Tag Archives: Home Staging Tips

The Need to Address Odors When Selling Your Home

This isn’t the most fun topic to address, it’s a little stinky. Okay really I had to say that! 🙂 But seriously, when you are selling your home you need to address any odors that may be present.

This is a tough one because most of us don’t smell an odor in our own home. Or we smell it when we first walk in the door but it seems to goes away after a few minutes so we forget about it. If you are selling your home you need to bring in an independent person that will be brutally honest with you. A close friend that will be truthful or better yet a professional Home Stager that will not only kindly address the situation but be able to offer some advice.

In my experience there seems to be 3 most common types of odors:

1) Food Odors

mortar-and-pestle

These are easy to address and usually a quick fix. If you enjoy cooking and using a lot of spices a home can have a lingering smell for days. Especially if you are cooking fish or seafood of any kind. Salmon may be one of the worst.

If these are occasional things that you cook, getting rid of the odor will probably be as simple as airing out the house and refraining from cooking these items while your house is for sale. Grilling outdoors is a perfect solution if you can.

If you have cooked with strong spices for years it is going to be tougher to get rid of the smell so skip to #3 below for suggestions.

 

2) Pet Odors

hamster-is-drinking

These can be a bit trickier than food odors in that usually you can’t get rid of the pet while you are selling your home, not that you would want to anyway! Doggy odors can linger in the house so carpets may need to be shampooed, new doggy beds purchased etc. Old toys may need to by thrown or banished to the garage in the short term. A more constant grooming of your pet may be needed as well while your home is for sale.

I don’t want to give a bad rap just to pup as hamsters, ferrets and any dirty cages or litter boxes fall into this category as well.

 

3) Musty Odors or Smoke Odors

cigarettes

These are some of the toughest smells to get rid of and usually the ones that will really turn a buyer off as they know it is a tough smell and they may be highly sensitive to smoke. Usually with these odors they have been around for a while and have permeated into carpet, drapes, furniture, woodwork, drywall and even the duct work.

Of course first any smoking in the house needs to stop and if a musty smell is from antiques in the home those have to be removed. If the musty odor is from previous water damage and continued humidity that has to be addressed first and hopefully the problem has been fixed.

After that a certified odor removal company may need to be brought in. They will have the best recommendations for you which may include large machines placed in your  home for a period of time, cleaning carpets, drapes and furniture, or it more probably will mean new carpet, new paint, a treatment on woodwork, duct work cleaned and even new furniture. Many times all of the above unfortunately.

Just know odors are a tough one for buyers to get past and the sooner you address them the better. I will say good luck and be patient.

 

 

What Do You Mean I Have a Pretend House? Home Staging Tips Minneapolis

Well….not really pretend but when you are putting your home on the market it needs to become a kind of pretend house for awhile.

What I mean by that is certain things that you live with every day need to go away when  your home is being shown to a perspective buyer.

It also means putting things out that you will only have out for your showings. One example is towels. There is nothing better than fresh towels that you have just purchased and that have never been washed. They are nice and fluffy.

 

These should become your ‘pretend’ towels that you never use while your home is for sale. You put them out only for the professional photography session and for showings. If you leave for work every morning the pretend towels get  hung up when you are done showering and getting ready so the bathrooms are ready for a showing.

All ‘real world’ things go away and the pretend world takes over. Is it a pain in the side? Yes. Is it a hassle? Yes. But the goal is to get your house in top selling condition, get an offer quickly and then go back to living normally. You don’t want this to drag on and on and buyers don’t want to see your ‘stuff’.

‘Stuff’ includes:

Tooth Brushes, Shampoo bottles, trash cans, bathroom scales, toilet bowl cleaners, phone charges, dirty laundry, mail, dish drain, piles of shoes, outdoor trash cans…..you get the picture. I will go back to my model  home analogy.

If you wouldn’t see it in a model home, a buyer shouldn’t see it in  your home. People love model  homes because they can immediately see themselves living there. They don’t feel like they are walking into ‘your’ house but ‘their’ house.

Sometimes it is tough to determine what those ‘real world’ items are as we are so used to looking at them every day.

You may want to consider having a trained professional Home Stager come in to let you know what you should and should not have seen during your showings.

 

 

Selling Your Home When You Have Kids – Home Staging Minneapolis

Selling your home is not easy nor convenient. When you have children it is even more challenging and much more inconvenient.

A common theme I run into on most Home Staging Consultations is toys. It seems as though young kids just have a lot of them. I’m sure it is all because of Grandma and Grandpa. 🙂   

Many parents struggle as to what to do with all the toys that are in the living room, the dining room, their bedrooms, the family room, the bath tub and just about everywhere else.

Here are my recommendations:

Toys Are Not the First Thing the Buyer Should See When They Walk In The Door

In other words, whatever rooms you can see as you enter should be toy free zones. So if those rooms for you are say the foyer, living room and dining room, those should not have any toys in them. I am not saying toys are bad but they just need to be contained and the home itself should be the first thing the buyer sees.

The Best Place for Toys Are the Kid’s Bedrooms:

The kids bedrooms are the perfect place for toys. It’s a kid’s room after all and it is totally fine to find toys there. The toys should be neatly arranged on shelves, toy chests or neatly against a wall. Not in disarray around the room.

One End of a Family Room Is Another Great Place for a Toy Area:

If you have a large or long family room, designating one end of the room for a toy area works well. You could have the play kitchen, stove and refrigerator along one wall with the small table and chairs ready for tea in the middle. Whatever it is, again it should be neat, tidy and orderly.

A Toy Designated Toy Room is Fabulous:

If you have an extra bedroom not being used or a non-conforming bedroom, it is totally fine to have this room as a designated toy room for all the toys. But remember rule #1 still applies……it cannot be a room the buyer sees right when they walk into the home. In this room you could have the legos table with legos on it, the coloring table or whatever it is your kids like to play with the most. The rule however is no chaos. Still have the room neat, tidy and orderly so the buyer can walk through the room and isn’t overwhelmed with all the things. 

 

What To Do With All the Other Toys:

Many homes I walk into are filled with toys and they won’t fit neatly into a child’s bedroom and one end of a family room. Many sellers wonder what they will do with the rest of the toys and here is my recommendation.  Most children don’t play with every toy every day. In fact there are probably many of the toys that they haven’t played with for a while.

First pack up or donate all the toys that they have outgrown or just don’t play with anymore. If the remaining toys are still too plentiful to fit neatly in the 2 designated areas then I recommend buying bins with lids and having your child pick 2 bins of toys that will stay at their home today. The toys that are not selected are packed into remaining bins. Place these bins in storage or a storage area of your home if you have one.

Tell your children that in two weeks (or one week or three weeks, whatever you agree to) that the two bins that are staying in the house will be packed away and two new bins of toys brought out. I find that the children get excited about the two bins that will come next week and when they open them up the toys are new and fabulous again.

Rotate the bins as often as you need but hopefully by having your home in top selling condition and show ready it will sell quickly and all the toys can come back out. Or leave them in the bins as they are all ready packed to go to the new house!

Another incentive for your children in packing away their toys is that any toys left out will probably be played with by children visiting with their parents to look at the home. If your kids don’t want certain toys played with by others, it will make their decision process easier.

If you are struggling to get your home ready for sale and need advice, call a Professional Home Stager for assistance.