Ultimate Guide to Summer Home Staging in Portland

portland home staging 2017

Summer is by far the most popular time to sell a home in Portland. How will you make your home stand out? Follow my real estate agent staging guide to have your home looking its best in no time.

Clean Like You Mean It

No matter how beautiful your home looks in the summertime, there’s no substitute for thorough cleaning. Brightly lit rooms mean that dirt shows up even better than in winter. According to the Cleaning Institute, a good place to start is the rooms that potential buyers are most interested in – like the living room, kitchen and bathrooms. Then, look at each room as a potential buyer might and see what catches the eye first. Make that the starting point for the cleaning process. Or, hire the pros. It’s one investment that will pay off in big ways for your home value.
As a real estate agent, I know where buyers are going to find the dirt that gets missed, so here are some spots to be sure to hit:

  • Appliances – inside and outside. Buyers always want to see what the appliances look like, and the grime at the bottom of your oven says loads (in their minds) about how you cared for your home while you were living in it. Be sure to use the correct cleaning products for stainless steel, granite, glass stovetops, etc.
  • Walls. They do get dirty over time. If a simple wipe job doesn’t brighten them, consider repainting. Remember, neutral colors are best — for inspiration, check out this House Beautiful blog post on the hottest colors this year.
  • Windows. A thorough cleaning, inside and out, will be most successful if the buyer doesn’t notice the windows at all – just the views! Be sure to replace any screens that may have been stored during the winter.
  • Mold and mildew. It can show up anywhere in a home, especially in Portland where the climate is moist! Any exterior signs of mildew and mold should be cleaned away, and of course, mold in walls or behind sinks and tubs must be mitigated. It’s not just unsightly – it’s a health hazard!

Clutter be gone – and stay gone!

Decluttering and depersonalizing is where the going can get tough when preparing a home for sale. Organizing and packing away family photos and other personal items is hard enough, but you’ve got to keep the home decluttered while it is being shown! A lot of home sellers have a hard time with this, so you’re not alone.

However, as a Portland real estate agent, I have stress how important it is that buyers are able to visualize themselves living in the home — that means no mail stacked by the front entry, no piles of laundry on the bed, and no science experiments in the kitchen.

To maintain a clean and organized home for the average 30-40 days a home is on the market in Portland, don’t try to change your whole approach and become a neater person overnight. Just think ahead of yourself and create stash spots for the mail, the clothes, or whatever life hands you the morning a real estate agent calls and says your home will be shown in the afternoon! Some decorative baskets can do the trick.

To keep your nice, clean home, clean until it sells, employ rugs to catch dirt when it comes in the door. Do quick maintenance cleans so that problem areas don’t build up and become two-hour projects. When you can, continue to go through stuff and get rid of what you don’t need. Nothing sells a home like storage space, and if it’s full of stuff, buyers can’t see it!

Outdoor Spaces – Summer’s best!

There are as many types of outdoor spaces as there are Portland homes. From lawns to decks, from gardens to rooftop patios, staging is something to think about in all of these areas. If your Portland real estate agent uses a home stager, they may not include your outdoor spaces in their services, so be sure to ask! (They typically don’t, but we can recommend a landscape professional as needed.)

In the summer, buyers will be extra interested in your outdoor spaces, so paying a little extra attention here can really pay off.

Start with the “curb appeal zone”. When buyers pull up, what will they see? Is the fence in good repair? Could it use a coat of paint?

Your walkway is essential — be sure any cracks or gaps are clearly marked, if not fixed. You may remember to skip over them, but buyers and their agents may not!

If there’s a front porch or a stoop, the best staging is to clear it of all unnecessary items and add some potted plants and flowers. If it’s a large front porch, some seating is nice, but not essential. Clean your front door and repaint if needed. This is your first impression!
Overall, be sure back and front yard garden beds are cleaned out and weeded. Mow the grass regularly while your home is on the market.

Finally, make sure there are no shrubs or trees touching the house! Living in Portland, you probably already know that we have an exceptional number of spiders and ants. They will enter the home across the bridges conveniently created by branches and leaves touching the roof and walls. Buyers tend to get a little freaked out by spiders, especially if they’re not from Portland! So keep those branches pruned back.

 Keep it cool.

There’s nothing better than walking into a pleasantly cooled off home on a hot summer’s day. Keeping the air conditioning running while you’re gone all day might be a little bit more expensive, but it will pay off in the buyers’ – not to mention the real estate agent’s! – comfort. Or, maybe it’s time to invest in a programmable or smart thermostat that can cool the home off an hour before the scheduled showing.

If your home isn’t equipped with air conditioning, not to fret. Make sure your windows are screened and operable, and plug in a few fans to keep the air moving. Invest in some window shades, which can do a lot to keep a home cooler in the summertime. But don’t take the nice professional photos of your home with fans in the pictures, leave them out for the photo shoot.

Ready to list your Portland home? Check out our listing package today!

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August 3, 2017
AUTHOR

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. and a top 1% agent in the Portland Metro. Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales in the Portland Metro area. Call him direct: 503-714-1111. Pay less (4.5% commission max.) and get more with his top 1% listing team or buy your next home with his excellent top 1% buyer’s team.  For our Clark County, Washington buying and selling services go here.