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          You need professional help with Austin home staging!

          I hope I’m the?only person to tell you that you need professional help, and at least it’s in regard to getting your house sold and not related to your mental state!? I wish that I could effectively?write down what you need to do in order to stage the interior of your home so that it wows buyers.? The fact is that Austin home staging for your interior is more than just a “to do” list.? It really takes a professional eye.? If you are in the Austin area, I’m happy to provide a FREE staging consultation (a $150 value) – just call or contact me.? One exception – because I’m a licensed Realtor, I cannot provide this service if you are already listed with another agent.

          Here are some general tips that will help you prepare for interior Austin home staging.? Much of this can be done before your professional staging consultation;? however, if you are uncertain, please don’t hesititate to contact me with your questions.

          First, clean out your closets.? You’re moving anyway, and you don’t want to bring old things into your new house.? Plus, the less you have to pack up, move and unpack, the less will be your moving costs in terms of time & money.? Go through all your apparel and aggressively donate items you aren’t wearing.? Every family member should be filling up donation bags or garage sale boxes with items they no longer want or use.? Your goal is to have every closet neatly organized with no items on the floor of?any closet.

          Also, attend to the garage.? At least one garage bay should be completely empty (able to have a car pull in).? It’s preferable that the bay closest to the door leading inside the house be the empty bay.? The bay furthest from that door can be empty – that’s best – but you may also use it as a place to neatly stack your filled moving boxes.? Organize garage shelves, closets and any laundry areas.? Aggressively de-clutter and clean it all up.? If you have oil stains on the concrete, use kitty litter or sand to soak it up.? If you have peeling sheet rock tape, get it repaired.? If sheetrock is yellowed or dingy, go ahead and paint it a light, neutral color or white.? If your garage is painted a darker color, definitely brighten it up?to make it seem larger by re-painting.? One more garage tip:? make sure your garage is functioning as a garage.? It should not be set up as a family room, exercise room, dance studio, play room, man cave or anything else.? Remove all evidence that the garage ever served any other purpose for your family.? This is vital for Austin home staging.

          IMPORTANT:? As you go through all your belongings, de-clutter, clean and pack up boxes, set aside any home decor items and furniture that may be used for Austin home staging.? Do not get rid of any of these items until you have a professional look them over for possible use in interior Austin home staging.? Items that qualify:? pottery barn type decor (even if it’s something cheap), coffee table books, artwork & framed prints, side tables, lamps, updated furniture (even if cheap or worn), decorative bowls, vases (not clear glass), candy dishes, large gem stones (like geodes), candles & candle holders, decorative mirrors, throw pillows & artificial plants of all kinds.? I repeat:? Do not pack or donate or sell these items until after the house sells.? These items are essential to Austin home staging.

          Furniture that must remain:? the bed in the master, the dining table, living room furniture, family room furniture.? If you must empty out furnishings or move them before selling, at least leave the main room furniture for staging.? Secondary bedrooms can be empty.? Any large rooms should remain furnished.

          Bathrooms:? All bathrooms should be pristine.? Clean them until they sparkle.? Clean up, clean out and de-clutter all toilettries and personal items.? Shower doors must be free of water spots and be in perfect working order.? It may be time to re-caulk or replace bathroom fixtures.? Shiny?gold is out of style.? Consider updating to chrome, brushed nickel, rustic bronze or rustic pewter.? If you don’t have any fluffy white towels, shop around for some low-priced new ones to be used in Austin home staging.

          Personal photos, children’s artwork, awards, degrees, religious items, hunting & sporting trophies?and personal keepsakes should all be packed away.? Remember this isn’t the movie:? It’s All About Me.? We’re staging for the film:? I Sold My House.? Remove all of these items and get them out of sight.? They will be ready to delight you in your new home.? You must also remove all valuables and fragile collections.? Guns, jewelry, knives and breakables should all be safely packed and either removed from the premises or locked away.? Prescription medicines should also be inaccessible, and consider a bit of “child-proofing” as if your favorite child or grandchild is coming for a visit.? Any treasured antiques or heirlooms should be stored away for safe-keeping, as well.

          Here’s what you don’t need to do until you receive your “professional help.”? ?Don’t paint yet –?I’d hate to see you choose a color that buyers no longer prefer.? Don’t replace flooring yet – again, I’d hate to see you spend money on the wrong choice.? Plus, I have access to flooring options at wholesale costs with payment not due until the house sells.? Don’t make any improvements until you get advice from a professional stager.

          Instead, focus your attention on CLEANING.? Scrub, scrub, scrub all windows, doors, door handles, fixtures, faucets, tile, grout, baseboards, ceiling fans, lights, sinks, showers, tubs, counters, back splashes, ovens, cooktops, etc.? You get the picture.? Clean like you’ve never cleaned before.? Clean like your favorite celebrities wearing white gloves are coming to visit.

          Call your “brutally honest” friend with the bloodhound nose.? Ask her to come over and tell you if she detects any odor at all in your home.? A home for sale should NOT smell.? No cooking odors, pet odors, kid odors, smoke, perfumes, candle fragrances, air fresheners, cleaning solutions?or anything else should be detectable.? You will most likely not be able to smell anything about your own house, so be open to what another person has to say about it.

          Lastly, call for your “professional help.”? Do not call a “decorator” or “interior designer.”? Staging a home is completely different?from interior design.? Contact me directly for your appointment.