Home Staging is preparing your home for sale so that it will appeal to the widest range of potential buyers. I see the staging process as consisting of two phases: preparation and staging. The five key preparation steps are de-cluttering, depersonalizing, neutralizing, repairing and cleaning (in that order). These steps are not optional! They are a critical part of the home staging process. The 10 tips and tricks below will help make preparation quicker and easier. All of these tips are green, so they are healthy for your family.
1. Clean your glass windows and mirrors with a mixture of white vinegar and water, and then wipe with newspaper for a beautiful, streak-free shine.
2. Freshen your garbage disposal by dropping lemon wedges in and running the disposal. This will neutralize odors and create a fresh, lemony scent. Fresh lemons can also be used to scrub kitchen counters and salt can be added as an abrasive for stubborn stains.
3. Remove crayon from walls with toothpaste (not the gel type). Put a small amount of toothpaste on a damp sponge and wipe the crayon marks away. Wipe away the residue with a clean sponge.
4. Refresh watermarks on wood surfaces by rubbing in a little mayonnaise and then buffing out the mark.
5. Remove candle wax from fabric by hardening it first with an ice cube and then by chipping away the hardened wax. Ice cubes also remove furniture dents in carpets. Let the ice melt, and then lift the nap with a fork.
6. Repair scratches on hardwood floors with wood stain magic markers. Choose the stain color that most closely matches your floor stain color, fill in the scratch with color and buff with a cloth to blend.
7. Shine stainless steel appliances with a small amount of olive oil. Rub a little on a soft, cotton cloth and polish to a shine.
8. Remove soap residue in your dishwasher by running a wash cycle with a cup of white vinegar added. White vinegar and water also cleans your microwave. Mix up a cup and run it in the microwave for three minutes. Let sit for a minute, and then easily wipe the grime away.
9. Clean stains on your sofa fabric with a small amount of club soda on a dry cloth. For difficult stains, make a paste of three tablespoons baking soda and one tablespoon of club soda and gently rub the stain. Clean with a cloth dipped in warm water and once dry vacuum off any remaining residue.
10. Remove oil and grease stains from concrete driveways or garage floors by sprinkling the stains with baking soda. If the stain is dry, wet it first to create a paste and then scrub with a stiff brush. If the stains persist, try using automatic dishwashing detergent, let sit for a few minutes and then pour boiling water on it and again scrub with a stiff brush.
Once the preparation is accomplished (be relentless, buyers don’t want to pick up where you left off), you’re ready to stage. Think of the process like arranging flowers in an attractive vase. If you lack the vision to stage, consider hiring a professional home stager to consult with you.