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Dressed for Success:

Open House Staging Secrets Most Sellers Miss


You never get a second chance to make a great first impression! With that in mind, when it’s time for your open house you want to make the most of the opportunity. Here are some of the home staging secrets most sellers miss when preparing for an open house event.  


Winning Strategies

Your first strategy when staging your home for sale is to think about presentation. You are not trying to show off your personal sense of style, your best china, or your home entertainment system. In essence, you want to dress your home in a manner that is neutral, uncluttered, and clean. Think about how hotels look, and that they are designed to appeal to basic standards of comfort and attraction. Keep in mind that homes in Phoenix, Arizona, sold on average for $250,000 in the last month. The market is competitive, and you want every edge you can get.  


Curb Appeal

Chances are you’re familiar with the term curb appeal, which is important because it’s the first thing buyers see when they are house hunting is the outside. They will make a snap judgment of whether they even want to look inside, so you need to start your open house preparations with your home’s exterior. Remove all the extraneous objects like skateboards, garden decorations, tools, and equipment, and throw away anything you won’t take to your next home. Tidy your shrubbery, manicure your lawn, and clean your flowerbeds. Spread fresh mulch, spruce up your mailbox area, wash your siding, and refresh the paint on your front door. If your entryway is dated or tired, replace the hardware, fixtures, and welcome mat. Remember, you want buyers to want to see what’s inside, so make your curb appeal count.


Edit Clutter

Both inside and outside your home, it’s important to present the space as uncluttered and open as possible. That extends to your storage, so in the process of decluttering, pare down extra furniture, decorations, wardrobe, and the like, and remember that buyers will look in every nook and cranny. Jam-packed closets and storage make it appear your house lacks space. It’s important to show them your home’s best assets, so store as much offsite as possible.  



Staging with a neutral decor helps buyers to envision living in your home. When staging your house for an open house event, points out a key point is removing your personal photos, any religious paraphernalia, sports memorabilia, and refrigerator art — anything that reminds buyers you live there and they don’t. You should also tone down your sense of style.  Decorations and bold colors should be kept to a minimum. Paint walls in light, neutral hues.  



The three rooms buyers look at most closely tend to be the living room, master bedroom, and kitchen. Those rooms should get your best efforts, and when it comes to tidying them up, HouseLogic suggests symmetrical, balanced furniture arrangements. Pull furniture from the wall for a spacious feel, and make sure traffic patterns flow. It’s also important to highlight your home’s best features; for instance, if you have a great view, stage rooms to show it off — and make sure your curtains are open. If you have a great fireplace, ensure it takes center stage.  Don’t let buyers miss the best points of your property.


Clean and Repair

Buyers want a home that is move-in ready. If your property has any signs of disrepair, you need to mend those issues before your open house event. You should also present your home as spotlessly clean. Any dirt, debris, or maintenance concerns speak neglect in the mind of the prospective buyer. If you don’t have the time to do it all, Money Crashers recommends hiring professionals to do your cleaning and home repairs.  

Make the most of your open house event. Repair, clean, tidy, declutter, and refresh everything, inside and out. Dress your home to appeal to buyers, and you’ll be set up for success!



Intergenerational Homes

Buying a House for Everyone’s Lifestyle and Needs

Caring for an aging parent often means a new living situation for the parent or for your entire family. Here’s how to tackle this major chore without stressing everyone involved.

Define needs. Your upcoming living arrangement will be defined by the needs of your family. Before embarking upon your house-hunting endeavor, make a list of your family’s needs and wants. Ask yourself:

  • How many bedrooms do we need?

  • Will my aging parent(s) live in the main home or a separate structure?

  • Do I have access to healthcare specialist?

  • Does the neighborhood offer amenities appropriate for my children’s ages?

Forbes notes that how you live is more important than where you live. You might enjoy lakeside sunsets, but if you rarely make it home before dusk, you may want to focus on other aspects that you will get to enjoy, such as having a large yard or extra space for a reading room.

Confront the issue with compassion. No one wants to hear from their children that it’s time to move out of their home. But, mobility issues, financial concerns, and safety hazards that often come along with age are worth addressing. If your aging parent is no longer able to handle living on their own, don’t bark orders. Instead, talk to them like the adults they are and help them focus on positive reasons to combine your households.

Plan ahead to avoid issues. Moving is a major undertaking, especially when it involves multiple generations. Your parents may have 30 years’ worth of clutter that you have no intention of moving with them. When you’re planning a major move with an aging parent, think in terms of months, not weeks. Start cleaning and purging six months in advance so your parent is not so overwhelmed on moving day. offers more information on organizing an aging parent’s move in this recently updated guide.

Don’t do it alone. The importance of hiring a qualified moving and packing service cannot be underscored enough. As a caregiver, your main priority is to see to the health and well-being of your aging parent, yourself, and, if applicable, your kids. You don’t need to be saddled with the burden of packing and physically moving into your new home. If finances are a concern, you can save money by utilizing à la carte moving services that allow you to handpick the services you need from the most qualified provider.

Consider financial impact today and in the future. You are probably not looking at your new home as an investment, but perhaps you should. When doing your home purchase planning, you must consider the long-term viability of the property. For instance, if you are moving into a larger home to accommodate your parents as well as your high school-aged kids, you may find yourself ready to move again in just a few years. In this situation, it may be more prudent to look outside of your originally targeted school zone so that you get a better price. Alternately, you can purchase a property with fewer bedrooms than desirable and allow your same-sex teens to bunk together for a couple of years. Architectural Digest points out that most investors follow the five-year rule when buying a property to make a profit. Even though you are taking care of your parent now, you must still continue to plan for your own future.

Whether you are buying a new home to accommodate your parents, self, and children or are looking for two properties together so you can remain close without invading each other’s privacy, moving is a big decision not to be made lightly. There are many choices that must be made, many of which are difficult and can strain your relationship. But they must be made nonetheless.