Home Staging - Maximizing First Impressions

How to Obtain the Best Price by
Staging Your Home to Sell

Nine Ways to Improve a Home's Curb Appeal
HGTV’s real estate site, FrontDoor.com, offers some ways to make a home more appealing.

    • Restore the roof. Improve its appearance and keep it from leaking.
    • Clean up the driveway and walkways. They set the tone for the rest of the home.
    • Maintain the gutters. Clean out leaves and debris. Eliminate signs of water damage.
    • Pay attention to details. Install attractive street numbers, door hardware and a new mailbox.
    • Make the front door welcoming. Paint an old but solid one; replace one that is past its prime.
    • Light it up. Decorate with attractive outdoor lighting.
    • Paint offers big payoff for a low price. Just doing the shutters, trim and railings can help.
    • Spruce up the lawn. Mow, pull weeds and fertilize.
    • Add a WOW factor. Some beautiful plants will impress buyers.
Source: FrontDoor.com (06/09/2010)

Maximizing First Impressions

Curb Appeal

The front of the house is a Prospective buyers first impression, they will react well to signs your home has been meticulously maintained.

Before and after with trees & shrubs trimmed for better curb appeal

Before house photo with too many trees After house photo with trees thinned for better curb appeal
Before and After

General Exterior

Manicure landscaping: mow, edge and water lawn, trim hedges, weed and fertilize flowerbeds, and prune trees

Wash down the exterior of the house

Place potted flowers on the front porch

Keep driveway clean and free of parked cars, and keep the garage door closed.

Repair or replace loose or damaged roof shingles

Minimize cracks or crumbling on walkways, walls, or steps, and keep them clean and free of obstructions like toys or leaves.

Items from RV's to waste cans left out can contribute to a cluttered or busy appearance. Make sure that from the street, your property appears clear.

Inspect appearance of interior window coverings from the curb.

Repair any peeling paint or loose caulking on windows or other areas.

Take steps to eliminate insect or rodent pests.

Pick up after your pets or neighborhood animals.

Put All Outdoor Toys Away

Front Doorway

Front Doorway AppealWhile agents work the lockbox for a key, buyers have idle time to notice details.

Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door and frame.

Replace worn door knobs, locks and brass plates and dated light fixtures

Consider adding pots of flowering plants in the entryway if weather permits.

Eliminate cobwebs and groom doorway area windows, porch light, or decorative glass

Buy a New Door Mat

Make sure that all light bulbs work

Interior Appeal

Kitchen before photo  Kitchen after photo

Kitchen before and after


Give every room in the house a thorough cleaning and remove all clutter.

Clear stuff off tables.


Hiring a cleaning service may pay for itself by adding to a buyer's perceived value of your home.

Kid's bedroom before photo Kid's bedroom after photo

Kids Bedroom before and after

Clean, Clear, Light and Bright

Feng Shui Decorating

Feng shui has quickly evolved from a new age trend to a decorating phenomenon widely practiced by professional decorators and amateurs alike.

The practice of feng shui, pronounced .fung shway,. is part of an ancient Chinese philosophy that believes the way you position your furniture and decorate can impact all aspects of your life, from personal health to economic prosperity.

Many feng shui principles, like keeping rooms clutter free to facilitate the flow of energy . are easy to implement. Others like choosing a level lot that is square or rectangular . must be considered early on in the design and home building process.

Here are some feng shui concepts to consider when decorating:

Keep demons from entering your home by ensuring the path to your home is not a straight one.

Avoid rock gardens or tall hedges near the front door. These are seen as places for evil demons to hide.

Place your sink and fridge away from the stove, but not across from one another to keep clashing elements from causing fighting within the family. Placing something green between the two appliances, like a carpet, can also help reduce conflict.

Position beds in a way that allows you to see people as they enter the room. Do not put a bed against a wall with doors or windows.

Avoid long corridors and cramped floor plans. Choose a floor plan with clean lines and open spaces.

Design your home office so your back does not face the door. Avoid placing your desk directly inline with the door where energy enters. Avoid excessive overhead light. Chose warm or full-spectrum lighting instead.

Keep sharp-cornered objects to a minimum.

Place healthy plants throughout the home. Plants with round leaves are preferable.

Arrange couches and chairs in a way that allows people to see the door.

Throw out anything you don't use to keep energy flowing properly.

Decorate the kitchen in a way that evokes a bright and sunny feeling. Feng shui recognizes the kitchen as one of the most important rooms in the home: the place where energies are nourished.

Remove shelving over the bedroom door and on the wall beside the bed. Shelves placed this way can have an oppressive effect that can cause headaches, poor sleep and low energy. Be wary of knick-knack overload. An overabundance of stuff can create a visually overwhelming feeling.

Store exercise equipment anywhere but your bedroom. Bringing the energy of hard work into your romantic space will make relationships seem more difficult.

Feng shui is a fascinating way to improve your life, your prosperity, and your health through good home design. Incorporate techniques on your own, or hire an expert- ready to get the energy flowing smoothly in no time

For Professional Staging help Barb Schwarz's organization

One of the smartest things you can do with your home's equity is to put it right back into your home. It's a clear win-win: You enjoy the benefit of an improved living environment and tangibly enhance your home's value at the same time.

But not every project will increase the resale value of your home. It's best to stick with the ones that will give you the biggest return.

Here's how Remodeling Magazine rates top jobs in terms of one-year return on investment (ROI):

Project Remodeling Pay Backs % Return Price Tag
Minor kitchen remodel 88% $8,655
Second-story addition 83% $73,553
Bathroom remodel 81% $9,135
Bathroom addition 81% $13,918
Family room addition 75% $30,960
Major kitchen remodel 71% $31,090
Deck 55% $8,022

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