The Seller's Guide: Tips to Prep Your Home if You're Not Staging

I highly recommend choosing to stage your home vs. not, click here for more reasons why, but if you just can put up the funds to do so, there are things you can do to prepare your home for listing. Not only for taking photos, but you’ll want to maintain this state so it is available to show to prospective buyers on a moments notice. If your number one goal is to sell for top dollar in the shortest period of time, you’ll want to make sure your house appeals to the most buyers as possible. So if you’re not planning to stage, here are some ways in which you can prepare your home to ensure buyers find it appealing.

1. Remove all personal effects

To allow buyers to see themselves being able to live in your home, you want to make the space look as generic as possible, similar to how home design stores have laid out their spaces. Remove excessive family photos, one or two here and there are okay or if they’re apart of your design installation, store religious affiliated items, anything that can distract a buyer from seeing your home as their own.

2. Create a purpose for each room

This one is a big one and often looked over. If you have a room in your house that you store a desk, and workout machine, and a bed in, you may want to rethink that space. Give each room a designated purpose and have the furniture and decor reflect that. Store the exercise equipment elsewhere, and make the space a true guest room. Again, allowing buyers to see how they would integrate their furniture to the ideas you’ve already laid out.

3. De-clutter

This can be tough if you’re still living in the home, but do your best to remove as much as possible from surfaces, rooms and floors. For example in the kitchen, don’t have multiple appliances out on the counter, store papers and mail, and leave as much counter space free as possible.

4. Lighting is everything

A common want is lots of natural light, especially in Southern California since we have it so readily available to us. For pictures in particular (and your agent should advise on this as well), you’ll want to open all of the drapes, and ensure it is a bright sunny day. For the rest of the time, take down heavy drapery, fix any and all burned out light bulbs, and add as much brightness as you can. Dark and dreary is not appealing, and light and bright is cheery and inviting.

5. Clean

Put forth the funds to have the home deep cleaned before photos and do your best to maintain this at all times. It can be tough, especially if you have young kids or animals, but if your agent calls to schedule a showing, you don’t want to have to turn them away because the house is a mess, or worse, show it anyway to the prospective buyers. A dirty space is such a turn off and is very hard to look past.