10 Tips for Military Families to Stage Their Home Like a Pro
by PCSgrades Staff - May 10th, 2022
There are many ways to get your house ready to show on the market. Check out any of those shows where they flip houses on HGTV and you’ll learn that there are definite do’s and don’ts when it comes to home staging. Most military or veteran families can not afford a professional stager, but they are often in a situation where they need to sell, rent, or move quickly, so it's important for their home to show well to prospective buyers. We’ve put together some staging basics to help you get your house sold.
1. Decluttering is part of staging your home
I know it seems like a no-brainer, but you would be amazed at the clutter that you don’t notice because you are used to it. One time, I was appalled when looking at pictures taken of my family in front of the living room fireplace. It looked fine in person decorated with family photos, some candles, and a little greenery. In the photo, it looked like a jumbled mess, but I had just gotten used to seeing it every day. Decluttering makes any room look more spacious and inviting.
2. Put everything away!
This means clear all flat surfaces to include counter tops, bars, and tables. If you typically leave your keys on a table or cabinet in the front hallway, place them in a drawer instead. Newspapers kept in a basket next to your reading chair should go into the recycling bin immediately after reading. Clearing all the miscellaneous stuff off of your flat surfaces will create a light and airy feeling.
3. De-personalize the space for buyers
This doesn’t mean put away every single family photo, but you want potential buyers/renters to be able to visualize themselves in the space. So put 90% of the personal stuff away and choose neutral artwork such as nature photos to create the vibe you want.
Read more home staging tips from a military-friendly real estate agent here.
4. Purge what you don't need
Get rid of anything you don’t need. Throw out those toiletries you’ve moved around to several houses. Clear your book shelves of books you’ve already read or know that you never will. Creating space--whether it’s in a closet, on a book shelf, or in a cabinet--gives potential buyers/renters the impression of space. A closet jammed with clothes in every inch makes someone question whether their clothes will fit.
5. Clean everything when selling your home
Yes, it's essential to clean floors, walls, light fixtures – anything that collects dust and grime. Pay attention to the kitchen, where cooking grease makes a sticky coating on everything. You may want to rent a carpet steamer or pay to have floors cleaned before you start showing the home. I’ve walked into houses and knew instantly we weren’t going to buy or rent because of a strong odor or something gross.
6. Fresh look at furniture placement
Sure, your furniture placement works for your family, but is it an ideal use of the space? Can you walk around everything easily? Does the current furniture make sense in the room, or are you using the dining room as a kids' toy room? I once had a girlfriend “redecorate” my living room. She moved my furniture around in ways I never thought of, and she pulled some décor from my master bedroom to freshen things up in our main living space. Sometimes a fresh eye is just what you need to get you out of a decorating rut.
Here are more pro tips to prep and stage your home to sell before you PCS.
7. Put pet supplies away before Open House days
Fido may be a member of your family, but pet-less owners or renters may be turned off. Make sure all the pet toys are put away, and there isn't food or litter scattered across the floor. The pet bed should only be pulled out when the house is not being shown.
8. Watch what's cooking!
You don’t want potential buyers or renters to be able to smell what you had for dinner. Stay away from cooking items such as eggs, broccoli, and fish. Use your vent fan over the stove, and light candles or open a window after each meal.
9. Tackle the storage room... er, guest room
If you are currently using a space as a storage room, remove the clutter and stage the room the way you think your buyers will use it. That second-floor bedroom should be staged as a bedroom. An office space should have a desk or a table for a computer. Get the boxes or exercise equipment out of there.
10. Curb appeal tips when selling your home
The exterior of the home is usually the first impression, and it's important to focus on the basics of curb appeal when selling your home. Clean up the landscaping and mow the lawn. Arrange outdoor furniture. Weed the garden. Clean the pool. Spruce up your outdoor living area so potential buyers and renters can envision their own outdoor entertaining.
You don't need a professional stager to stage your home like a pro! Military families, follow these tips, and you will be ready for an Open House and to sell or rent out your home before you PCS!
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