Last Updated on June 15, 2023 by lindseymahoney
When it comes to selling your home, staging can make all the difference. By strategically arranging and decorating your space, you can create a welcoming and appealing environment that will maximize your buyer pool. As a licensed real estate agent, I will provide you with expert tips on how to stage your home for a successful open house to sell your home fast!
Top Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Property Fast
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1 | Know Your Home Buyer
When staging your home, consider the type of buyers that are most likely to purchase in that area. Our first two homes were in trendier neighborhoods that appealed to young professionals and couples that were beginning to start their families.
We made sure to highlight entertainment spaces as well as kid-friendly areas to appeal to these buyers.
With our third home, we knew that many buyers looking in that area had children and wanted a little more space. When I prepped the house to sell, I staged the house to highlight the benefits for families with multiple children.
Of course, we were not only considering buyers that had families (that is not only unethical, but illegal), but this was the main demographic of buyers in the area.
2 | Create a Welcoming Entrance
I would argue that curb appeal is the most important area to stage when selling your house because it is the buyers’ first impression of your home. Make a great first impression by sprucing up the front entrance. Add a fresh coat of paint to the front door, plant flowers, and ensure the pathway is clean and inviting.
The entrance of your home sets the tone for the rest of the open house, so it’s important to create a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. You want to avoid potential buyers making a mental list of repairs needed on the house when they first pull up to the house.
Here are a few outdoor home staging tips to spruce up the exterior of your home:
- Manicured yard: Mow the lawn, water the grass so it looks healthy and green, mulch where it is needed, and clean out the flower beds.
- Play up the porch: Add seating and pillows to welcome potential buyers. Add a welcome mat and a door wreath for some added character. Sweep the porch and dust off any cobwebs in the corners.
- Fresh flowers: Add some potted plants or flowers near the front door to add a pop of color and make the entrance feel more inviting. Choose plants that are low-maintenance and can withstand different weather conditions.
- Clear the Front Walkway: Make sure the pathway leading up to your front door is clean and free of any debris. Sweep away any leaves or dirt, and consider power washing the pathway to remove any stains or grime.
- Paint the Front Door (optional): Give the front door a fresh coat of paint in a color that complements the exterior of your home.
These small details can make a big difference in creating a positive first impression for potential buyers.
3 | Proper Lighting
Bring in all the light!
Open every blind and curtain and turn on every light in each room. Buyers want a home to feel bright and airy, not dark and confined.
Don’t forget to wash your windows before the open house either (this is a MUST if you have toddlers and pups with wet noses)!
Make sure to replace any burnt-out light bulbs as well and keep the lightbulb temperature consistent. By this I mean, don’t have one sconce with a daylight lightbulb and the other sconce with a warm light lightbulb.
4 | Create a List of Home Upgrades
Don’t assume that the buyer will notice your updates.
Provide a list of upgrades for buyers to flip through at the open house. It is also great for your realtor to reference when talking up your house.
In our third home, we made sure potential buyers knew that the swamp cooler and roof were brand new. We highlighted all of the interior improvements like new floors throughout the house.
When we sold our previous home, I created a full “Homeowners Manual” that included everything a buyer would want to know about the home and neighborhood.
This book included all upgrades, names of paint colors for each room (in case touchups were needed), schools, and amenities.
I made sure to address anything that could cause concern for a buyer.
For example, one of our homes had a large nursing home across the street. I highlighted that the nursing home tenants are quiet, friendly neighbors and my toddler son loved to go and visit his buddies at the “Neighborhood House”.
5 | Declutter and Depersonalize
Remove personal items and excess clutter to create a clean and neutral space that allows potential buyers to envision themselves living in the home.
Start by removing any personal photographs, memorabilia, and other items that make the space feel too personalized. Additionally, take the time to declutter any excess items that may be taking up space.
Here are a few areas to focus on:
- Closet: If you have a small closet and your clothes are jammed into it, take out half of them so it looks like there is room to add more. You don’t want a potential buyer’s first thought to be that they won’t be able to fit their belongings in the bedroom closet.
- Toiletries: Hide all toothbrushes, hairbrushes, and all shower toiletries when showing your home.
- Counters: Clear off all counters. I keep a few staging items on the countertops pretty soap, flowers, fruit, and a cookbook. Appliances like toasters and piles of junk should be cleared away.
- Kids Items: It is ok to know that kids are present in the home, but store away all of the big items like the high chair, bulky seats, walkers, etc.
- Personal Items: I am in favor of peppering in some personal photos, but if there are tables of picture frames displaying your memories, I would pare that down. I also recommend limiting fan memorabilia, and religious and political objects.
This bathroom is clear of all toiletries and looks really clean with a crisp, white towel and plant in the shower niche.
6 | Make Your Bed Beautiful
We have all seen it before, you are scrolling through photos of a beautiful home and then the bedroom looks like a college dorm room!
The bed is uninviting with two flat and dingy pillows at the top of the bed. This is a turnoff!
Make your bed and put some effort into making it look beautiful. Prop your pillows up with clean shams, add a few throw pillows, and maybe even add a blanket to the foot of the bed.
7 | Deep Clean Your House
I recommend hiring a cleaner before an open house.
A good deep clean includes the floors, baseboards, bathrooms, and refrigerator. With kids and dogs, this small fee is totally worth it.
An hour before the open house, open your windows and bring some fresh air into your house! Buy “expensive” candles and light them in a few rooms.
Avoid air fresheners and plug-ins. You may be ok with the smell but buyers may be sensitive to the strong, artificial scent. I personally dislike the smell of both.
8 | Bring Life Into the House with Fresh Flowers
Creating small vignettes in each room of your home will help potential buyers to envision themselves in the space. Adding a little life to a room with flowers creates an inviting atmosphere. Fresh fruit is an easy way to add a pop of color to each room as well.
9 | Stage Each Room & Consider Traffic Patterns
When staging each room in your home, it’s important to arrange the furniture in a way that maximizes space and flow. Remove any unnecessary or bulky furniture to create a more open and spacious feel.
Consider adding tasteful decor elements such as artwork, mirrors, or plants to add visual interest. Keep in mind that less is often more when it comes to staging. Avoid cluttering each room space with too many accessories.
Pay attention to the details, like ensuring that curtains are hung properly. Other details include checking that light fixtures are clean and in working order. These small touches can make a big difference in creating a positive impression for potential buyers.
10 | Create Ambiance
The goal is for buyers to love your house so much that they don’t want to leave.
When preparing for the open house, turn on music, light gas fireplaces, sprinkle the rooms with fresh flowers, and maybe even add some music. Lighting a scented candle with a pleasing aroma like “fresh linen” or “lavender” helps to create a clean and welcoming atmosphere when staging your home to sell.
11 | Fix Minor Home Repairs
Take the time to fix any minor repairs or maintenance issues that may be visible to potential buyers during the open house. This could include things like loose doorknobs, squeaky hinges, or dripping faucets. These small repairs can go a long way in showing buyers that the home has been well-maintained.
12 | Highlight Key Features of Your Home
Another home staging tip when prepping for an open house is to showcase the best features of your home. This includes features like architectural details, natural light, or a beautiful view. Use strategic lighting and furniture placement to draw attention to these areas.
Thanks for checking these tips to stage your home and sell fast! With these tips, I know you will maximize the value of your home and stand out from the competition.
Now go ahead and bring in that money, honey!!
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