Before Staging: Edit & Organize

Preparing your home for sale is all about ‘pre’-moving. Stagers, Designers and Realtors encourage sellers to do as much upfront organizing as possible. Why? A non-cluttered roomy house can be your best ally in finding a buyer quickly.

staging bedroom

Presentation is important when encouraging a buyer to imagine themselves living in your home. Are the closets so full that a buyer flags them as too small? Are personal belongings displayed making it difficult for a buyer to imagine themselves living in the space?

Although a stager will share how to arrange ‘selected’ items in your home, it is also worthwhile to do some “pre-editing’ before he/she arrives. This often means packing and storing a lot of your things in preparation to move. Spoiler alert….when the stager arrives, they might suggest even more editing.

This handy organizing tip can be helpful as you work your way through each area of your home:

1.Use boxes or bins to begin categorizing your belongings in 3 ways:  Bin #1 -Keep/pack-it…it is moving with you  #2-Donate/Sell…not taking these with you   #3-Trash/Recycle

2. As a box gets full, use a marking pen to label it so that you know where it will go when you move. Bins #2 & #3 should be put in one area so that you can easily remove them.

Odor: Is there an odor when guests walk in the house? Pet Odor/urine, unclean bird cages, musty scents will be the FIRST thing a buyer notices when they enter. It is usually a deal breaker. Remove the odor. Do not count on scented cover-ups to fix the problem. The nose knows.

CLEAN whole house:
Thoroughly clean each room: walls/carpets/baseboards and windows: inside & out.

De-clutter and edit:

-Clear countertops and leave just a couple of things for decor
-Refrigerator: Remove all pictures, magnets, everything
-Shelving/Hutch: Should have minimal decor
-Condition: Clean-up after each meal. Sink washed and polished
-Kitchen Cabinets- Over stuffed and messy? Edit as much as possible. Creating space gives the impression there is plenty of room in the cabinets.

-Shelves & Bookcases: Edit and remove most of what is in them. Store family pictures.
-Arrangement- Stager will suggest room arrangements and accent ideas.

-Bedroom & Hall Closets: This is a great place to do some early packing. Buyers will open closets to determine ‘space’. Floors should be open, closet rods should show ‘space’ to add more, some shoes on the top shelf.

-CounterTops: Remove personal belongings/toothpaste/hairdryer.
-Medicine Cabinet: Clean and sparkling inside
-Undercounter cabinet: – Edit & clean
-Tile-Remove mold and visible black or discolored tiles/shower/tub areas

-Closets: Addressed above
-Dresser: Items removed from dresser top
-Toys stored in a tidy place
-Furniture: Too much furniture can make a room look small.

Repaint rooms with owner specific color taste. Neutral is always a first choice. It is amazing the number of buyers who will look at a paint color and and form a negative opinion and/or determine it is too much ‘work’ to change.

Your Realtor and Stager are great resources to help you get your home ‘market’ ready. Choose professionals who are willing to be honest with you about what it will take to get your home sold. Afterall, it’s about setting yourself up for a successful move!

Greg & Marsha Abbott, Real Estate Brokers at Windermere/Bellevue, WA.  We have 25+ years experience helping area residents buy and sell homes. As Market Experts, we are passionate about real estate and look forward to the opportunity to discuss current market trends, and your buying/selling options. We would be happy to share what we do to get your home sold and provide analysis/stats to show you the current market value of your home.  We work with both ‘seasoned’ buyers & sellers, as well as those NEW to the process. – Windermere Real Estate

Greg Abbott | Managing Broker |  425.466.8786 |

Lonnie Abbott Cartmell | Broker |  425.890.3310 |

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Tour a sample of a homes listed & sold by AbbottRealGroup-Windermere.

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