Steps to Prep for Selling or Dwelling

This is my 15th year of my Staging business. Due to the pandemic, it’s difficult to focus and simple things like knowing what day it is becomes challenging. Happy anniversary to me.

The shutdown is temporary. Real Estate continues virtually. If your house is on the market and you took the time to prepare for sale, I always say, “Cream rises to the top”. Your house is at a great advantage.

If you have postponed entering the Real Estate market or if a house has been sitting on the market without any offers, this a good time to access and review. We may need to wait and ease into our new normal but there are many action steps to move forward. These staging tips can help your house look better, whether you plan on selling or not. Most only require sweat equity.

A person holding a bucket of cleaning supplies
Photos from: Metro Creative Connection

Clear the clutter

No better time to do regular purges to donate or trash things you no longer use or need. This step alone will make the house look and feel better.

Deep clean

There is a funny meme going around social media stating how having no time to clean the house was obviously not the excuse for not cleaning. Deep clean, not just the surfaces so that when you do list or eventually start entertaining again, you will just need to tidy up.

Lighten up

A lighter color paint palette is like hitting the refresh button. Dated, dreary wall colors are blah. Painting cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom and adding new knobs updates without the cost of remodeling.

Combining all of the above

By clearing out the clutter, going through cabinets to trash expired items and remove stuff you don’t use, you make room to shift from living in a cluttered environment to a more organized space. Items sitting on the countertop can move into cabinets.

Magazines for inspiration

Magazines tend to pile up due to lack of time. I started going through them, tearing out inspiration for the following: design ideas, local towns to visit for day trips and local restaurants to try. Whether you do this online or with a hard copy, create folders for inspiration to give yourself something to look forward to in the near future.

The Honey-Do/Handyman List

Start a punch of list of things that need to get done whether you do-it-yourself or to hire a professional. This will vary depending on if you are selling or dwelling. Some repairs are obvious: leaks, water damage, rusted areas, wall repairs, fixture updates or simple cosmetic updates like new switch plates. The list can be a few items or extensive depending on how well maintained the house is.

Learn from my staging clients who have said after following my instructions on preparing their house for sale, “We should have been living like this all along”. Whether getting your house market ready or doing it for yourself, enjoying your home now more than ever, has its own rewards. You deserve to love your home and have a potential buyer make that connection when it’s time to sell.

There will be more tips for Spring cleaning, home maintenance, places to donate your stuff in future columns. Got an idea? Please share.