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Do's and Don'ts for staging your house when it's on the market

Trying to sell your home in the crowded Bay Area real estate market can feel scary and uncertain! The best way to sell your house quickly is to help buyers picture how great it would feel to live in your home. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for staging your home with buyers in mind:

Do: Start with curb appeal.

Think about what home buyers will see when they first pull up to your home. Is the driveway cracked? Do weeds grow up to your porch? Are your kids’ toys strewn about the yard? Refresh your yard with a little extra maintenance, and don’t forget to power wash the sides of your house. You can never replace a first impression!

Don’t: Leave your front or backyard bare.

The Bay Area is well known for its gorgeous weather and breathtaking views… So make sure buyers know they’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors! Add a hammock, an outdoor dining set, and maybe even a front porch swing. Plant some fresh flowers and greenery, and consider getting some bird feeders.

Do: Deep clean your house. And we mean really deep.

Break out the sponges and buckets; it’s time to make everything sparkle. Everyone has their own personal cleaning rituals and priorities, but remember—you want to make your home attractive to as many buyers as possible. You never know what a buyer’s quirks will be… Maybe she inspects the baseboards to see if dust has settled there, or maybe he can’t stand stained stove burners. If you don’t have time or energy to do the deep cleaning yourself, you can hire a house cleaner to come for a one-time cleaning session.

Don’t: Leave anything out that resembles clutter.

If you love displaying souvenir knick knacks from all your vacations or have small kitchen appliances lined up across the counters, it’s time to clear house. You may not see these items as clutter, but too many extra items can make your space feel smaller or even dirty. Use this as an opportunity to start packing early!

Do: Make the house look as spacious as possible.

Once you finish decluttering, you can make your home look even bigger by maximizing the natural light you let in. Switch your blackout curtains and heavy drapes with sheer white curtains. Move any furniture which blocks part of the windows. If you have a room mostly decorated with dark colors, consider repainting and covering dark floors with light rugs. Also, be sure none of your rooms look crowded with too much furniture.

Don’t: Leave weird wall colors or awkward decor the way they are.

Look, we’re not judging you—we know your daughter begged for that hot pink bedroom, and we get that your wife loves her classic nude paintings. But…these interior design decisions may be off-putting to the average buyer. Make it as easy as possible for someone to move their existing furniture and decor into your space with neutral walls and trim. And make sure everyone will feel comfortable walking through your home to decide if they want to live there!

Do: Think about what small improvements you can make to update each room.

You may not have the budget for major renovations, but there are little upgrades you can make to vastly improve the look of a room. Switch out the cabinet handles and drawer pulls for some stainless steel hardware. Touch up the scuff marks on your walls. Replace tan wall outlets with bright white to make them look cleaner.

Don’t: Let buyers smell the garlicky seafood you baked last night.

Even if you have grown immune to smells like your gerbil or burnt dinner experiments, your buyers may not appreciate these odors. Light some wax candles scented with citrus, such as grapefruit, orange, or lemon. Citrus scents are natural mood lifters—perfect for someone who could potentially pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for your home!

Do: Organize all your storage spaces.

Did you know most home buyers admit to rifling through drawers and cabinets when touring houses? If you normally struggle to keep your hair and skincare products organized under the bathroom sink, now is the time to invest in some storage containers. Make sure your linens are folded neatly in the closet, empty out your junk drawers, and double check how well your child cleaned his room.

Let Sofa Creations help furnish your new home

When you’re ready to move into your new home, we would love to be a part of the journey! Here are some of the furnishings we offer: