Prepping your home to sell means getting it ready for staging so potential new buyers can get excited about the idea of living there. With some practical home staging tips, buyers will more easily feel at home in what could be their new home.
Once you’ve decided to sell a home you’ve been living in, it can feel overwhelming to figure out how to decide what to pack away as you prepare to move, and what to keep out as part of the decor as people tour your home.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through some home staging tips and best practices as well as ideas for improving each area of your home.
Home Staging Tips to Wow Your Buyers
You’ve spent a lot of time making this house a home. Now that it’s time to move on to a new home, you need to show buyers what they will love about these spaces too. As part of the process of selling your home, home staging is a key part of your home’s marketing.
The key principle of good home staging is to neutralize the space so buyers can envision their own things in the rooms, and show the home’s size and potential.
Staging truly is an art and it pays to have a trained eye look through your home and know what lighting, paint, furnishings, and arrangements will create a blank canvas for buyers to picture their most loved belongings in that space.
Home Staging Statistics
Home staging isn’t just a way for designers to make money. There are real psychological effects that staging has on home buyers, and that is reflected in how much money they’ll spend, and how quickly they’ll want to close a deal:
- A staged home will spend less time on the market (73% faster) than an unstaged home
- Staged homes typically sell 17% more than an unstaged home.
- 83% of buyers said that seeing a staged home made it easier for them to visualize that property as their own.
The Three Ds of Home Staging
When you take clutter and personalized decor out of home, it helps a buyer visualize themselves living in that home. The three D’s when we’re preparing our home: declutter, deep clean, and depersonalize.
When your buyer is walking through your home you want them to be able to visualize themselves there.
I recommend all my sellers to pack up the majority of the items that they have around their home, leave furniture and items that help make the space feeling cozy but remove items that are a distraction.
Spaces look larger when we take away a lot of that clutter.
2. Deep Clean
Most people don’t typically clean our spaces deeply on a regular basis. But our potential buyers will notice the extra dust on the ceiling fan and the dirty baseboards. When that happens, they begin to start questioning what else may have been neglected.
It’s imperative that you clean all those things that you don’t normally think about, such as light fixtures, ceiling fans, baseboards, and any other parts of the home that aren’t cleaned regularly.
It’s really important that you take away all your personal effects and leave minimal amounts of decor in the home. As we’ve established, we want potential buyers to come into a home visualizing themselves living there.
When there are pictures of another family’s vacations and Christmas mornings tacked to the fridge, it’s a reminder that they’re walking through someone else’s family home, not one that might be their own in the future.
Repairs For Home Staging
Before doing repairs on your home for sale, it’s important to be sure the repairs make financial sense, and that the return on the investment is actually worth it. Your realtor will help you weigh the pros and cons of which repairs will make the biggest impact on your sale.
If you have a leaking roof or a deck that is falling apart, holes in the walls, electrical issues, major and obvious items, you’re going to want to take care of them.
Any repair issues you already know about are going to come up in the home inspection, along with items you don’t know about. So you might as well save yourself the headache at the negotiating table by fixing issues ahead of time.
- Flooring is really important. If it’s old, outdated, has holes, you might consider installing something new, or at least at the very minimum, making sure that you have a professional cleaning done.
- Painting your whole home with neutral colors is a great idea. A fresh coat of paint does wonders on making a home feel clean.
- Lighting should be updated if it’s older. Good lighting makes spaces look and feel more personal and customized, especially when choosing which color tone of light bulbs work best in each space.
- Hardware is another great item to update. New drawer pulls in the kitchen and bathrooms goes a long way in giving the home a fresher look. If you’ve been waiting for a reason to finally fix that wiggly knob on the kitchen junk drawer, now’s the time!
Home Staging Tips, Room By Room
Each room of your home needs something special to create a uniform experience as potential buyers tour your house. Follow these home staging tips to see how you can elevate each area of your home.
1. Home Staging Tips for The Kitchen
Clear your counters and organize inside your cabinets. Potential buyers are going to open up the cabinet doors! (Consider this your warning!)
Make sure there are no smells in the kitchen. If you’re cooking and baking prior to a showing it’s a great idea to make sure that you are cooking and baking things that smell homey and comforting! Pumpkin pie, yes. Baked fish patties, no.
2. Home Staging Tips for Bathrooms
Make sure that your bathroom is nice and clean. Check the caulk around the toilet and shower. Ensure that it’s fresh and that it’s not molding and mildewing. Wipe down mirrors and counter tops prior to a showing.
Put some nice white towels in the bathrooms to add a fresh and clean look. All of your personal effects should be put away. And if you can, paint. Fresh paint is great for the entire home.
3. Home Staging Tips for Living Room & Bedrooms
With your living room and bedroom it’s really great to pay attention to the flow of those spaces and having furniture arranged in ways that feel good.
Avoid blocking a lot of light or doorways. Having little pops of color with your pillows is nice, but otherwise, keep things really neutral. Put away your personal effects as you would in any other portion of the home.
4. Home Staging Tips for Outdoor Spaces
Landscaping is another important place to put some money. Home buyers often drive by homes they see online before their agent makes an official viewing request.
It is important that the exterior of your home looks attractive and gives the impression that the home has been well-loved and cared for.
If you can’t paint your whole home, at the very least paint or stain your front door and any front decking. Power wash all the pathways, walkways, driveways and even your home itself. Add some fresh flowers and pots to make the entrance more inviting. And of course, make sure your landscaping is done well and that lawns have been recently mowed and edged.
Additionally, weed your flower beds and put down some fresh mulch. Tree companies will often times offer wood chips for free, and those are really great for your flower beds. Wood chips help the soil, help your plants, and it looks great.
Home Staging Tips: A Handy Review
- Make sure everything looks clean and inviting
- Freshen up the paint, landscaping, lighting, and fixtures
- Deep clean your home, or better yet, hire a professional to do it
- Keep your home smelling fresh. Make sure that you’re taking your trash out often and not cooking smelly foods.
- Keep your sink clean, keep up with the dishes, clean up after your pets (litter boxes), and add fresh towels to the kitchen and baths.