As much as we all may love our homes, when it comes time to sell, very few of us can put that beloved house or condo on the market as is. It will need to be tidied, decluttered, and updated. If preparing your home for staging, take that tidying, decluttering and updating that you were planning to do and multiply it all times 5. Trust us!
Don’t take it personally, but please know from the start that the stager already hates your décor. She or he hates your paint colours, your art, your choice of throw pillows, and definitely your window treatments. Even if you live the HGTV life 24/7, your stager is going to be that one person who absolutely abhors your homage to Joanna Gains.
More than anything else, your stager cannot stand your clutter and collection of things. Again, don’t take it personally. They’re just doing their job. The idea is to turn your home into a blank canvass, so that potential buyers can easily picture themselves living there.
As you get down to the business of prepping your home for staging, you’ll discover that you’re going to need some professional help. Here are some of the services that you may find indispensable.
1. Self Storage
Even after a few rounds of brutal decluttering, you’re going to have too much stuff to store in your home. Remember, every closet and corner of your basement will likely be inspected by potential buyers. This means you’ll need to keep things as clutter free as you can.
Most larger towns and cities have a few self storage facilities to choose from. Find one that’s convenient to get to, and offers 24/7 accessibility. Make sure that it’s always well-lit, climate controlled, and secure.
The beauty of self storage lockers is that they come in different sizes. So, if you just need a place to keep your holiday décor and a box or two, you can rent a smaller locker. Alternatively, you can also find lockers that are large enough to store the belongings of a large house.
2. Junk Removal
Imagine this –you’ve just had a garage sale, but you have several large pieces left, and not even the magical curb fairies (you know you’ve experienced this) have absconded with that old dresser and couch you’d left out for them overnight. Now you have a mess out on your curb, the stager and photographer are due in a few days, and garbage pickup won’t be for another week.
If you don’t have a large truck, or access to one, along with some able-bodied friends to help you load and unload your junk, you’re going to need to call a junk removal service.
There are several junk removal companies out there. Some are widely known franchises, and some are part-timers with a truck and a handwritten ad taped to a bus shelter. Both may be competent, professional, and friendly. However, if you need someone to come into your home to remove old furniture or appliances, you need to go with an insured junk removal company.
Unless the paint in your home is already neutral, your stager will ask you to repaint. Even if you love your cheery, yellow kitchen, your stager does not! Are you proud of the papered feature wall in your powder room? Your stager thinks it’s awful.
In all seriousness, you really want to make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to envision themselves living in your home. Creating a neutral colour palette helps that happen.
Yes, you could take on the painting yourself. However, if you have other updates to make, small children to chase, a demanding job, or all of the above (especially if it’s all of the above), the absolute best thing you can do for your relationship and your stress level is to hire a painter.
4. Cleaning Service
Whether you’re having your home professionally staged or not, hiring a cleaning services prior to putting your house on the market is always a good idea. Let a pro come in and give your home a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning. They can take care of every last cobweb, baseboard, dust bunny and smudge. Some will even clean out the fridge and pantry for you.
Pro Tip: Your stager or realtor probably has a network of painters, cleaners, driveway pavers, and other pros who can come in at short notice when you’re preparing your home for staging. Just ask them!
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