Foreclosures and high maintenance costs mean that new homes go up for sale faster than you can say "down market." And what is great for buyers -; more homes to choose from -; means that sellers need to distinguish their properties from the rest of the crowd.
Home staging, or temporarily redesigning a home to appeal to buyers, can give homeowners an edge in an overcrowded market. Staged homes look bigger, newer and warmer. They invite buyers to see themselves living in the home.
Staging projects include inexpensive tasks, from rearranging furniture, to renting contemporary living room sets. Here are some tips for staging homes:
- Declutter. When buyers see overcrowded book shelves and wrinkled towels, they focus more on the dingy details than the architecture. But staging means more than a through cleaning -; sellers should also remove personal items, like family photographs. Buyers should picture their families living in the home, not yours.
- Make things look new. A little paint can go a long way. Light colors make rooms look larger and brighter, so use them to make your home appear spacious. Wooden floors and cabinetry make big impressions, so make sure that they shine. If any wood looks dry or dirty, apply an orange oil for a quick restoration job. Touch of Oranges
Wood Cleaner and Restorer
(www.TouchOfOranges.com) hides small scratches and removes build-up, fingerprints and grease from cabinetry, wood floors and fixtures.
Hard water stains on glass shower doors and windows look unattractive, so remove them with a specialized product like CLR, Lime Away or Bring It On Cleaner (www.BringItOnCleaner.com), which uses oxygen bleach to clean minerals from glass and tile. Some hard water stains will often yield to scrubbing with white vinegar and a non-scratch pad. If you find that vinegar is ineffective, a paint scraper or razor blade can be used to remove the bonded stains before resorting to harsher chemicals.
- Add small details. In the kitchen, bowls filled with fresh fruit create an attractive, colorful eyepiece. Place vases filled with fresh flowers in the bedrooms and dining room. Put candles in the bathroom. Small touches make homes feel more inviting.