Tips for Staging Your Home

It’s been a busy couple weeks at my house as my husband and I rather unexpectedly purchased a new home, then scrambled like crazy to get our house ready to put on the market. When the opportunity to purchase a home with tons of potential and in one of our favorite neighborhoods surfaced, we couldn’t pass it up. We made an offer the day before it was set to go on the market, it was accepted, and that left us needing to sell our home quick!

how to stage a home

We had three days to get our home ready for market. I won’t lie, it was pretty much chaos and we hardly slept but we got it ready, it looked beautiful and we sold it after three days on the market.  After our whirlwind of de-cluttering, cleaning and staging, I thought it would be helpful to share some of my important tips for staging your home.  It’s not limited to staging your home to sell, but some practical tips that can get your home ready for any party or special gathering.

1. Show off your home’s best features
Make sure the best features of  your home are highlighted.  For instance we have a beautiful bay window in our family room.  I used to have it covered with curtains as you can see in the picture below.

Window with curtain

It was pretty but the curtains made the window seem smaller and blocked the crown molding above. I removed the curtains from the window and the doorway to the patio to make sure these assets were highlighted. Remember to highlight moldings, architectural details, great views or anything that adds value to your home!

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2. Don’t under estimate the power of curb appeal
It’s important to focus on the interior of your home when staging but don’t overlook the importance of the exterior.  It’s the first thing buyers will notice when they pull up to your home and you have the opportunity to win them over before they even set foot into your house. When prepping the exterior of our home we did not let any detail go overlooked. We

  • Freshened up the mulch on our entire property
  • Potted fresh mums on our front steps and walkway
  • Powerwashed the exterior of our home and sidewalk
  • Cleaned all debris off the roof
  • Wiped the gutters clean
  • Kept the grass cut and edging tidy

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3. Put the toys and clutter away
If you have young children like me, it can easily feel like your home is one large playroom. If buyers see bulky toys and clutter they will quickly make the assumption that your home is short on storage. Take large children’s toys out of your home if possible or store them in a garage or basement. You don’t have to make it look like kids don’t live there, but thin things out so they are not a distraction and buyers can focus on your home, not your stuff. By day our front living room acts as a train table and car ramp, but removing the toys and staging the coffee table gave it a completely different look.

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4. Add something fresh
Purchasing fresh flowers for your home makes it feel finished and polished.  You don’t have to purchase expensive bouquets, I like the $3.99 bunches from Trader Joes that usually last me about a week.  It also adds a nice pop of color in pictures.

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5. Limit your personal items and photos
When a buyer walks into your home, they want to picture their family living there, not yours. While your house may be plastered with photos of your children and their artwork, as it should be on any given day, keep this to a minimum when staging.  It doesn’t mean you need to hide every personal photo and item, but keep it contained to a couple areas in the home. I kept my photo wall up in the family room because it’s nice and organized and took our other family pictures down.

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6. Neutralize
I am all for taking design risks in your home, but it’s good to tone them down when preparing to sell.  If a buyer walks in and sees a bright orange wall, they will think $$ signs and time to have it painted to something less specific.  They will use these types of items to negotiate the price down on your home when in reality it’s only a $40 can of paint fix.  Taking the time to tone down bold designs will help you maximize your dollar in the long run.  All of our rooms were white, grey or tan to be market ready.  We still had colorful elements in each room such as the rug below, but they weren’t fixed elements that could dissuade some buyers.

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Staging your home is not an easy task.  But putting the time and effort into it up front will help you get the most value out of your home!


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