Guest article by Alexis Craig – Mocha Homes. There are a lot of benefits to staging a home — it sells faster and for more money — but if we’re going to be honest, a perfectly staged home isn’t a practical home. Meaning, a perfectly staged home is impossible to live in, especially with children. You’d have to keep everything organized and clean all of the time.
There is a lot of outdated real estate advice about the details of how to stage your home. For most of us, the advice is too much. You hear them say things like, “Paint your walls white, clean your windows, and make sure to put throw pillows on your beds.”
While all of this is true and will help you sell your home for more, it’s just not really possible. Most of us just want to sell our home in a good time frame and for a fair amount so that we can move on to the next chapter.
Three Tips to Stage Your Home if You Have Kids
Today, I’m going to share with you the three tips for how to stage your home with kids. These tips will get you good results — sell faster and for more — while keeping your sanity.
Tip #1: Don’t Get the Kids Involved
Trying to get your kids involved in staging and cleaning the home usually isn’t a good idea unless what you’re asking them to do is a regular part of their chore list. You shouldn’t expect them to start cleaning their room, making their bed, putting the dishes in the dishwasher if they aren’t already doing it. If you feel the need to get your kids involved, only add one extra chore.
Tip #2: Stage the Kitchen to Perfection
When selling a home, the kitchen can make or break a sale. You get the kitchen right and a lot of other aspects of the house will be forgiven. That’s how important the kitchen is.
I’ve heard so many buyers justify buying a home based on the kitchen. It usually goes something like this:
Husband: “I can’t stand that wallpaper. It would be a project to rip all of the wallpaper off and repaint all of the bedrooms. It’s quite a bit of work.”
Wife: “Yeah, but that kitchen…”
Husband: “Yeah, you’re right. That is a really nice kitchen. But I don’t really like the yard. It seems kinda small. I want to be able to grill every weekend.”
Wife: “But the kitchen is just so nice…”
Focus on this one room and you will dramatically improve the perceived value of your home, which will allow you to sell it faster and for more money.
Here’s my quick checklist for staging your kitchen. I even put it in order of importance.
- Clear the counters. Buyers aren’t very visual. You have to show them how much counter space is available by getting rid of all of the items on the counter.
- Organize the Drawers and Cabinets. Buyers want to see that there is enough space in the home for their cooking utensils and food storage needs.
- Sweep and Mop the Floors. It just looks nice and will give a nice odor to the kitchen.
- Clean the Appliances.
- Freshen Up the Kitchen. Make the kitchen look and smell fresh by putting a vase of purple tulips on the counters, a bowl with three bananas, two oranges, and an apple, and add a Febreze air freshener.
- Wipe the Windows. A clean window will add more natural light to the kitchen which buyers will like.
Just focusing on these six tasks will take you a long way. If you don’t have time to do this yourself, consider hiring a cleaning company.
Tip #3: Create More Storage Space
A good fraction of people who are looking for a new house are doing so because they have outgrown their previous home. They are looking for a home that is larger and has more storage space.
As a society that cares about their stuff, having enough storage space is important to many homeowners. Since buyers may not be visual, you’ll have to show them how much storage space is available in your house by organizing and cleaning out your closets and drawers.
Buyers will notice the clutter, even if you have become accustomed to it.
You shouldn’t keep your closets more than 75% full. Ideally, you should keep them around 50% full. Or is it 50% empty? Either way, anything more than 75% is too cluttered.
I know cleaning and organizing drawers isn’t easy. Some suggestions for decluttering your closets include donating some of your stuff, putting it in a storage unit, or storing it at a family member’s house. For example, when my grandma was moving she was able to store some of her belongings in a friend’s heated pole barn.
If you have to use a storage company, here are some numbers to some national storage companies.
- Public Storage: 1-800-507-9508
- Self Storage: 1-844-611-1539
- Sparefoot: 1-844-611-1436
For most of us, focusing on the kitchen and creating storage space is enough for staging a home with kids. Of course you’ll want to keep the rest of the home clean, but there is no need to stage the home to perfection unless you value selling your house for top dollar over the work that would be required.
Author: Alexis Craig – Mocha Homes
A Guest Article.
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