6 Tips for Staging Your Home



When it comes to selling your home, looks matter.


Buyers don’t want to see your cluttered everyday life, complete with stained furniture and kids’ toys all over the floor—they want to see a house that looks like it belongs in a magazine. And many of them make a decision about a house within moments of first seeing the property. So, if you want to see the offers roll in right away, it may make sense to stage your home to give the best first impression.


“The goal of
staging is to make the house as neutral, open, bright and modern as possible, so it will
appeal to as many buyers as possible, and sell faster and for more money than
an un-staged house,” said Jessica Flavell, a professional home stager in Washington, DC.


Although you’ll probably need to invest a little bit of money to properly stage your home, it can pay off. A survey from found that sellers who invested just $500 in home staging saw a 343 percent return when they sold their homes. And according to statistics from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a staged home typically sells for 17 percent more than an un-staged home.


So, what do you need to do to make potential buyers fall in love with your home at first sight? Follow these six tips for getting your home ready to sell.


1. Clear Out the Clutter.
Most people have accumulated a lot of clutter, which can be a problem when it comes to showing a home to potential buyers. Getting your home ready for showings “may well involve putting extra
chairs and end tables instorage, as well as boxing up and storing
collections that take up considerable space,” said Michael Coyne, owner of the Happy to Help concierge service in Amarillo, TX, which provides staging and moving services.


2. Brighten the Rooms.
According to, improving the lighting throughout the house generally costs less than $400, but it can boost the sale price by $1,500. Replace burnt-out bulbs, clean the windows, replace outdated window treatments and maximize the home’s natural light.




3. Focus on Simple, Cheap Improvements.
Chances are, you don’t want to renovate a kitchen when you’re about to sell your home, but there are many smaller updates you can make that can have a big effect on potential buyers. Basic updates to fixtures, hardware, fresh neutral paint colors, new towels and bedding, and eliminating pet odors can make quite a difference,” said Kelly Davis, a real estate agent in Chicago.


4. Highlight the Positives.
Focus on placing furniture and art to emphasize a room’s best features, such as a fireplace or a view of the outdoors, said Donna Dazzo, a professional home stager in New York City. If you’re unsure how to properly place your items to achieve the right effect, consider hiring a designer or home stager.


5. Concentrate on Curb Appeal.
First impressions count, so it’s important to keep the outside of the house looking as good as the inside. While you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on professional landscaping, consider smaller steps such as “sprucing up the front and back yards by mowing, weeding, raking, trimming bushes and adding mulch,” Dazzo said. Setting up attractive outdoor patio furniture also can help lure potential buyers.


6. Hire a Photographer.
As soon as you’ve staged your home, it’s essential to invest in high-quality, professional photographs of the house and grounds. According to a survey from the National Association of Realtors, 90 percent of homebuyers research houses on the Internet before scheduling a showing, so put your best photos online to make sure the house stands out from the competition.


Although staging a home for sale can take some effort, you may see results pretty quickly. According to theInternational Association of Home Staging Professionals, staged homes took an average of 23 days to sell. By contrast, un-staged homes sat on the market for an average of 130 days. By taking the time to clear your clutter and capitalize on your home’s potential, you can secure the highest price for your home in a short period of time.


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