INSIDE : Learn the best 5 tips for staging and decluttering your House when selling. And download a free “How to Stage your House to Sell Quickly” PDF checklist. When it’s time to put your house up for sale, these house tips will help get your home in top shape!
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This post has been updated since it’s original publish date of May 2015.
My family will be moving the end of this summer from the Desert to the Midwest. It’s been a decision we’ve been working on since last fall and now that it is actually happening (and soon) everything is getting a little crazy in our world. Our house officially goes on the market today, so I thought it would be quite timely to share my tips on How to Stage Your House to Sell Quickly!
Sometimes there is so much time and effort put into packing and finding a new place to live that you just sort of tidy up your current home, let the realtors come over to take pictures and breathe a sigh of relief when your home is officially on the market. I get it. I’ve moved before and believe me when I say, it’s worth the little bit of time to REALLY put things in order and stage your house to show off it’s full potential.
What is home staging?
Home staging is the process of preparing your home for sale that makes it as appealing as possible to potential buyers. Staging involves decluttering, depersonalizing and arranging your furniture and home decor to create a bright, inviting, and spacious feel.
How much does it cost to stage a house?
You might be wondering if it is expensive when staging your house to sell and the answer is it depends. If you hire a company to stage your home when selling, it may cost somewhere between $500 and $3,000.
However, if you take into consideration the below five tips you can stage your home without a company. Then, you can put all the money towards your next home purchase!
How to stage a house for sale
1. Curb Appeal matters
As we all know, first impressions are key! Some buyers will drive right past your house even if the inside is wonderful, if your front yard or curb appeal is lacking. Curb Appeal and your exterior is the first thing potential home buyers will see, so it’s important to make a good first impression.
This does not mean you need to spend a bundle of money to have your yard landscaped. Simple things like mowing the grass , removing all the weeds and sweeping the driveway are great first steps and possibly all you would need to do to spruce it up.
I always have a seasonally appropriate wreath hanging on my front door as well. A simple eucalyptus wreath always looks wonderful on any front door. I also make sure to have a few pots of flowers near the front door for the color and smell they provide.
You may also want to consider painting your front door or adding some new landscaping.
Some other simple curb appeal updates are…
- Give your Front Door a fresh look with Paint
- How to Easily repair minor Wood Rot
- How to install Faux Garage Windows
- Painting your Garage Door
- Decorative Garage Door Hardware
- Painting your Mailbox and Address Tiles
2. Declutter and Minimize personal belongings
Now, this is a hard one for most of us – me included. Potential buyers want to see the HOUSE, not all the STUFF you have. When staging your house to sell quickly, the goal is for them to imagine THEIR stuff in your closets or cabinets, so as difficult as it may seem – do your very best to remove, remove, remove.
Remove any items such as family photos, open bins of toys, religious symbols and definitely any political memorabilia. You should also declutter your closets, cabinets and garage.
Also try to get rid of any unnecessary furniture to make you rooms feel bigger.
Are you looking for some help? I have a post on 44 things to throw out and feel awesome about!
Keep a big plastic bin near by for those small random items that you can’t find a place for when someone is over looking at the house. I place it in the trunk of my car so that it’s out of sight for the potential home buyers.
Donate leftover items
While you are cleaning out rooms, make a simple donate pile. Take items to your local Goodwill or Big Brothers, Big Sisters Organization.
Your rooms will look bigger and more inviting with less stuff and furniture in them… plus, it’s less to pack and move to your next home! Sometimes staging your house, can simply mean removing things from your house temporarily.
You can also check out Heather’s Tips to Declutter When Prepping Your Home To Sell.
3. Show off your home’s natural light
When staging your house to sell quickly, the first thing you want a home buyer to notice when they walk into your home is how light and airy it feels.
Natural sunshine is always the best and instantly enhances a person’s mood, so showing off the natural light in your home is important. Open all the curtains and blinds to get your home’s full sunshine potential.
It’s also great to turn on all the lights in each room of your home. Normally, I have all the lights off during the day, but when someone is walking around seeing your home for the first time it’s helpful for them to see all the lighting on.
Do you have under-mounted lights in your kitchen? Turn them on!
Do you have above spotlights over your fireplace? Turn them on!
Have a fun cool statement table lamp? Turn it on!
Those specialty lights are features of your home, so be sure to show them off! You can also add some lamps or sconces to help create that warm and inviting atmosphere in what might be a darker corner of your home.
4. Arrange your furniture to create a sense of flow
When staging your house to sell, buyers should be able to move easily from room to room. Be sure to avoid overcrowding your space if possible. Remove excess seating, sofas and even bookcases. Instead, focus on creating conversation areas and leaving plenty of open walkways.
5. Make your house smell clean
There is nothing more off putting than odd aromas wafting through the house for a potential buyer. However having too many fragrances also can be offensive. Instead of the age old “freshly baked cookies” idea or burning a candle, I opt for a simple “clean” lemon smell.
Flowers or citrus tells the home buyer that you keep a tidy fresh, clean home. I have a Febreze odor remover that has a lovely citrus smell. I always spray it on the couch and a few pillows in each room before we leave when a buyer is heading over to see the house.
A bouquet of fresh flowers set on the kitchen counter top is always a great idea, too.
5. Show the buyers what you want them to see
Do you have an odd room that doesn’t really have an obvious function? Do you have an unused sunroom? By staging the space properly, you can help show the buyer what they can use that space for!
Even if it’s just bringing in a chair, a cozy blanket hanging over the edge and a few books… you are letting them know – this odd little corner could be used as a reading nook.
I’ve transformed our sun room into a fun kid spot that we actually use a LOT. We do use the hot tub on occasion, but staging the room with dual purposes gives it more options in the buyer’s mind. This may not be applicable to every buyer out there, but after bringing in a bench, the kid’s play structure and some sidewalk chalk, it now tells a story and I think serves a better purpose.
A few extra Staging your house to sell tips…
Staging Tip 1:
I know everyone always says removal all personal items from your home is important. I’m still up for debate on this. I don’t think your home needs to look sterile of all personality or every single family photo needs to come down.
I think this maybe could apply if you have the entire mantel covered in family photos. Maybe select just two or three to keep up on display. Or maybe if you are obsessed with collections and all your shelves are full of your favorite collections… possibly removing some of these might be a wise idea.
Staging Tip 2:
I also think, the same goes for neutralizing the color palette in your home. As much as you adore your purple master bedroom, that color might not apply to a wide group of people. But, don’t think every room needs to be white or you won’t sell your home.
I don’t plan to paint a single room in my house. I have white, gray, soft green and a soft peach walls but they all are soft subdued colors. I would say, it’s best to use your best judgement with this.
Okay, are you ready for my Home Staging Checklist?
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And once you’ve moved, you might be interested in my 10 Organizational Tips for Unpacking After you Move.