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Five Home Staging Tips For Busy Families

Thank you to our partner, San Antonio Realtor Lisa Sinn, for working with Alamo City Moms Blog on this sponsored post with great tips for selling a home! 

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As a mom, I will never forget getting ready to sell our family’s first home.

It may even go down as one of the most hectic times of my life. I was expecting our third child. My other children were seven- and five-years-old and my husband had just accepted a new position at work, which required him to work longer hours. I was also “mastering” (or, at least attempting to figure out) balancing life as full-time real estate agent and mom. To say life was busy is an understatement.

But I’m in real estate, I thought.  I help others sell their homes. Preparing and selling our own home should be a piece of cake, right?!

As a parent, I understand the challenges of putting your home on the market. The idea that having your home as show-ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week can be overwhelming.  But as a Realtor who helps others through the home buying and selling process everyday, I can tell you that families can sail through this process with just a little guidance!  

As a Realtor, my team includes a crazy-talented home stager who will come into your home and work her magic. This complimentary staging will make you wonder why you didn’t live this way all along! We bring in window treatments and can provide temporary furniture if needed. We help select paint colors or we simply help you pin-point and play up your home’s best features to attract potential buyers. Currently, San Antonio’s housing market is hot. According to this article, San Antonio will break last year’s record-high for home sales. Since April, I’ve had twelve families sell their homes for the price they were asking (or higher!) and every one of them will tell you that staging was huge part of the process! I’m going to share with you my five favorite home staging tips for busy families.

My Five Favorite Home Staging Tips

1. Stage the exteriors. Sometimes sellers can get preoccupied with the home’s interior. Focusing on the home’s exterior can sway first impressions and as they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Before:

home staging

After:

Exterior After Picture

We cleared the driveway, replaced a few small shrubs, added mulch, and mowed and edged the lawn.

To get yourself started, check out the landscaping in your front yard. How does the grass look? Is it mowed and weeded? Are there areas of grass that need to be re-sodded? Are borders and edges refined? This may seem rather obvious, but you might be surprised at how many people overlook a home’s potential curb appeal. For an investment of under $200, you can purchase fresh mulch, river rock, and annual flowers that can add a great deal to the home’s exterior. Additionally, keep the outside areas around the front of your home looking expansive by throwing away or storing old outdoor furniture that may be crowding the space. In the backyard, if your space has been a haven for your kids as ours has, be weary of all those outdoor toys and equipment. Consider purchasing a few pretty storage buckets for kids’ toys and place these in discreet areas. Finally, if you have a wood deck in San Antonio, it typically has to be re-stained every a few years. A fresh coat of stain will go a long way in making your deck look inviting to future homeowners.

2. Learn to “TDS” (Toss, Donate, Store). Over time we acquire things. Sometimes, a lot of things. When you are getting ready to list your home for sale, it is essential that you spend time sorting through and categorizing items on whether they need to be stored, donated, or tossed. 

3. Embrace the idea that less is more. As simple as this sounds, less is more can be a difficult staging tip for homeowners to follow. When a home is cluttered or over-decorated, potential buyers can feel overwhelmed. People coming into your home won’t know where they should look first. Key items I suggest that families remove while their homes are on the market include family photos, trophies, and collectibles. Unfortunately, anything that reflects a strong passion or personality should be removed and stored. Also, get rid of clutter. Your kitchen, bathroom counters, and dressers should be clear of items and properly cleaned. You might consider moving area rugs from the kitchen and bathrooms. I suggest doing all that you can do to make rooms appear larger and more open.

Before:

Game Room Before

After:

Game Room After

In this game room, we switched out a few pieces of furniture, hung a picture, and added a few books to give the space a more home-like feel. We pulled the couches away from the walls and created a sitting area to make the room appear larger.

4. Let the light in your house. Windows are a key focal and selling point in a home. Our team of decorators will often arrange furniture away from windows so potential buyers can look out into the yard. Natural light is also your friend, so remove and store heavy draperies. If you have no window treatments, I suggest adding temporary treatments that will help to soften a space.

5. Walls are key, so kill the color. A good friend of mine and her husband spent countless hours, sweat, and probably a fair amount of tears to paint stripes on the walls of their baby’s nursery. It was gorgeous, but as lovely as it may be to the current homeowner, a buyer wants to see a space as a blank canvas when trying to picture themselves in a potential home!  If you are looking for suggestions for the best paint selections when painting to sell, I recommend warm whites and soft neutral colors.

Before:

home staging

After:

Kitchen after

The sellers of this home were reluctant to change the paint color of their kitchen, but after having their home on the market for 175 days with another Realtor, they allowed us to stage their home and repainted the space a more neutral color. We listed the home for $10,000 higher than the original asking price and it sold in just 11 days after receiving multiple offers.

When my family listed our home for sale nearly two years ago, we sold it in less than a week for the asking price. Not only did we survive the home selling process, we ended up finding our dream home. Now it’s hard for me to even remember the craziness surrounding that period of our lives. It’s funny how time does that to a mom’s memory!

Whether you’re buying your first home or your forever dream home, I’m here to help. I’ve been there, done that, and can make your buying and/or selling experience less stressful because it always makes you feel better when someone understands what you are going through. Together, we can make this process fun, exciting, and most of all, rewarding. Call or email me and let me know how I can help you sell your current home and find a new home that is perfect for your family!

I invite you to get social with my amazing team! You’ll find us on social media where we talk about city wide events, school information, market analysis, giveaways and more.

Lisa Sinn Realtor in San AntonioLisa Sinn is a mom of three, a wife, and a real estate specialist with Keller Williams Legacy. Lisa’s a multi-year Platinum Top 50 Realtor of San Antonio, a recipient of the 5 Star Professional Award by Texas Monthly Magazine, and has received the Best Of Trulia Award for Realtors nationwide. She is Stone Oak’s #1 Realtor in Production for 2015.

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One Response to Five Home Staging Tips For Busy Families

  1. Jennifer June 21, 2016 at 9:17 am #

    If only I’d seen this a week earlier. Signed a contract with someone else last week but man I’d love to work with you after reading this! I need this house to move fast!