If you choose to stage your own Property, use these tips to make your house as presentable as possible.
Give the home curb appeal by planting blooming flowers and fresh greenery. Get new doormats and flags to freshen up the front entrance and remove empty planters. Hang easy-to-read house numbers. Wash front windows. Use broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames. Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions, should be fresh, not faded. Mow the lawn and keep the hedges trimmed. Power wash siding and walkways. If the paint is chipped, consider repainting. Clear out kid's toys, balls, frisbees, etc. Clean pool, remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose and hide pool cleaning supplies. Turn on pool fountains/water features and remove visible water hoses. Remove trash cans, toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc. Close garage doors and remove cars from driveway and front of home. Cars can be stored in garage which is usually not photographed.
Remove all cosmetic and toiletry items, all counter must be clutter free. Get rid of mold. Almost every bathroom contains some form of mold, especially in corners. Remove the covers from light fixtures and exhaust fan, wash, dry and replace. Use Lime-A-Way or a similar product to remove soap grime and calcium residue from shower doors. Fix leaky or dripping faucets. If cabinet hardware is weathered, replace knobs and pulls. Remember your tub and showers will be photographed so put away all personal items. Put out items like rolled-up towels, decorative baskets, candles, vase of flowers on the bathroom counter beside the sink. Create a spa like effect with a robe hanging on the door and fluffy bathroom towels hanging on the racks.
Scrub the baseboards, floors and vacuum the corners. Polish chrome fixtures, dust ceiling fans and replace burned-out light bulbs on the stove. Wipe down all the cabinets and polish the hardware. Pull off the stove knobs and polish them. Remove all cleaning products and sponges from the sink counter. Clean the kitchen windows, inside and out. If you have heavy window coverings consider removing them or be sure window coverings are completely open. Organize the pantry by paring back the contents until you have some open space on each shelf. Organize what’s left into a groupings of similar items. Remove magnets, photos or notes attached to the refrigerator. Leave nothing on the counters but a cookbook, fruit or decorative items. Leave one to two appliances and remove the rest. Remember the more space allows the buyer to visualize placement of their items. If you have a garbage can that is not hidden remove from the room. Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring.
There should be nothing on the floor other than furniture and nothing on any of the furniture surfaces. The bed should be the focal point of the room, so don't be afraid to dress it up. Make all beds and include decorative pillows/shams. Press bed linens and bed skirts. Clean under bed removing items that may show in the photos. Clear nightstands of all personal items and remove all clutter from top of dressers. This includes removing the television, family photographs, stuffed animals, phone/tablet charging cables, etc. Place a live potted plant in the room, such as a flower on the dresser or a tree in a corner. Remove family photos from walls and hang one or two art pieces on the walls. Open the blinds, window covering and the sheers for the most open view of the windows. Stage the closet and make sure it isn't too cluttered grouping hanging clothes by length and color. Aim to have 20 to 30 percent open space in each closet to give the impression of spaciousness. Place all shoes/jackets in closets.
Give all floors a thorough cleaning (and steam clean carpets), but consider having wood floors refinished if they are in poor shape. The dining room table should either have a place setting of dishes or a series of smaller vessels down the center of the table instead. Straighten all chairs and space them evenly and remove child seats/booster chairs.
LIVING ROOM / FAMILY ROOM
Accentuate built-ins by arranging neutral items in clusters, and remember not to fill each shelf leave open spaces, place books on a horizontal stacking in color coordinating as well in size. Make sure that no single accessory stands out too much by grouping them in threes and again by size. For maximum effect, group accessories by color, shape, texture or some other unifying element. The living room is a place for entertainment. There should be plenty of space for the family to gather. Make sure you have a clear traffic pattern, if need be remove some of the existing furniture. De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth with no more than 5 items, including artwork. Fluff and arrange furniture pillows.
Remove all pet items i.e. beds, toys, doggie bones anything related that shows you have animals. Place food and water bowls pet bed and toys in pantry or closet. Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair. Contain pets in hidden crate or outside and clear back yard of pet waste/toys. Many people do not like pets in the house so make your house pet neutral.
GENERAL RULES FOR EVERY ROOM
Thoroughly clean whole house. Vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean counter-tops and clean windows. De-clutter every room and remove any stacks of paperwork, magazines or piles of mail. Clear surfaces, floors, cupboards and closets so they look open. This equals more space in the eyes of potential buyers. Make sure you have three types of lighting: ambient (general or overhead), task (pendant, under-cabinet or reading) and accent (table and wall). Turn all ceiling fans OFF, all TVs OFF, all computer screens OFF. Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light. Remove all personal objects, clean up toys and take down any family pictures.