How you live in your house and how you sell your house are two different things, and that’s why staging owner occupied houses deserves some thought. Prospective buyers want to be able to envision how they would live in your home, and your personal belongings are a distraction to their ability to visualize.
Most of the homes I list have people living in them. Staging owner occupied houses can be tricky, and maintaining that staged appearance even trickier. Here are a few of my favorite tips for staging an owner occupied home while it’s on the market, and keep it show ready.
- Start packing. You are moving, so why not start packing now? Less is more when you’re showing your house. Basically, pack up anything you haven’t used in the last 6 to 12 months. The photo on the right would have been greatly improved had the owners packed up all the photos on top of the piano, moved the boxes hiding behind the chairs into storage (along with the chairs and swivel stool and collector items lining the window sill).
- Consider renting a storage unit. Label all boxes!
- If you have kids, buy a bunch of stackable plastic bins for easy pick-up. When the Realtor calls to schedule a showing, pile all toys into the bins and move them into the garage or basement. Again, labeling makes life easier, or use clear bins like the ones pictured here.
- People hate taking their shoes off, so make them happy and keep a stash of shoe covers by the front door. It will help keep your place clean and potential buyers will see that you care about the condition of the house.
- Check all the light fixtures in every single room of the house. If any need to be replaced, just do it. Your Realtor will thank you.
- Consider rearranging your furniture so it’s easier for potential buyers to move from room to room. If possible, get rid of any furniture you can do without. It will help buyers envision what their furniture would look like in the spaces.
These are easy things that will keep your home ready to show at any time. You could get really carried away and limit your family to one bathroom, but that seems a little extreme and unlikely to happen, so it’s not No. 7 on the list. You’re welcome!