Home Improvement Real Estate

How to Stage a Small Home to Sell Fast

August 9, 2019

Today I am sharing my tips on how to stage a small home to sell fast! When selling a small home, staging the house to sell is extremely important!

I helped my parents stage their 650 square foot cottage to appeal to the most buyers. They were buying a new cottage and it was imperative that we sell their small cottage as quickly as possible.

Gem Beach Cottage

Gem Beach cottage

My parents had owned this cottage for 12 years and in that time we created so many wonderful memories. From bachelorette parties to family BBQ’s, this has been one special place for our family. With the 8th grand baby on the way, my parents made the decision to buy a larger cottage. We immediately started making a list of projects to get the house ready for the sale.

We celebrated my sisters 80’s bridal party themed bachelorette party at the cottage!
We celebrated my sisters 80’s bridal party themed bachelorette party at the cottage!

Preparing for the Open House:

Exterior Before

First, we focused on improving the curb appeal. A few pieces of vinyl siding needed to be replaced that were damaged by hail and one side of the shed needed to be completely replaced since I melted all of the vinyl while grilling for a bachelorette party (sorry again Mom and Dad!).

The darker vinyl pieces are what we replaced.

Exterior After

Improving the curb appeal with fresh paint
Pro Tip:

When painting vinyl siding, you must choose a paint color lighter than the vinyl on your house. If you choose a darker color it will heat up the plastic and melt the siding on hot days.

Front Porch Before

The front porch doubles as a bedroom so we wanted to highlight the dual purpose. We added a rug to the entrance of the porch and a little seating chair as you first walk in. On the other side of the porch we removed any bulk bedding on the daybed and placed an end table next to it.

Before image of cottage porch

Front Porch After

The front porch is bright and airy
Gem Beach cottage

Living Room Before

We have a large family, so there was a lot of seating in this space. We removed the big yellow chair and a wicker chair on the other side of the room to begin opening up the space. This improved the flow into the kitchen immensely. Finally, we removed the rug and decluttered the TV stand.

Living Room After

Staged living room at the cottage
Staged living room
Organized TV stand in main living space

Kitchen Before

The most important thing you can do when showing a small kitchen is to declutter! The first thing that we did in this kitchen was pull out all of the big and bulky items. This included a mini fridge, the recycling bin (we kept the garbage can) and then we swapped out the old science table for a small kitchen cabinet to open up the walking space.

**Quick disclaimer for my parents sake – these before photos were taken while we were in the midst of moving everything around so it is a lot messier than normal!

Kitchen After

We removed anything that was stored on top of the fridge and removed all photos and magnets.

Staged kitchen with minimal objects on the counters

We removed everything from the counter and added fresh flowers in the sink.

Clean counters and fresh flowers with home staging

Bedroom #1 Before

Again, the word of the day is DECLUTTER! By removing the pack n’ play and taking down all hanging jackets on the wall, we made this space feel bigger and more visually pleasing to potential buyers.

Bedroom #1 After

Welcoming guest bedroom after staging
Staged first bedroom at the cottage

Bedroom #2 After

I don’t have a before picture of the second bedroom, but from these images you can tell it is a smaller bedroom. Before, this room housed a giant king sized bed! It was insanely comfortable but it was essentially a room only filled by a fluffy mattress.

We put in a smaller bed which gave the illusion of a larger space and made it much easier to walk around the bed and access the dresser.

Master bedroom with minimal furniture
Master bedroom with minimal furniture

Bathroom After:

In the bathroom we removed all of the useful storage bins throughout the space. This included the bin on top of the toilet that held various toiletries and anything sitting on the sink. There was not too much we needed to do in here besides remove some personal items.

Small bathroom staged with flowers and minimal belongings.
Small shower was decluttered by removing hygiene products

I love preparing homes for open houses so much that I created a freebie for all of my readers!

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