When you put your home on the market, it’s essential to highlight its strengths and downplay its weaknesses. Ensure your house appeals to a wide range of prospective buyers with the following home staging tips.
This article is designed to be quick and snappy. We wanted to dive into a few of the topics we cover in our home staging courses just lightly, so anyone who needs to quickly stage a home will have some good ideas to get them started.
- Make it Appealing from the Outside-In
- Update the Kitchen
- Declutter and Cut Back on Furniture
- Rethink Furnishing Placement
- Add Some Office Space
- Pack Up Personal Items
- Emphasize Storage Space
- Give Bathrooms a Spa Appeal
- Create Pleasant Aromas
- Set Great Lighting
- Eliminate Signs of Pets
- Accent with Colors
- Luxuriate the Bedrooms
- Combine the Right Accessories
- Use Window Treatments Wisely
Make it Appealing from the Outside-In
A first impression is lasting, so before you even get to staging the inside of the house, you must focus on the exterior.
Make your home stand out from the moment prospective buyers pull up to the curb by making some simple upgrades.
First, clean up the roof, siding, gutters, and fascia with a pressure washer.
Next, give your shutters and front door a fresh coat of paint. Consider a bold color that coordinates well with the rest of the house.
Then, replace the old mailbox, house numbers, and welcome mat with new ones and install new lighting.
Spruce up flowerbeds, window boxes, and edging with fresh mulch and fill empty beds with greenery, seasonal flowers, and small shrubs.
In winter, fill a pair of oversized planters or urns with cold-hardy annuals or small evergreen shrubs and place them on either side of the front door.
If your stoop or front porch has enough space for furniture, put a couple of new patio chairs on it.
Update the Kitchen
Kitchens are one of the first rooms prospective buyers will focus on, so it’s crucial to make some upgrades before you show the house.
First, clear the countertops by removing all clutter and show off storage space by packing up small appliances and seldom-used dishware. Either pack or use up any dry goods you have in the pantry.
Give the cabinets a fresh coat of paint and change outdated hardware to help elevate the look of the kitchen.
Swap out an old faucet with a stylish new one, especially if the old one is caked with hard water stains or corroded.
Check with your dishwasher manufacturer to see if you can purchase replacement panels or consider installing a new dishwasher.
Update the backsplash by painting the existing tile, installing beadboard paneling or tin tile, or using peel-and-stick faux tile.
Declutter and Cut Back on Furniture
One of the number-one home staging tips is to declutter, and one of the most significant contributors to a cluttered-looking home is too much furniture.
Potential buyers should be able to move freely around each room, which is why one of the first things professional stagers do when prepping a house for the market is clear out as many furnishings as possible.
Cutting back on furniture also helps make each room look larger.
Reducing the number of pillows on couches and chairs and minimizing items on shelves, coffee tables, and end tables can help you avoid a cluttered look in the home.
Rethink Furnishing Placement
While some people believe that a room looks larger when all the furnishings are pushed up against the walls, quite the opposite is true.
When staging your home, you should float furniture away from the walls whenever possible.
Pieces should be placed to create an obvious flow of traffic through a room. Doing so will open the space up, making it more user-friendly, and making it seem larger than it really is.
Add Some Office Space
Having a home office has always been appealing, but it has become a requisite for many of today’s homebuyers.
These days, remote jobs are on the rise, and more parents than ever are opting for homeschooling. Workspaces are often essential for potential buyers in today’s market, so as you’re staging your home, be sure to add some office space.
If you don’t have a spare room to dedicate to a home office, use a walk-in closet or carve out some space in a living room corner to place a desk and some office essentials.
Pack Up Personal Items
Depersonalizing is on par with decluttering when it comes to home staging essentials.
When potential buyers walk through your house, the goal is to help them picture themselves at home there. When all your personal items are decorating the spaces, it’s harder for them to envision their own in place.
As you’re staging your home, pack up things like family photos, framed diplomas, kids’ artwork, and personalized memorabilia and knick-knacks. Replace such items with generic accessories and artwork in neutral colors.
Emphasize Storage Space
Storage space can be easily overlooked during the home staging process, but it ranks high on many homebuyers’ priority lists.
Emphasize storage space throughout the home by emptying and decluttering cabinets and closets.
Create a sense of organization with matching cloth bins, baskets, and shoe racks.
Add some potpourri satchels to linen closets and stock them with fresh towels and sheets.
Give Bathrooms a Spa Appeal
Bathrooms are the smallest rooms in the home, but their appeal can help make or break a potential buyer’s decision to close on your house.
In addition to scrubbing them until they shine like diamonds, you should also focus on removing mold, hard water stains, and clutter.
Tuck away toiletries, personal care products, and cosmetics into the medicine cabinet or vanity. Set the bathroom with new bathmats, rugs, and shower curtains.
Make upgrades to old tile and discolored grout. Remove and replace moldy caulk around the showers and create a spa appeal with white towels, apothecary-style accessories, candles, and fancy soaps.
Create Pleasant Aromas
Many people don’t notice subtle odors in their homes, such as lingering smells from cooking, pets, or mustiness seeping in from the basement.
However, these subtle scents can turn a potential homebuyer off in a heartbeat.
On the other hand, a pleasant aroma can have an instant and lasting effect on how someone feels.
So, create a pleasant mood that entices potential buyers by filling your home with pleasant aromas.
Some simple ways to ensure your home smells clean and fresh are to:
- Use an oil diffuser in entryways for positive first impressions
- Place a scented candle such as vanilla or apple cinnamon on the kitchen table, countertop, or stovetop
- Set a vase of fresh flowers in the living room
- Outfit bedrooms and bathrooms with plug-in air fresheners
Always use subtle scents like vanilla, fresh linen, lavender, or sandalwood.
Steer clear of intense scents like tropical fragrances and bold florals.
Set Great Lighting
A significant part of creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere involves lighting. Every room should include three types of lighting:
- Accent lighting on tables and walls
- Task lighting with under-cabinet fixtures or reading lamps
- Ambient lighting, either overhead or with tall floor lamps
You should also increase the wattage in fixtures and lamps wherever possible. As a general rule, aim for 100 watts per 50 square feet.
Eliminate Signs of Pets
Every pet owner loves their pets so much that they tend to overlook the fur, are oblivious to the dander, and don’t notice the odors their furry friends leave behind.
When staging a home, it’s essential to focus on and eliminate signs of pets in the house, as some potential buyers may either be allergic to the fur and dander or turned off by the odors.
Before each open house or scheduled walk-through, put away pet toys and food dishes, hide litter boxes and pet beds, put crates in the car, and have someone take the dog or cat for a walk.
Accent with Colors
Small spaces like powder rooms and dining rooms are ideal places to get away with bold color accents.
Choose an accent wall in such rooms and paint it to draw attention to features like fireplaces or nice sets of windows. You can also paint or wallpaper the inside of a built-in bookcase or niche to make them pop.
Luxuriate the Bedrooms
The main bedroom should always exude a sense of luxury. Make sure the bed is well-made and covered in luxurious linens.
Use a solid, soft-colored duvet stuffed with an oversized comforter to make the bed look plump and plush.
Use shams, extra blankets, and throw pillows to add pops of color or textured patterns.
Remove personal items from nightstands and keep them uncluttered by accessorizing them with a lamp and a couple of small neutral items.
Combine the Right Accessories
Mix up odd numbers of eye-pleasing accessories on empty shelves and table spaces in each room to make the rooms feel more inviting.
Don’t set accessories in rows; arrange them in triangles of three. Vary the height and width of each accessory, keeping the larger items at the back and the smallest in the front.
Focus on the shapes, colors, textures, and other unifying elements when grouping accessories.
Use Window Treatments Wisely
Window treatments can elevate a room and make it look more spacious when done well.
Choose drapes that match the walls to widen the space and hang them above the windows to create an illusion of height.
Start them at the ceiling and hang them low enough to brush the floor without gathering or puddling.