You've given it thorough consideration and are committed to the home selling process. What's your next step?
Getting 'Show Ready'!
Decorating styles are very different when living in a home with your family, than how one presents their property when putting it on the market. No longer are you inviting this special guest to your home--now you are welcoming them home to what hopefully will soon be theirs. This is a challenge for many as it's easy to take insult that others do not appreciate 'good taste and stylish flair'. For such individuals this tough love reminder is key: You. Are. Moving. Out.
Neutralizing and de-personalization doesn't have to mean that you've wiped yourself completely out of the picture. This would be ridiculous and far too extreme to the opposite end of the spectrum (and extremes are just that--extreme!). It is important that there be a balance. Staging and styling therefore should suggest the lifestyle that the property affords. This is important to its potential sale. What needs to be understood and conveyed is that the lifestyle projected is not our personal lifestyle, but that of the property. So when making ready a property for the market, take your cue from the house and property itself. Just as there are different architectural styles, there are appropriate ways to prepare a house when getting it ready to sell.
Here are some tips for consideration:
Match your decor with the architecture of the house. Contemporary sterile furnishings are just as out of place in a traditional Colonial or Tudor as are Victorian antiques and chintz drapes in a mid-century modern.
Be consistent with the purpose of the space. A formal dining room ought not to have in it a computer desk, childrens' play room/toys and so forth. True eclectic style has to be done right or it resembles garage sale mash up.
De-doily and declutter. You want the property to appeal to a broader audience of potential buyers. If your personal style of decorating is very specific, you will narrow your opportunity for an offer. Neutralizing and simplification will not only make the property easier for viewing, but it will help to get the ball rolling in the packing and purging stage of relocation.
Purge, pack and clean. Most important above all else is cleanliness. If a house is messy and unkept the buyer will check out and move on. Don't fool yourself and call it 'lived in'. If simple maintenance tasks are perceived by the buyer to be an issue for the homeowner, the buyer will interpret this negatively assuming that there is costly deferred maintenance awaiting care. This will either impact the sale of your property badly by encouraging a lowball offer or worse--no offer at all.