Lights, Camera, Stage that House!

When getting ready to stage a house there are all sorts of things to consider. When is the best time to sell? What do I need to do to prepare my house for selling? How do I stage my house? These are all great questions to be asking and we have the answers for them.

The season you choose to sell your home in can have a big impact on your selling experience. When preparing to stage your home, keep the season you wish to do so in mind. The spring and summer months are the most active times for selling in the upper Midwest. While most people choose to sell during this time, there is more competition and buyers tend to have more time to make a decision on their future home. During the fall there are typically fewer houses for sale making it easier for your home to stand out. The buyer is typically more motivated to make a decision on which house to buy as well. Staging your house in the winter can help buyers find the right home before the holidays. But, make sure you have some outdoor pictures taken before these winter months to show what the landscape looks like without snow.

Once you have picked the season you wish to sell in, now it is time to begin staging your home! Take down your personal items, declutter your house and clean! Remember that this is the time to personally detach from your home. Your home isn’t perfect and now is the time to show off its best features and not your own memories created there. Pack up any personal items in the house which are not necessary for the showing; pack as if you will be moving in the next 30-45 days. This may require renting a storage unit or simply moving the items to another location while showing the home.

Paint! Painting the home helps in two major ways; it forces the you to remove personal items and decorations from the walls as well urges the you to clean the walls. Dirt and dust will need to be removed before the painting so a fresh coat of new paint helps clean the walls and makes them look good as new! While the inside of the house will be looking great, it is just as important for the outside of the house to look great as well. Make sure the exterior of the home is ready to sell! This adds to curb appeal as the outside is the first impression the house will make on a potential buyer. Clean the siding, have the windows sparkling and make sure the lawn is properly cared for. Think about the impression the outside of a house leaves on you when driving past; this is no different for a buyer!

Professional photography for showing the home on websites may be a bit pricey, but it is worth the extra penny. The quality of the pictures potential buyers see online will help determine their level of interest in buying. The better the picture, the more intrigued the buyer will be. A professional photographer also has tips for enhancing the picture and getting the perfect angle. Remember to have the windows open bringing in natural light. This will help with your pictures as well as the actual showing of the house. A little natural light goes a long way! Along with hiring a professional photographer, it is important to hire a qualified home inspector. A pre-inspection of the house gives the seller an opportunity to find any items that need repairs or replacements before the house goes on the market. It is these repairs or replacements which may be the difference between a sale and a lost opportunity. So again, spending the extra dollar will help in the end!

Staging a house is both exciting and stressful. So many little details go into this step of the selling process that are easy to overlook. Follow these tips for staging your home and you will be that much closer to selling your house!

Mary Jo Bowe is a realtor at Edina Realty, a member of the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association. Blog articles are often submitted by members of the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association. For more information, please call 715-835-2526 or email

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