I am very excited about the third downloadable feature story the Carpet and Rug Institute has put together. Titled “Staging on a Shoestring: Tips from the Pros for Quick Home Sales“, it has been picked up by newspapers and online news sites all over the country, and it’s available as a free downloadable pdf from the CRI website.

Even with the real estate market improving, homeowners are in a competitive market and it can be difficult to make a quick sale, so there is added importance to creating an appealing atmosphere for potential buyers.

You can’t be too tidy or too well-scrubbed,’ says Cathy Mansour, an interior designer, and director of Aqua Hospitality Carpets.

Cleaning the home is a simple answer and a house can look good enough to showcase right after a good cleaning, but by following these steps your home will make a great impression on prospective buyers.

1) Start by eliminating all clutter.

Not only does it make your home look unorganized, clutter also makes it look much smaller. Pack away papers, knickknacks, excessive photography or decor, and extra furniture.

Uncluttered rooms highlight the space and personality of a home, so buyers take notice of these attributes rather than the cluster of family photos or stack of magazines on the coffee table.

2) Assess, clean flooring

More buyers desire carpet because it is comfortable, reduces noise and improves indoor air quality. And it benefits sellers to highlight this feature, especially after a professional cleaning.

Carpet is warm and inviting in a family room,” says Karen Dembsky, owner of Peachtree Home Staging and president of the Georgia Real Estate StagingAssociation.

The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) recommends hiring only reputable carpet-cleaning professionals who will use effective cleaning solutions and equipment to do the best job possible. Visit our website to find cleaning professionals who use CRI-certified carpet cleaning products as part of their cleaning process.

3) Let there be light

Once your home is clean and clutter-free, it’s time to let in the light. Pull back drapery, turn on the hallway sconces and update wattages on dim bulbs. About 100 watts per 50 square feet is a good target. Be sure to update any older lampshades or lighting hardware to reflect a more modern style.

4) Fresh Paint

Once you let in all that wonderful light, some walls may look dated. A fresh coat of paint can liven up a room and make it look modern and clean. Focus on rooms where walls are dirty, damaged or feature a dated color to give your entire interior design a facelift.

It is best to stick with neutrals like warm honey or soft green so potential buyers can easily envision their own furniture and decor in the space.

5) Scent plays a huge role

Finally, remember sight isn’t the only sense you want to stimulate when it comes to selling a home. How your house smells can make it appealing or distasteful to potential buyers.

Because it’s difficult to distinguish different scents in our own homes, invite a few guests over to give their honest opinions. A deep cleaning of any textiles as well as a few fresh flowers should do the trick.

By following these five simple tips you’ll be reviewing bids and moving forward on the sale of your home before you know it.

For the downloadable version of ‘Staging on a Shoestring, Tips from the Pros for a Quick Home Sale’, click here.

– Paul