Get Your Home Ready for Its Close-Up Part 2: The Details

Tips and Advice

So much to do to stage a home for sale! Last week we shared tips on The Big Stuff which covered topics such as curb appeal, cleaning, decluttering and depersonalizing. Now let’s dig into the details.

After you’ve finished cleaning and storing, Theresa “Terry” Anderson of KoenigRubloff offers this advice: “There are some easy tricks to refresh a house, such as putting in new light fixtures, new faucets, paint a few rooms, and take down all wallpaper. I suggest a very minimal amount of furnishings and décor.” (You can email Terry at [email protected] or find her on Facebook by clicking here.)

Remember to check the latest Zillow report for paint colors that are currently selling for significantly higher (or lower) than average in each room and see our pinterest board for examples. Discuss the report with your realtor to determine what is best in your particular area.

Here are some other room-by-room expert tips we’ve collected for you:

Bedrooms
The key in the master bedroom is to stay gender neutral. You want the decor to appeal to everyone. Keep décor minimal but try to create a relaxing atmosphere where people can imagine unwinding. Create a bed people would want to crawl into, all soft and comfortable looking, and a small sitting area for reading or watching TV.

Catherine Schager Designs, Lake Forest Master Bedroom

Catherine Schager Designs, Lake Forest Master Bedroom

Bathrooms
Try to restore bathrooms to an unused look. (Nothing says “yuck” like a strangers mystery bathroom mess.) Fix all leaky toilets and dripping faucets. Replace old toilet seats with new ones. Do your best to remove hard water stains that will make potential buyers think of leaks. (Try vinegar.) Deodorize the drains too. Keep counters clear except for a pretty soap dispenser and neutral colored shower curtain and bath mat.

Catherine Schager Designs, Glenview Renovations (left) and Northbrook Master Bath (right)

Catherine Schager Designs, Glenview Renovations (left) and Northbrook Master Bath (right)

“Master” Touches
Remember those closets we discussed in Part 1? Storage space sells, especially in the master bedroom. One trick is to clear the master closet out completely, then hang a set of classy wooden hangers. Entice potential buyers to love the master bath by arranging a set of new fluffy white towels in ready-to-use fashion and topped with something pretty. Set the “spa” stage to help them imagine luxuriating in a hot bath or shower.

Little Touches

Family Living Areas
Keep only beautiful furniture on display and keep it neutral. You want potential buyers to imagine their own furniture in the room, not get stuck on your style. You don’t want them feeling like an intruder in YOUR space. Let them imagine it as THEIR space.

Create symmetrical but inviting arrangements that suggest conversations and family time. Arrange a board game or a tea service on the coffee table. Place a book or magazine next to a comfortable chair with a soft throw. Once again, keep it gender neutral and tailored, but oh-so-comfy looking. You don’t want the realtor to have to say “Imagine this…” while describing a scene. Instead, set the room to create those visions wordlessly.

Catherine Schager Designs, Glenview Renovations (left) and Winnetka Lower Level (right)

Catherine Schager Designs, Glenview Renovations (left) and Winnetka Lower Level (right)

Kitchen and Dining
You won’t want to invest in major upgrades, but it’s worth it to fix leaky faucets, replace dated ones, and remove hard water stains. Consider painting dated cabinets and updating the hardware. Brighten up a poorly lit kitchen with new light fixtures. Choose the highest wattage bulbs for the fixtures and open up all the curtains and blinds. A light, bright kitchen sells better than a dark, dreary one. Lighter colors on the walls can help reflect the light. Keep countertops clear except two or three carefully chosen decorative items. Keep lots of empty space in the cabinets and drawers, and keep them well organized. Kitchen organization is big lately. Consider a few specialty foods in pretty packaging arranged just so in the pantry. Set the dining room table with carefully chosen, lovely yet neutral items (like a pretty tea set). Leave out a delicious looking and smelling pastry or cake on a pretty tray in the kitchen and have the realtor suggest they sit and have a treat in the space.

Catherine Schager Designs, Northbrook Kitchen

Catherine Schager Designs, Northbrook Kitchen

Catherine Schager Designs, Glenview Renovations

Catherine Schager Designs, Glenview Renovations

Defined Purpose
Make sure you don’t have any confusing “extra” rooms and absolutely no junk rooms. If you have an undefined space, give it a purpose. An office is usually a good bet but keep it neutral and classy. Bookshelves should be mostly empty with only a few neutral items on display. Storage space should invite them peek inside and see it empty, evoking thoughts of their own things they could store in that spot. A private, cozy reading spot nook near a set of beautiful bookshelves is always inviting.

Catherine Schager Designs, Northbrook Office

Catherine Schager Designs, Northbrook Office

Good luck! Overall, remember to keep it gender neutral, style neutral, as empty as possible, spotlessly clean, and create carefully chosen scenes to evoke images in each space.

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