Staging a House to Live in, for People with Great Expectations

Miss Havisham's house in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations lay untended in decay; stuck in the memories of the past.  Today's buyer is educated, savvy, hurried, and often cash poor and unskilled in home repairs. They are looking for a house that they can move into and live at with minimal effort and cash outlay. 

Here are buyers' great expectations, which may require some staging:

1. No cobwebs or dust.  Would you want to buy a dirty, smelly house? Probably not, so it is important to take out all garbage, clear out any food that has gone bad, scrub to make your home smell fresh and clean with out it being too scented and overpowering.

2. Project completion. Nothing will scare away potential buyers quite like a bunch of unfinished projects that they either have to finish themselves or hire someone else to do the job. Try to complete projects before selling your home, if there are interior upgrades it will add to the value of the home and you will walk away a little bit richer.

3. Seeing themselves live in the home.  It is said that a buyer will make up their mind within minutes of viewing a home. Making that first impression as important for your home as it is for you. Have a home stager organize your furniture so that potential buyers can envision where their own furniture will fit in that space. Pack away the wedding pictures. Leave some room for them to imagine their belongings in the home by removing family heirlooms and personal d├ęcor and just keeping it simple. 

4. A throne fit for a king or queen.  People spend a lot of time in their bathrooms. Often the kitchen and master bath can be main selling features of a home. Keep it clean and smelling good, give it a calm spa-like feel so that they will relax when they are in it.

5. A low maintenance, tidy outdoor living space.  Adding colorful plants and keeping your lawn looking good will be an asset to your home's selling features. Keep your shrubs pruned and your yard looking tidy. A nice patio and yard can sometimes be the deciding factor to potential buyers.

6. Up to date fittings and fixtures. Don't stay stuck in the past.  Quality, up to date products in your home can only benefit its selling ability. Upgrading countertops, paint, flooring and trim will make it appear new and current. It will appear to the potential buyer that the property has been well maintained and is ready to move into.

7. Space for all your petticoats. Recent surveys have shown that closets are a big plus to potential home buyers. Some even said that they would be willing to pay extra just for a nice, spacious closet. The same rules that apply to other rooms in your home apply to closets. Keep them a light color, neat and tidy and get rid of old things that are making the closet look crammed and smaller than they really are.
8. A breath of fresh air.  Rooms that are open and clutter free breathe life into your house.  This adds to the bright, open feeling that potential buyers look for.  Furniture should be to scale and not placed in the way of any traffic areas. A fresh plant or greenery will make it a more attractive space.

Following these tips will gain the highest accolades from those buyers with great expectations.  With these eight tips combined, you are better prepared to have a quick sale and get the best offer for your home.



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