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Preparing Your Home for Sale Part II

By Joe and Deb - VR SAM on 3/6/2014

This article was written by a true expert on home staging and military moves. Laura Smith is a licensed, experienced Realtor and President of VR SAM®. She was a military spouse for over 20 years and is committed to serving military families relocation needs! Thanks, Laura!

Last month, we discussed the importance of “curb appeal” and how it is a powerful draw for home buyers in the present market. Subtle differences make your home stand out from the competition and will make a huge difference in how well it fares on the market. Creating strong “curb appeal” will draw prospective buyers into your home whereas thoughtful “interior staging” will sell your home! “Staging” your home is a fancy real estate term that refers to getting your home ready to show. It requires an organized plan of action that may involve several weeks of preparation and ongoing maintenance while your house is on the market.

VR SAM® recommends you ask a trained professional, your Realtor, to advise you on how to stage your home to optimize it’s strengths and maximize your home’s attractiveness. Your Realtor has shown hundreds if not thousands of homes and has observed buyers’ reactions to how a variety of homes are presented. They are your best resource to view your home through the eyes of a prospective buyer.

As always, advance preparation is the key to staging your home and reducing your stress!

VR SAM® recommends beginning the process up to six months in advance (when feasible) to clean, de-clutter, and neutralize your home. Your agent should be ready, willing, and able to advise you with an objective critical eye. The smallest of details can make a difference. Effective staging creates an atmosphere that makes people want to linger and imagine themselves living in your home.

And if what you see when you cross the threshold is important, what you smell when you enter is doubly so! So let’s address the sensitive issue of odors first.

Absolute instant “odor killers” are: pet, smoking, musty or moisture, strong cooking (fried) odors, or overdone sprays and air fresheners to cover odors.


Unfortunately, smoke odors and pet urine tend to remain in carpets, hardwoods, draperies, upholstery, and even in walls. Professionally cleaning the carpets and drapery may help but in many cases the only solution is to replace the floor coverings. The best offense is a good defense and decide to prevent, rather than remediate such odors when you purchase your new home!

Here are suggestions on how to create a pleasant sensory experience for prospective buyers when you anticipate a showing or conducting an open house: Let them be greeted at your front door with scents such as fresh baked bread or cookies, spiced tea, cut 

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