Don Rowe
Don Rowe Realtor/Broker
  • (502) 314-0522 (c)

Home Staging Basics

There are some very basic and effective home staging strategies that buyers agents tell me are very successful.  I have been a Realtor for over 30 years and these strategies work 100% of the time.  I will keep adding to this list, but here are some of the most important:

1. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Before you hire me, or any realtor in Louisville, begin with taking care of the obvious. Make sure all the lights work, the plumbing, basement and hot water heater are not leaking and for heaven's sake fix the holes in the wall. You would be shocked at how many people rely on their home to "sell itself" or have gotten so used to the leaks and holes that they think they are no big deal.  They are a big deal!  Those are the things that should be taken care of before anyone even considers staging.

2. De-clutter.  Any little knicknack, picture or collectable needs to be removed, especially in the kitchen and bathroom!  What looks organized to you might look like the home of a pack rat to others.  Everything gets cleaned off of the kitchen counter, EVERYTHING.  A bowl of fresh fruit or a fresh bouquet of flowers is fine, but rule number one in home staging is to de-clutter to the point where your home looks sparsely decorated.  Buyers agents love this look.

3. Clean out all closets and drawers.  Do not assume buyers are not going to open your closets and pantry, they will, 100% of the time. They are nosy. According to the buyers agents we speak with, about 80%-90% of buyers are looking for storage space for their junk (stuff). Storage space is a big deal in Louisville or anywhere else. When you move, you are going to have to pack up everything in closets and drawers, so why not get a head start.  Anything that is not a necessity in the next 60-90 days gets packed up and moved into storage, NOT the garage.

Invest in a closet storage system, it will be money well spent.  Vacuum drawers and put new liners in them. Keep your pantry as sparse as possible, and paint the inside of your closets and pantry. Closets take a beating, and a new coat of paint will take about 30-40 minutes in most closets and pantries. 

4. Focus on the basement.  First of all fix any leaks or areas that are damp. This is where people are going to store their belongings, so it is critical that it looks and feels a certain way. Hire a good waterproofing company to eliminate dampness. Then put in a radon pump.  This will cost $1,000 but every bank is going to require a radon test, so put in a pump and be proactive. A failed radon test will delay closing and end up being more expensive because it will have to be installed ASAP. 

Most of the time the basement is a place to store things that are rarely or never used.  Rent a storage space and clean out the basement. Poorly maintained and cluttered basements can leave a really bad overall impression on the entire house.

5. Just like the basement and closets, focus on the garage. Power wash it, paint it, de-clutter it and move everything but your lawnmower, weed eater and blower someplace else, (not the basement). You will be shocked at how much room you actually have when all the junk is gone.  I love a painted garage floor as well.  It is easy to clean and will eliminate dust.  Buyers agents love a freshly painted, cleaned out garage. 

Bookmark this page because it will constantly be updated with other strategies.  There are over fifty easy ideas that will make a world of difference.