Real Estate

Flip 1: Tips for Staging a Small House

August 6, 2019

Staging a small house takes a little more effort than a large home with lots of space. We found our second flip house unexpectedly and had to stage our little bungalow (flip 1) to sell in just 5 short days! In order to keep the new home under contract we had to sell our house in just 7 days. Luckily, the Denver market is HOT and we sold it within a week!

Staging Tips

1. Declutter

This is especially important for small homes. You want the buyer to think that there will be plenty of space for all of their belongings. We removed furniture and other personal items to make each room feel as spacious as possible.

2. De-personalize

Remove most family photos & any religious or politically affiliated objects on display. You want the home to feel warm and inviting but not like a potential buyer is intruding on your personal space. You don’t want to distract a buyer with anything that they may not agree with when they are deciding if they want to purchase your home.

3. Deep Clean

This seems like a given but it is important for your home to be as clean as possible, especially if you have pets. We removed all signs of owning dogs when we staged this house. I did not want potential buyers to think about dogs on the carpet downstairs, dog scratches on the hardwood, etc.

Air out your home an hour before the open house. Walking into a home and having it smell strongly of that family can be a turnoff when buyers try to visualize themselves in that space.

4. Professional photographs

Make sure a professional takes photographs of your home! They know how to make your room look its best with lighting and angles and will attract the most buyers online.

Here is how we staged each room in our small bungalow:

Staging the Living Room

We did some major decluttering in the main room.  

  • Simplified artwork on the walls by removing our family/friends collage
  • Removed the rug to highlight the wood flooring
  • Rearranged the layout by removing a large chair to improve the walking pattern for potential buyers
  • Packed away any little nicknacks on the end tables and mantle for a streamlined look

Staging the Dining Room

  • Swapped out our oversized dining room table for a smaller table. This makes each room appear larger.
  • Decluttered the shelves to the left (thats maybe a 1/4 of the alcohol we had on that top shelf)
  • Removed plastic cups from the glass cabinets and packed away a portion of our glassware so the cabinets where not overstuffed

Staging for the Kitchen

  • Clean off the countertops to maximize the workspace buyers will see
  • Deep clean the fridge and appliances
  • Organize cabinets and declutter – with small kitchen (especially), potential buyers will often look in cabinets to see how you fit all of your stuff. Always try and leave empty space to show there is plenty of room for more of the buyers belongings.

Staging the Master Bedroom

  • Clean & Declutter: In this room we just made sure that the room was clean and felt bright and airy
  • Closet: The master bedroom closet was all mine. When buyers came through our house, I wanted to give the illusion that two people could use this closet. We put half of our clothes in storage and added Chris’ belongings to the closet.

Staging the Nursery

  • Removed the dresser that Chris kept in here to hold his clothes
  • Rearranged the room for a better flow and more spacious feel
  • Removed the rug to show the floors
  • Moved Chris’ clothes in the closet into the master bedroom closet

Staging the Bathroom

  • Remove all personal products from the shower and sink
  • Deep clean
  • Add a fresh towel and a plant

Staging the Basement

  • Declutter the office area
  • Deep clean
  • Removed personal photos from the end tables

Staging the Exterior

  • Weeded the garden
  • Opened the umbrella
  • Cleaned all of the surfaces
  • Picked up all dog poop!

Lastly, when we left for the open house, we turned on music to help create the welcoming atmosphere we wanted the visitors to feel. This was a party house for us so if we could get potential buyers to visualize all of the great get togethers on that back deck, we knew it would help to sell this house.

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