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Staging a Home

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When you’re considering selling your home, there are likely a number of questions running through your head. How soon should you list the house? What’s a good asking price? These, and other, questions are important to think about, but one that you may not have thought of it is, “How do I make my home the most appealing to a potential buyer?”

At Coldwell Banker Preferred, Realtors® in Bakersfield, we can help you get your home ready to sell by staging each room appropriately.

While cleaning, organizing, and updating your house can help it sell more quickly, staging it can actually help it sell for a higher price than what you may have originally thought. Contact us now to learn more!

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Basically, staging your home involves arranging and decorating each space so that its best assets are easy to see. For example, in the master bedroom, if you want a potential buyer to see how much space the room has, you can move some piece of furniture out of the room and into storage, while rearranging the remaining pieces to showcase the square footage.

Staging also involves decluttering and depersonalizing your home, which we’ll cover on this page as we go through each room. You may also want to replace your furniture or appliances with newer models, and we can help you find the right options while staging each room.

The Living Room

The living room, family room, or great room — whatever you may call it — is usually the largest space within a home. It’s where you and your family gather to spend time together, watching TV, playing games, and other activities. As you’re staging your home, you don’t want this room to look too “lived-in,” and it can be beneficial to put things like board games and video games away before showing the house. 

You’ll also want to make sure the furniture is the right size for the space and that the room doesn’t feel too crowded. If your current arrangement has all the couches and chairs facing the TV, consider moving things around so that the room feels more open and spacious. You may need to take any old furniture out of the room and replace it with newer, more-appealing pieces, at least while the house is on the market.

The Kitchen

Many people looking to buy a home have the kitchen at the top of their list. They want an open, inviting kitchen where they can see themselves making delicious meals and entertaining friends and family. When it comes to staging your kitchen, make sure you show off the counter space, the lighting, and the appliances. Take the blender, the toaster, and anything else off of the counter so that the buyer can see how much countertop space there is. If you have newer appliances, make sure they’re clean and devoid of spots or smudges. For staging purposes, you can move the old appliances out and put new ones in while the house is being shown over the course of a few weeks.

You’ll also want to make sure the cupboards, cabinets, and pantry aren’t filled to the brim. This is a part of the decluttering and depersonalizing process — an interested buyer is going to want to see how much storage space the kitchen has, so if your cabinets are full of dishes and cups, consider packing some things up before the house is put on the market.

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The Bedrooms

The bedrooms are your personal space, where you can relax and feel at ease whenever you need. They can also be where you’re a little less than tidy, since no one but you usually sees the room. As you’re staging your home, make sure everything is put away where it needs to go, including clothes and shoes. As with the kitchen and its storage spaces, you don’t want your bedroom closets to be filled with stuff, so make sure you store excess items elsewhere for the time being.

As for furniture, it can be beneficial to rearrange the room so it’s easy to navigate and appears more spacious. You might need to move a dresser or wardrobe out of the room to show off the wall color or to showcase how much natural light the space gets. You’ll also want to make sure the bedroom carpets are clean and free of odors, since these rooms are high-traffic, personal areas.

The Bathrooms

The bathrooms in your home can be challenging to stage, since they are often fairly small rooms. You can focus on the master bathroom, as that will be the one in which most buyers will be interested. You’ll want to make sure the bathroom is clean and organized, and that any personal items such as medications and health and beauty products are removed. You can replace any burned-out light bulbs and check that each light fixture is working, and even replace any old or outdated lights that may not appeal to a potential buyer.

As for the shower and bathtub, make sure the curtain and walls are clean and clear of any debris, and check the caulking around the tub or shower surround. Anything that an interested buyer can see as more work that has to be done before or after they purchase your home can turn them off to making an offer.

The Dining Room

You may not use your dining room on a regular basis, but that doesn’t mean the next person to own the house won’t. If the wallpaper or paint color in the dining room hasn’t been updated in several years, it can be worth it to replace it with a new pattern or hue. This will take some work, but it can make the room much more appealing when you’re done.

If the dining room table seems a bit too big or too small for the space, consider replacing it with a different table while the home is being shown. If the room is long and narrow, and you have an oval or round dining table, move your table out and a longer, more modern table in. You’ll also want to make sure the chandelier above the table fits the space, both in style and size. We can offer recommendations on updating your lights so that they appeal to a wide range of potential buyers.

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The Home Office

With more people working from home these days, many who are looking to buy a home want the house to have a dedicated workspace. If you’ve turned the spare bedroom into a home office, then take the time to stage the space so it appeals to any one who works from home on a regular basis. Position the desk so that it is well-lit and easy to get to, and arrange the rest of the furniture in the room so that it makes the space feel comfortable, yet functional.

The home office has a defined purpose — to be a space where one can be productive — so make sure this comes across in how the room is arranged. Put away all of the clutter such as files and loose papers, and perhaps even update the decor on the walls and the bookshelves. You’ll want to take down any personal photos and effects so that a buyer can see themselves working in the room, surrounded by the things they like.

The Front Entry

Anyone viewing your home is going to form their first impression of the property from the exterior of the house. This is where curb appeal is so important, and you can learn more about that on our Selling a Home page. Once the person has seen the exterior, however, they’re going to enter through the front door. This means that the front entry needs to be clear of clutter and personal effects, so that as they step through the door, they can see how open the front of the house is, and hopefully form a good first impression of the interior of your home.

Each front entry is different, with some stretching to the second floor and a staircase to one side, while others have standard ceilings and lead to a hallway. No matter what size or shape your entryway is, you can stage it for success by making sure the space is well-lit, free of clutter, and very welcoming.

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The Backyard

There are those who, when buying a home, want to be sure that there’s plenty of outdoor space where they can rest and relax whenever they want. They’re interested in the inside of the house, but what they really want to see is the backyard. Is there a deck or patio where they can host family gatherings and neighborhood parties? It’s important to make sure your backyard spaces are clean and appealing, which can include moving hoses, putting things away, and setting up new furniture.

You might have a patio set with a table and chairs, and it’s important to assess if it will appeal to a possible buyer. You may be including the patio set with the house, so arranging it in the right away can sell someone on the fact that there is a great backyard space where they can relax on the weekends or entertain friends and family.

The Garage

The garage can be tricky to stage, since it’s where you likely store most of your stuff. It’s also where you park your cars, so there might be oil stains and other things on the garage floor, which can be unappealing to an interested buyer. Since your cars won’t be in the garage while the house is being shown, it can be beneficial to take the time to clean up any stains on the floor. You can also repaint or refinish the floor, making it look like new.

As for your shelves and racks of personal belongings, simply make sure that they’re aren’t things falling off or in danger of tipping over. Not only does this make the garage more appealing, it also prevents any potential injury to anyone who’s viewing your home. If you have wall or ceiling hooks for bike racks, make sure they’re being used, as they can show how clean and organized the garage can be.

The Finishing Touches

Once the floors and carpets have been cleaned, the furniture has been rearranged, and the rooms have been decluttered and depersonalized, you can put the finishing touches on each space. Our team can help you with things like flowers and decor, providing the perfect accents to every room. You might be working with an interior designer or decorator to help you find just the right touches, and we can provide recommendations on how to make every room appealing.

At Coldwell Banker Preferred, Realtors®, it is our mission to help you sell your home at the right price and to the right buyer. Staging your home properly can go a long way in attracting potential buyers, and whether you take on everything yourself or hire a professional to spruce up each room, you can rest assured that the effort that is put in can provide a positive return on investment. As your real estate agent, we’ll be there every step of the way to help you get your home ready to sell. If you have any questions about staging or preparing your home, we’ll be ready with the answers.

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