – Staging a home. That’s right, people. It can never be stated often enough. A clean, neat home will always give you the edge in a competitive real estate market.

Okay, so I have my topic. I am ready to blog. I am slightly amused by the irony of me giving advice on removing the clutter from your home when I have the closet of shame in my master bedroom. My inner voice tells me I am a hypocrite. I justify my actions by telling myself my schedule is full. I have no spare time to clean my closet prior to giving this blog to my broker. More importantly, I will follow my own advice someday when I go to sell.

These tips are taken from various experts in the real estate business. Let’s get started.

1. Curb appeal. Curb appeal lures the buyer into your home. So please, make this a priority when you are selling your house. It’s the buyer’s first impression of your home. You want them to be excited to see what’s inside. So, where do you begin? If the exterior of the home, sidewalks and driveway are heavily soiled, consider renting a pressure washer. It is amazing the difference it can make in the way your home looks. It can take years off its appearance. Mow the lawn, make sure the driveway and sidewalks are free of clutter and debris and manicure the landscape. Fresh mulch is inexpensive and covers a multitude of sins. The finishing touch, if the climate is warm, flowers add great color and make a home look more inviting.

2. Pack away personal items. Packing away personal items is one of the simplest and cheapest things you can do to help get your house sold. The reason you want to depersonalize your home is so the buyer is able to visualize it as their potential home.

The goal is that you want your house to show like a model home. In addition to attracting the buyer, you want the buyer’s agent to enjoy showing the home. The idea is that even if this particular buyer is not interested, the agent may have another customer that is a good match.

3. Remove clutter. Removing clutter is another easy way to get buyers to focus on the bones of the home. This is the hardest thing for most people to do because they are emotionally attached to everything in the house. After years of living in the same home, clutter collects in such a way that may not be evident to the homeowner. However, it does affect the way buyers see the home even if you do not realize it. Clutter collects on shelves and countertops, and in drawers (I’m guilty), closets (so guilty), garages (oh my, very guilty), attics (I can’t even talk about it) and basements (Oh, thank goodness, I finally found something I’m not guilty of).

It is suggested that you put your personal belongings in boxes and neatly stack them in the corner of the garage. This is actually funny to me. I don’t have a square inch of space in my garage. It’s okay. The experts have a solution. Rent a small storage unit if necessary.

4. Arrange and neutralize rooms. Arrange the rooms to reel in prospective buyers. Each room should have a distinct, useful purpose. Consider touring builder’s model homes to see how the rooms are furnished. You can get some great ideas for your house by doing this since interior design experts prepare model homes to entice prospective buyers.

Sellers who paint the interior of their home will see a large return on their investment. Buyers love fresh, neutral paint on the walls. It makes everything appear clean and new.

5. Clean and Deodorize. People this is huge! If you follow no other advice offered, please clean your home! No one wants to look at a dirty, smelly home – especially not prospective buyers. This is so important – cleaning and deodorizing a home should be a priority.

The goal is to help buyers envision themselves living in the home. When buyers see an unkempt home or smell something when they first walk in, they become turned off immediately. If they cannot handle the unpleasant odor or see past the dirt, chances are they will miss out on all the great features in the house. If you don’t like to clean or are limited on time, hire a professional cleaning company. It is well worth the investment.

So, I think these are some of the best tips out there for getting your home ready to sell. Good luck and happy cleaning! I am off to stare at my closet of shame. Will I find the motivation to take on the daunting task of decluttering and organizing the disastrous mess? It’s possible, but most likely will not happen today.

Are you ready to list your home but need some staging advice? Call us at 412 884 4900. We’ll pull the comparable houses and we can walk through your home together and get it ready to sell.

*Excerpts taken from an article written by Melissa Neiman –

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