How to stage your apartment for sale

A few tips everyone should know already about "decorating to sell" also known as staging, that only a few people follow when they put their place on the market.
I will give you some examples of wrong and right way to present your house on Internet and you'll be stunned to know that all these images are from the current Vancouver list of apartments for sale
at an average price of $ 850,000 (all about 1,100 square feet and in comparable areas).

Dress down your house:
Think of the way you dress for an important meeting, a great suit, a beautiful necklace, stunning shoes, a colorful scarf, all within a simple color palette and compare it to your living room: a great sofa, beautiful pillows, stunning rug, a few colorful accessories all with a simple color palette.
Coco Chanel used to say to her clients to put on what they would wear to go out, along with the accessories and jewellery, and take one thing off before they leave.
The same should be done with your house when you put it on the market, but in a greater scale, edit ruthlessly and leave what's really important to greet your potential buyers when they first walk in the door.
Taking away some furniture, rugs, accessories will make the rest shine more and the place will look bigger and more spacious, that alone will add perceived value. Especially rugs cut up the floor space and make any room feel smaller.
Which of these three living rooms appeal more to you?
1) Grandma?

2) Ready to run away?
3) and 4)  Clean, uncluttered space but with some nice furniture (remember, everything can be rented with a minimum investment and it will give you a major return if you sell fast and at the right price).

Emotionally detach from it:
You already made the decision to sell and hopefully soon it will not be your house anymore, so why wait? The sooner you feel detached, the better, in fact it should be treated as any products for sale, being a dress, a tomato, a car.

Make it shine:
Talking about cars, why do people spend so much time in detailing their car for sale, making it shining and forget to clean thoroughly the stove, the fridge, put down the toilet seat and turn on every single light when they have an open house?
Which kitchen will close a sale faster?
1) the one with that odd foil on the wall and dim lights?

2) and 3) or these neat ones?

Minimize your personality:
When you sell your personality and private life should not be obvious, and clutter should be eliminated, so if you really don't want to get rid of most of your possessions, since hopefully you'll be moving soon to another place, start packing as much as you can and put in storage what you don't need every day. It will be easier to move and it will create more space around your house. Keep only some pieces you love on display and group them to create impact and do the same for plants, group them in a corner to create interest, it will also be easier to water them at once.
I said minimize, right? Which will be the winner?
1) Too empty?
2) A lonely chair?

3) The one with personal items on every chair?

4) Or a serene, elegant room?  Pictures 3 and 4 have each a round table, some chairs, drapes and not much more. It shows that with little effort you can have a better impact on potential buyers.

A more simple Interior decoration will appeal to a larger group of people, then when you sell and move to your new place you will enjoy in having all your belongings again and decorate as you like!
1) Too simple?

2) Just right? Furniture and accessories can be totally different, I am talking about a visual experience.

Very important touches:
Please...put away all your personal hygiene products in the bathroom and please... put down the toilet seat!

This  bathroom  presents itself right, no clutter, no personal items, only a beautiful flowered plant and neatly folded white towels.

Please... buy a new bedspread if you don't have a nice one! and turn on the light for the photographer.

And make the bed! Is it so difficult to make a nice bed at least once for the real estate photographs? What is hidden behind the drapes? Would it be possible to put away those tiny pieces of furniture that make the room look smaller?Could we center the paintings on the bed? Could we lower it?
Rearrange the items on the small table?

Now we are talking! A similar effect can be achieved on a budget in a few hours with a simple bedspread, a few pillows and inexpensive framed art on the wall.

As I said all the above pictures (the good and the bad, the ugly and the beautiful) belong to different apartments currently for sale in Vancouver, same square footage, similar neighbors, all priced from $ 800,000 to $ 900,000! Not inexpensive as you can tell, and yet some owners did not want to spend a few hours and a few hundred dollars to make their place more appealing. Congratulations to the others who most probably will be able to have many visitors and sell faster without lowering the price!

Internet search:
It is worth remembering that gone are the days when we drove in circles to look at houses for sale...with the power of Internet buyers search online, from home, they make a first selection and only after they call an agent to make an appointment.
Last tip: great real estate photography to show on Internert is an absolute must.
More tips on Real estate photography subject to follow soon.

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Write by: A-Efendy - Thursday, September 9, 2010

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