...Or, How to Stage a House Like a Unicorn
Let me tell you something: Trying to sell your house for top dollar is a horrible, grueling, and torturous process. I haven’t had to do it since 2008, and just like the pain of childbirth, somehow my mind blocked it out. Because if I had remembered how stinking difficult and trying this process was, I would not have signed a purchase contract.
But alas the lure of more space to store more junk roped us in once again. As I stare angrily at the storage container on my driveway, I feel paralyzed by the amount of work still ahead of me. The entire upstairs is now done, and the kids aren’t allowed to touch any of it. We taped the doors closed like police do with a crime scene so that we’ll know if any of them have wandered into the rooms. We pulled an insane amount of junk from our upstairs. With some of it, we were ruthless and simply trashed, some we gave away, and some we stored in the container.
There is only one way to sell a house for top dollar, and that is to put everything you have into cleaning, organizing, and staging every inch of your home. For some, this is pleasant task, and it doesn’t take much effort at all. These people are called unicorns. For everyone else, it’s a trying time that takes a lot of planning, organizing, and (hired) talent for design. So unicorns step aside - this blog is for the rest of us!
1) Meet with Your Home Stager
If you’re working with us, we have sent a professional home stager to you for a consult. They will instruct you on which things need to move where, and which things need to be deleted entirely. This meeting is so important because it gives you clear direction on what to do next and removes any mystery about what needs to stay, what needs to go, and what things need to be fixed or repaired.
2) Rent a Storage Container (Can) or Space
I find this job is easier with the container on the driveway, as opposed to an off site storage rental. It’s also more motivating because you have the daily shame of not being done your task and probably annoying your neighbours. My neighbour currently has 2 storage units on either side of them. One on our side and one on the other…I’m really sorry Shannon we’ll be done soon, I promise!
Fill this can with everything in your storage areas, closets, garage, basement, etc. Typically these are things that you rarely use, like Christmas decorations, kayaks, old clothes, or memory boxes. These can all just be prepped to go straight to the new house. Be as liberal as you can here. If there is any doubt whatsoever that you will need it before you move, throw it in the can.
3) Secondary Storage
Now, you’re going to take everything from the main areas of your house that you may possibly use before you move and aren’t ready to completely part with. These will be moved into storage rooms, garages, and basements, thus emptying the main areas of your house significantly.
4) A Clean to End all Cleans
Now you’re going to go through every crevice, crack, windowsill, blind, baseboard, and cupboard and clean it like you’ve never cleaned before.
5) Staging and Designing
A good portion of this step will be applying the techniques and designs given to you by your stager to make your home stand out.
6) Plug in a Scentsy & Start the Car
Get some nice home fragrance going and book a short trip. Get out of town and wait for your agent to call with an offer. Preparing for every individual showing can be stressful. Ask a neighbour to turn on all of your lights in the morning and turn them all off at night, if possible.
Currently I’m in between steps three and four. In fact, the picture at the top of the page is my kitchen - take heart that at this moment, wherever you are, your life is infinitely better than mine!
The Vanderveen Team
Maxwell South Star Realty
Phone: 403.253.5678 Fax: 403.592.6736