Last Updated on July 17, 2022 by Luke Feldbrugge
We have identified ten home staging tips to help make your home stand out in a competitive market. You can’t magically add bedrooms or a pool without spending considerable money. But there are smaller investments of your time and a little money that can help stage your home for sale. Here are 10 home staging tips every seller should at least consider before putting a home on the market.
10 Home Staging Tips
1. Improve Curb Appeal – First Impressions Matter
When most people think about home staging, they only think about the inside of the house. But the exterior is the first thing any buyer will see, and it’s crucial your home makes a good first impression. Increase your curb appeal by making sure your lawn is mowed and free of any leaves or other debris. Make sure any bushes are neatly trimmed. A well-maintained exterior will signal to buyers that you’ve taken good care of the home and will give them a good feeling before they ever walk through the door.
2. Cleanliness of Your Home
Before you start worrying about artwork or which accent pieces go where, you need to give your home a deep, thorough clean. Buyers expect to walk into a clean house, and it’s the number one way to make your home look its best. It probably won’t be fun, but take the time to clean your home top to bottom, including windows, floors, appliances, countertops, sinks, showers and basically any other place that will be visible during a home tour. You don’t need to scrub the underside of your floor boards, but you should make sure that your basement and any attic or crawl spaces are free of cobwebs, visible dust and pests.
Moreover, if you want your home to be immaculate and ready for staging without doing all the work, you could look into the different cleaning companies that will expertly clean the different parts of your home for you.
3. Decluttering is Important to Home Staging
Your stuff is important to you. It is not important to a potential buyer, and in most cases the less of your things the buyer sees, the better. To make your home attractive to buyers, you will need to declutter your space. Remove small kitchen appliances from countertops, clean up kids’ toys and get rid of any décor items that are smaller than a soccer ball. Attempt to minimize photos and treasured heirlooms.
4. Showcase Storage Space
Whether it’s the pantry, basement or master bedroom, every buyer wants more storage space. While you can’t magically add closets to your home, you can maximize the appeal of the storage you do have. Even a large closet will appear small and unattractive if it’s bursting at the seams. So remove items from closets until they’re half full. Then organize the remaining items so everything is neat and orderly. This home staging trick will give buyers the feeling that there’s more than enough room for all their stuff, checking off one more box on their wish list.
5. Depersonalize – Help Buyers Envision Themselves
When selling a house, you’re also selling buyers a vision of their future. As they walk through during an open house, buyers are trying to imagine themselves living in your home. But it’s hard to do that with family photos or your children’s art projects on the wall. Help buyers see their vision by depersonalizing your home. This can also mean getting rid of unique art pieces and painting the walls in neutral tones.
6. Don’t Forget the Smell – Appeal to the Senses
While home staging is primarily a visual endeavor, don’t forget about the nose. Scents that evoke positive memories motivate decision making. A home that smells like cigarette smoke, pets, or like musty mildew will turn off most buyers. It’s important that your home smells fresh and clean. However, be careful about using artificial fragrances as these can sometimes be too powerful or cause an allergic reaction for some individuals. Instead, try these simple home staging tips to make your home smell like a million bucks:
- Open a window and allow fresh air to move throughout the house
- Grind up citrus peels and ice cubes in your garbage disposal
- Sprinkle baking soda on your carpets before you vacuum
- Clean surfaces (well before showings) with odor neutralizing materials like baking soda and vinegar
- Boil water with some citrus peels, cinnamon sticks or both
7. Lighting is an Important Home Staging Tip
Sometimes staging your home in the best possible light means exactly that. Lighting is a crucial part of how your home is perceived, and the general rule of thumb is: the more light, the better. Be sure blinds and curtains are open and you have multiple light sources on, including overhead lights and lamps. If necessary, swap out your lampshades or change to higher wattage lightbulbs to make sure every room is properly illuminated.
8. Repair Small Issues
When buyers tour your home, they’ll be looking as much at the layout and overall size as they will the small details. To make your home look its best, you need to repair any minor issues that could impact buyer interest. Patch holes in walls, replace torn screens, fix leaky faucets, and tighten handles. Make sure all doors and windows open and close easily, and lock properly. These may seem like small things, but they can make a big difference in the mind of buyers.
9. Rearrange Your Rooms – Open Space, Accent Pieces
You likely arranged your rooms based on the size of your furniture, the size of the room and what made you and your family most comfortable. But home staging is all about what makes the house look the best, not what’s most practical. Consider rearranging your space to maximize the appeal. This may mean removing a piece of furniture (particularly if it’s outdated or worn) to create more space. You can also pull an armchair and side table into a corner to create a reading nook, or move a small table from a bedroom to the front hallway to create a more welcoming entrance.
This is one area where a home staging professional can really put their skills to work. They will look at your home and the space you have in a different way. Home stagers’ talent is to make a space appealing, fresh and inviting. It may cost a bit more money to have your home professionally staged, but it may help you get the price you want for your home.
10. Hide Signs of Pets
Lots of people love pets, but some don’t. Regardless of which side they fall on, most buyers don’t want to see evidence of pets when touring a home because it leaves the impression the home isn’t as clean. As part of your home staging, be sure to clean up any pet hair and hide any bowls or toys. Your pet will still love you, and you’ll love sharing your next home with them once the sale is final.
Looking to sell your home? Register with Homes for Heroes and our local real estate specialist will guide you through the process, giving you home staging tips to maximize offer prices and save you money. Heroes who use our program to sell a home save an average of $3,000.