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Staging to Appeal to Retirees and Service Personnel

Bill Morrow,
Bill Morrow,

Staging your home to attract the types of buyers who are looking for homes in your area is critical to selling quickly for top dollar. A good percentage of buyers in Sierra Vista, Arizona will be retired law enforcement or military personnel, so making your home and yard appealing to these types of personalities will often result in a quick sale. Here’s how:

Declutter The Entire Property

Retired and former military tend to be disciplined and look favorably upon cleanliness, organization, and understated decor.

Make sure every corner of your home is spotless and organized. Remove excessive frills. You want a minimal number of items on display, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms, and those that are left out will ideally have clean lines.

You’ll eventually be packing all of your personal items to move, so decluttering and depersonalizing before listing is one of the smartest moves you can make in order to attractively stage it. Pack up any collections, displays, family photos, and knickknacks.

Remove unnecessary pieces of furniture from each room, and arrange remaining items to highlight focal points such as a fireplace or great views. Pare artwork to one or two impact pieces on each wall. Rent a storage space for the short term and put everything you’ve removed from the house into it for now. Remember, you want buyers to be able to picture their furniture and belongings in the space and not be overwhelmed or intimidated by yours.

A Functional Bathroom

Get clear plastic bins at a discount or dollar store to organize personal bathroom items and stack them in the cabinets under the sink. Not only will this provide privacy when strangers are touring your house, but it will show buyers that you’re organized and likely to have maintained the house at a high level. An added advantage will be the simplicity of packing and moving once this is done.

Kitchen Tips

Implement the clear plastic bin idea in the kitchen cabinets and pantry as well. Baskets sometimes work better in the kitchen if they don’t need to be stacked. Clear out excess items, and make sure everything is nested, stacked, or arranged neatly in cabinets with plenty of space between items. This will give the appearance of there being more than enough storage, especially if there isn’t very much storage. Clean the insides of the cabinets thoroughly as well. Once again, put your already packed items into storage.

The Rest Of The House

If you’re trying to attract retired military and law enforcement personnel, they will likely be empty nesters or close to that point. You may want to consider painting children’s bedrooms a light, neutral color to appeal to people of all ages. These buyers will be able to envision the guest rooms and offices they want if bedrooms are painted in soft earth tones. Make sure all closets are clean and organized, and any children’s toys are put away neatly.

Keep in mind when you are cleaning prior to marketing your home that you will be opening the blinds or curtains and turning on lights for showings and open houses. Do this when you are cleaning as well so that you don’t miss any areas that will be obviously dirty once they’re revealed by bright daylight. Bright, well-lit homes always look more attractive than those that are dark and dingy.

Outside Is Just As Important As Inside

Having a clean garage with a specific place for each tool and garden implement will be important. Your yard and landscaping should be perfectly weeded and maintained as well, with recently trimmed shrubs, a short, healthy lawn, and any decorative rock or mulch in place within the garden beds and not straying out onto patios or sidewalks. Make sure to pull weeds instead of spraying them so buyers aren’t seeing a bunch of dead weeds in the landscaping.

If your outdoor areas are messy or cluttered, prospective buyers assume they are high-maintenance, and that could be a mark against your property when the time comes for them to decide to buy. Always remove any extra or unused landscaping materials. If you don’t know what else to do with them, post a free listing on Craigslist and have someone haul away the materials for you.

Highlighting the features your property that will appeal to current, former, or retired military and law enforcement personnel will ensure genuine interest and possibly even result in multiple offers.

Tour some model homes in the area to get an idea of what your home should look like when you list it for sale. You don’t need designer décor and furnishings, but you should strive for a clean and minimalist look by scouring every surface and eliminating clutter.


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