I like quick tip sheets when I want to get a lot of info without spending a lot of time so here are my top 15 home staging tips. These are DIY-friendly and can be tackled in a weekend or two.
Top 15 Home Staging Tips
- Clean: Self-explanatory. Clean everything thoroughly from baseboards to crown moulding and everything in between. Including windows.
- De-clutter: Thin your belongings. Make space. Remove excess furniture. Show that your home has that open, uncrowded feeling people are looking for. Remove items from closets and cabinets to make them look as roomy as possible.
- Edit: Remove day-to-day stuff from all rooms that can be visually distracting like miscellaneous items out on the kitchen counter, mail, shoes stored by the door or on the porch, stacks of magazines, etc. Find homes for everything. Put them out of sight. We just want to cut down on visual busyness to create a serene vibe.
- Make the lawn look good: Make sure the grass is nice and green. Keep it neatly mowed and weeded.
- Have carpets cleaned: Sometimes carpets get a little bit dingy over time and you just don’t notice it. If you have pets, your carpet could be holding on to dirt and odors that you’re used to. Buyers are pretty sensitive to these things when touring a home, so invest in renting a carpet machine for the day or hire a service.
- Take a look at your curb appeal: Trim shrubs and trees, add mulch to bedding areas, hose of the outside of the house (carefully) to rinse away dust and cobwebs.
- Add color: Depending on the season, you can add some color to your entryway via fresh annual bedding plants, potted flowers, or a wreath on your front door. Adding these happy little touches makes a difference as buyers approach and start forming impressions.
- Depersonalize: It seems like I am always talking about depersonalizing but it is because it’s truly one of the most important steps in the staging process. Remove your personalized door mat or banner/flag out front. Remove your family photos, memorabilia, and awards. Remove your initials from the kitchen wall (or wherever) as well as your monogrammed towels. Remove your child’s name from their bedroom wall. All of these little personal touches are nice for making your home yours, but they are not good for allowing buyers to connect with your home. In order for a buyer to want to live in your house, she first has to be able to make that connection. All of your family’s personal touches turn into obstacles to your sale when you list your house.
- Update style: Try to downplay any dated decor or fixtures by bringing in some inexpensive updates.
- Make it light and bright: People don’t want heavy drapes and dark rooms. Make every room as light and bright as possible with the natural light that you have available. Some rooms just don’t have great natural light so do what you can. Open, bright, and airy are some of the most common traits that buyers are looking for.
- Neaten and clean pet areas: Back yard, litter box, feeding areas, pet beds, everything needs to be kept as neat and clean as possible. Pet odors are a major turnoff.
- Tidy up play areas: Keep toys off of bedroom floors. Buyers will understand if they’re looking at a kid’s bedroom and there are toys around but it is always best to show off as much space as possible. Piles of toys need to be consolidated into neat areas so they don’t take up floor space.
- Use some staging psychology: Remove evidence of things that buyers don’t need to know about. They don’t need to know about your religion, your business, your health, your relationship status, or your financial or legal problems. Go through the home and remove items that convey serious everyday stuff that you may be dealing with.
- Add nature: This includes using natural materials like wicker baskets or linen, flowers, fruit, healthy indoor plants, and views of outside spaces. Humans love to be reminded of nature.
- Make it pop: My last step is always make it pop. This just means make sure each room is designed with visual interest in mind. Not everything in staging needs to be beige and gray. We need little accents of color to help our eye move around the room, and frankly it is super uninspiring and boring to tour a house full of beige rooms. Neutrals are a great “base layer” for staging but there needs to be more going on. Use color in small doses to add some life to the spaces in your home.