Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Staging Tips

Mark M. Hancock / ©
Staging a home sets an appealing scene rather than spends thousands of dollars to do so. Below are easy, simple ways to make a house more desirable to potential buyers or to turn a house into your home. The generic list of staging tips below was compiled from suggestions of professional stagers and agents to make any home more marketable. The list is designed for the Collin County market where stone counter tops and seamless glass shower enclosures are expected.
Do what you can with the budget and time you have. However, focus on the tasks and upgrades that will earn the highest return on investment (ROI).
Replacing appliances with stainless steel is appealing, but it's costly and is unlikely to have an equal ROI. Black appliances are fine if they look clean.

To increase curb appeal, please consider these recommendations:

•  Mow and trim the grass, and continue maintenance.
•  Deeply edge the lawn near any concrete or decorative stones. This is vital for curb appeal.
•  Maintain all sidewalks and driveways by removing leaves and spraying weed and grass killer into
    any gaps.
•  Ensure sprinkler and drip lines work. Replace any broken sprinkler heads.
•  Spruce up the mailbox.
•  Put a new, clean door mat outside the front door.
•  Always paint the front door to give a fresh first impression.
•  Paint or replace the front door frame. Ensure door moves smoothly.
•  Put a new flowering pot on the porch by the door so the color will be seen as you look up the
   sidewalk toward the house. Silk can be used due to hot weather without need to water.
•  Plant a row of Indian Hawthorne or holly bushes to cover the foundation.
•  Continue any row of miniature shrubs in the same line of sight (don’t have gaps). Fill in the Mondo
    grass or other ground vegetation until there is a consistent edge around the beds.
•  Put a layer of fresh colored mulch in all the beds.
•  Isolate and surround any exposed dirt/mud where grass won’t grow with edging. Then, place a
    layer of fresh colored mulch over the dirt.
•  Trim all plants, bushes and trees to ensure they aren't in contact with the house. Any plant touching the
    structure is considered a potential pest issue by inspectors.

•  Remove old furniture and any clutter from the patio. Either remove or paint flower box(es).
•  Attach a multi-surface outdoor cleaning solution bottle to a garden hose and spray on house
   and siding to remove mildew, moss and algae. Rinse with water afterward.
•  Power wash or otherwise clean concrete.
•  Cut hedges to present a neat, uniform front with clear views of and from windows.
•  Straighten any leaning fence.
•  Get the roof and gutters checked. Replace or repair as needed.
•  Place a small table with a colorful pot where it is seen from the house as you look toward the yard.

•  Declutter and depersonalize the entire house. If you're selling the house, you need to remove all
    personal items and photos from view. This allows buyers to see themselves on a blank canvas. If
    you're updating for yourself, removing clutter reveals your essence.
•  Paint the entire house with a soft gray satin color for an immediate update to modern style. White
    and cream, which adds some warmth, are also acceptable options to lighten dark rooms.
•  Contrast the baseboards, doors and door frames with a crisp white color for freshness.
•  Alternative solid schemes are white or cream.
•  Have the house, windows, inside and out, and fans professionally cleaned when prep work is
•  Ensure all the fixtures match. The main options are brushed nickel, brass, oil-rubbed bronze, black and chrome. The faucets should match the doorknobs, door stops, fixed lights, kickplates, etc. Paint over mismatched door hinges.
•  Hang a chandelier fixture to show buyers the dining area space.
•  Hang large art pieces with a pop of color to draw the visitors' eyes to specific spaces (and away from other spaces).
•  Make the house feel welcoming. Add round design elements such as pillows, tables and mirrors to
    help achieve a relaxed vibe with minimal effort.

•  Change all the appliances to stainless steel. Choose a range with a built-in microwave.
•  Replace the Formica countertops with granite.
•  Paint all the cabinet doors, drawer fronts and interiors with a white enamel with a satin finish. •  Match the hutch cabinets to whatever is done in the kitchen.
•  Place exactly three large lemons in a low bowl or on a decorative plate to add pop to darker areas.
•  Set kitchen table with flatware, glasses, napkins and possibly colorful placemats as if for a meal.

•  Replace shower stall with a seamless glass shower to bring the house into a competitive bracket for
    maximum return on investment. There is no other way to disguise brass shower hardware.
•  Paint the inside and outside of all bathroom cabinets and the linen closet.
•  Replace all brass fixtures and lighting with brushed nickel.
•  Put a painted wood frame around the mirrors in baths for a higher end finished look.
•  If matching tile or wood cannot be found for a linen closet, replace that carpet with a small remnant of
    new carpet.

•  To make photos look better, save electrical cost, increase safety and breathe life into the space,
    replace all lights with 5,000 K (natural daylight) LED lights (floods, bulbs, bars or fixed lights).
    Start in the kitchen.
•  Remove fluorescent ceiling light fixtures and replace with can lights or an LED light fixture for
    brightness. Choose a more modern pendant light over the kitchen sink.

•  Ensure it is clean.
•  Replace broken ceramic logs in gas-only fireplaces. Stack unburned logs in a wood-burning
•  Ensure the fireplace gas key is visible.

•  Add freshly painted baseboards.
•  Move appliances out and clean well behind and beside them.
•  Paint this room.

•  Repair any ceiling and wall damage. Do a basic paint job on the walls.
•  Clean out the hot water closet. If roaches are a problem, have an exterminator hit the house before

Mark M. Hancock / ©
•  Ensure power outlets that require
    GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit
    Interrupter) electrical shock
    protection are present and
•  Ensure smoke detectors are
    hardwired and in all required
    locations (each bedroom, each
    corridor adjacent to a bedroom, at
    the top of any stairs, at least one
    alarm on each level of multi-level
    dwelling, plus any additional local
•  Regularly change air filters to ensure
   dust doesn’t collect around vents.
•  Remove, clean and spray paint air
   vent covers with a matching color.
•  Remove and replace old caulk if
   failing, chipping or peeling. Neatly
   caulk all visible exterior gaps
   (around windows, doors and roof eaves) with matching-color caulk. Do not fill window or brick
   weep holes (these are condensation exits).

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Welcome to the DFWmark Blog!

Welcome to the DFWmark Blog! This is a collection of content by Mark M. Hancock, a REALTOR with Keller Williams North County in Celina...