Clean it up
An open house should be a clean house. Clean your home from top to bottom, and make sure all appliances are spotless. Steam-clean carpets and drapes, scrub kitchen and bathroom tiles, and wash floors, walls, windows, ceilings and trim.Clean around tubs and sinks, removing water stains.
This is also a good time to spray for bugs if you suspect you have an infestation.
Dispose and de-clutter
Potential buyers like to see lots of space when viewing a property. Get rid of anything that you don’t need by holding a yard sale, donating it, or tossing it.
Consider pulling up old carpets or removing area rugs if they’re covering hardwood floors. Hardwood floors are a big selling point for buyers.
Don’t forget to organize the basement and attic, and clear kitchen and bathroom countertops.
It pays to reorganize
Tidy up cabinets, and neatly store toys, books and knick-knacks to maximize space.Reorganize the closets and pack away some of your belongings. Storage room is a priority for buyers, and a full closet does a poor job of showcasing the amount of storage room available.
If you’ve been using a spare room for storage, put away the clutter and ensure the space is properly furnished. Limit the number of items stored on the closet floor or overhead.
De-personalize and detach your emotions
Remember, you’re about to sell this house, and the goal is to create a space that as many people as possible can envision as their home. To do that, you will have to remove many of your personal items. Avoid displaying photos, souvenirs, personal collections and medications.
Secure valuables, or consider storing them in a safety deposit box at the bank. Remove any items you're taking with you, such as chandeliers and mirrors.
Furnish empty houses and rooms
While creating the illusion of space is important for house staging, too much empty space can work against you. People buy homes, not houses. Empty rooms make it hard for buyers to get a good sense of the space: large rooms look cavernous, and small rooms look even smaller when empty. Oddly shaped rooms make it especially hard for buyers to visualize how to arrange furniture.
Staging your property with the right furniture is key to ensuring buyers can imagine living in the space, especially with smaller units like condos. Arrange your furniture to make rooms appear as spacious as possible.
Kick up the curb appeal
Staging should start at the curb. If you haven’t already, get your lawn, porch or entryway looking pristine. Apply a fresh coat of paint to doors, shutters and siding if possible, and plant or display colourful flowers. The more inviting the outside of your home, the more excited people will be to see the inside. Click here for more curb appeal tips.
To find out the best ways to get your particular home staged, take our Home Staging Quiz. It’s a quick, fun quiz that will analyze your homeownership style and give you personalized advice on how to ensure your property appeals to more potential buyers.
Print our Home Staging Checklist to ensure everything to do with your property is buyer-ready.