Published April 25, 2024

Home staging tips to sell faster and for more

Home staging

Thinking of selling your house? Home staging, the art of preparing your home to showcase its best features, can be a game changer. 

It helps potential buyers envision themselves living in your space, leading to a faster sale and even a higher selling price. And because it isn’t something every seller does, it can help your property stand out. 

While hiring a professional stager is an option, there are plenty of easy DIY tricks to make your home shine.

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Clear the clutter

The first step to successful home staging is decluttering. Excessive clutter overwhelms buyers, hides key features, and makes rooms feel smaller. 

Start by sorting through your belongings and getting rid of anything you no longer need or use.  This includes old furniture, clothes, expired food, and toys. Next, pack away anything you don't use daily, like seasonal décor or out-of-season clothing. 

This will not only make your home look tidier but also speed up the packing process later on.

Clean it up 

A sparkling clean home shows potential buyers that you've taken good care of the property.  This means a deep clean from top to bottom, including those often-overlooked areas like behind the toilet. 

You also want to clear off surfaces so that you’re only displaying essential items. Utilize storage solutions like bins, boxes, and drawer dividers to keep everything organized and in its place.

Don’t get too personal 

It can be difficult for buyers to imagine themselves in a space filled with personal items that reflect the current residents' tastes. Sure, your three-bedroom house is perfect for a family, but it could also be ideal for a couple who don’t have children but work from home. 

Pack away or remove personal items like family photos, keepsakes, children's artwork, and toys. This will allow potential buyers to see the space's potential and how it can fit their needs.

Banish unpleasant odors

Smells happen! But let's face it … no one wants to tour a house that has lingering odors.  Whether it's pet smells, strong cooking aromas, or damp towels, these can all turn buyers away.  Luckily, there are easy ways to deal with smells to make your home more inviting!  

  • Bake cookies or use lightly scented candles
  • Wipe down kitchen and bathroom counters with lemon and squeeze some into the drain to neutralize odors
  • Empty trash cans regularly
  • Stay on top of laundry 
  • Use odor-eliminating products like dryer sheets for sports equipment or shoes that must be stored inside
  • Use fresh cut flowers to add a natural, pleasant fragrance
  • If you smoke indoors, take it outside to eliminate lingering smoke smells

Whatever you choose, the key is to keep it natural and avoid overpowering air fresheners that can trigger allergies and asthma or make it seem like you are hiding something.

Define your spaces

When staging a home, each room in your home should have a clear purpose. This helps maximize the space and its functionality.  

In large open floor plans, use area rugs or furniture placement to create designated areas.  Carefully consider each piece of furniture –  does it serve a purpose or add clutter? If it's the latter, find it a new home until you move.  

Think about furniture size as well. Pieces that are too big can overwhelm a space, while overly small furniture can make it feel cold and empty. 

If you have spare rooms or a finished basement or attic, transform them into bedrooms, workspaces or entertainment areas. You can also transform alcoves into reading nooks, dining areas, or extra seating spaces.  

While the buyer may not use the space exactly as you have, showcasing its defined functionality demonstrates the home's versatility.

A fresh coat goes a long way

There's a good chance your buyer won't share your love for that deep red bedroom or the sunshine yellow kitchen. 

To avoid overwhelming potential buyers with bold colors and patterns, consider painting your walls a neutral color. This is a quick and easy update that brightens and freshens a space, creating a welcoming blank canvas that allows buyers to envision their own décor.

Show those floors some love

If your budget allows, consider updating your floors, especially in high-traffic areas like the living room, kitchen, bathrooms, and dining room. 

Old carpets and linoleum can appear outdated and unappealing. If replacing the flooring isn't an option, give it a good cleaning and use area rugs to add a touch of style. For tile floors, scrub the grout and consider using grout paint to refresh the look.

Brighten up your spaces

Natural light is a major selling feature! 

Open all curtains and blinds during showings. If your curtains are heavy or outdated, consider replacing them with sheer alternatives to maximize natural light and create an airy feel.  

Turn on all the lights during showings, including closets. Not only will this brighten up the space, it will stop potential buyers from having to try and locate the right light switch.   

And, of course, replace old bulbs with bright, warm LEDs – these not only use less energy but also create a more inviting atmosphere. 

Bonus tip: Stage your curb appeal

Don't forget about the outside of your home! The exterior is the first thing potential buyers will see, so make sure it makes a positive impact.  

Give your front yard some TLC with landscaping touches like fresh mulch, blooming flowers, and trimmed hedges. A freshly painted front door and a clean walkway are also easy ways to add instant curb appeal.

The finishing touches 

By following these simple home staging tips, you can transform your house into a welcoming and attractive space that appeals to a wider range of buyers. 

Remember, first impressions are lasting impressions, so take the time to create a home that buyers can't wait to move into. 

Good luck!

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