How To Stage Your Own Home to Sell

From A-Z

Staging is all about first impressions and creating the "wow" factor of a home. According to many studies, between two identical properties, a staged home can increase the market value up to 15% and sell quicker! Staging a house to be on the market is very different than living in your home on a daily basis. It is a visual essential for all sizes and types of homes selling in this real estate market throughout the United States. 

  1. A - Always take a step back and try to look at your home from someone else's view. This includes your yard as well. This is helpful to start neutralizing your home for the "mass market" home buyer. Keep in mind that the buyers are coming to see the potential of the home and not wanting to see everything of yours out on display. Buyers need to see each room at its very best potential, not being overly crowded with items, and having a bit of personality. 
  2. B - Bark. Use small redwood or black bark in areas that have dirt showing in your yard. Some areas of the country use pine needles as well. Basically, this will instantly give a finished look to your landscape and complete your curb appeal. 
  3. C - Clean your house! Clean your carpets. Clean up your yard. Cut your lawn and overgrown bushes. Clear old pots, wood, yard furniture, scrap metal, etc. Clean your pool. Consolidate your clutter! 
  4. D - De-clutter your bathrooms and kitchenBathrooms should have clean bath towels neatly hung or stacked, a clean bar of soap and maybe a small bowl of potpourri or a plant. That's about it. All personal items such as razors, toothbrushes, toilet bowl cleaners, shampoos, conditioners, jewelry and medicines should be hidden away. Kitchens should have a bare minimum on their counters with only a bowl of fresh, hardy fruit (such as lemons, limes, red apples, etc), a plant, decorative cooking oils and maybe a cookbook. All utilitarian items like the coffee maker, toaster, microwave, knife sets, blenders, rice cookers, etc. should be removed showing the maximum counter space available. 
  5. E - Extra furniture needs to be moved out into the garage or given away. Removing items from each room will give the rooms a larger feel and a streamlined look. It's better to have a semi-empty room with basics rather than an overcrowded room that no one can see through. 
  6. F - Flowers can increase the curb appeal. Color spots coming up the front walk or in a container by the front door or in a couple pots on the back yard patio will invite potential buyers into your home. The curb appeal will be cheery and colorful. Fresh flowers in a vase on the dining room table or on the kitchen counter or on an entry table will not only smell good but will give life to the room! Orchids are always a nice indoor choice because they last longer than fresh cut flowers and give a classic look to your room. 
  7. G - Give unwanted and unused items away. This will start automatically clearing away some of the extra items you may have laying around your home. 
  8. H - Hang fresh window panels or coverings. Remove all heavy, outdated window dressings. These can be overbearing for windows and end up hiding their very beauty and focal point features. 
  9. I - Introduce greenery or something that represents life into each room. This can be a floor plant, fresh flowers, orchids (real or silk), green topiary, some silk greenery pieces, fresh fruit or potpourri. Remove all outdated, dusty silk and dried flower arrangements and replace with real plants if possible. 
  10. J - Junipers are outdated and old. Although they are drought resistant, they most likely are overgrown and probably hiding some of your home's potential curb appeal. Open up the space and remove them at once! Replace with newer plants or just bark the area for a new clean, fresh look. 
  11. K - Keep your pets away when showing your home. Large bird cages, big dog beds, cat scratching posts, cat boxes, huge fish tanks, etc. should all be removed while your home is on the market. Pets should be in a designated area while your home is open without the chance of getting out and disturbing potential buyers. 
  12. L - Lights need to be on when you show your home. Make sure that all of your light bulbs are working in your fixtures, especially the ones over your bathroom sinks, dining tables and hallways. Also, make sure the fixtures have been cleaned. 
  13. M - Market your home! Basically, that is what you are doing by staging it. Make sure all of its features and benefits are well seen and not covered up with big furniture, heavy drapes, floor rugs, a lot of clutter or too many personal items on display. 
  14. N - Neutral, neutral, neutral! This cannot be stressed enough. Your home cannot be bland of personality, but it also cannot have bold, loud colors covering walls in paint or wallpaper, as bed coverings, as window coverings, represented in wall art that doesn't match, in selections of materials for furniture, carpet, cabinets, appliances, sinks and countertops. Neutralize the colors into soft earth tones that are pleasing for the mass market of buyers. 
  15. O - Open your eyes and be your worst critic. Ask yourself what can be removed, moved around to better fit in a room or be changed to be more interesting or updated when you enter a room. 
  16. P - Personal pictures of family members should be taken down. Remove all picture frames from the walls (filling in the holes on the wall with spackle) and the multiple pictures covering bookcases and tops of surfaces. This is to de-personalize the look of your home. 
  17. Q - Quit cooking spicy, overly smelly meals keeping the "smells" of the home fresh and clean. Neutralize smells with baking of cookies or breads, burning a safe candle in a container, use carpet freshener or a "plug-in" air freshener. 
  18. R - Religious emblems, statues, books and words should be removed. Again, this is to neutralize your home. 
  19. S - Stand back and look at all of your rooms. Do they need to be rearranged to give them a fresh look? Try putting your sofa on the angle to mix up your look. Add or delete an area rug, sometimes they are too big for the room and make the room look small and crowded. By adding a smaller rug you automatically add warmth, texture, color and create a designated sitting area.
  20. T - Touch-up paint! Refresh the look of your home inside and out by painting. This is an inexpensive way to change the look of a room, neutralize a color or give it a fresh boost of energy. Paint door frames and wood work a fresh white to cover up black marks and scuffs. 
  21. U - Update fixtures. All light, bathroom and kitchen fixtures should be changed to oil-rubbed bronze, black rod iron or brushed nickel finishes. Brass is not an updated look today. Also, updating brass door handles, door hinges, mirror edges and shower door frames are recommended if possible.  
  22. V - Visualize entering your home for the very first time. Where does you eye go? Is it the correct focal point for the room? If not, how can you change the room to accent its best features? 
  23. W - Wash all windows. This will give your home a clean feeling and allow a great view of your yard.
  24. X - Xerox copy machines, computers, printers, humidifiers, stereos, gaming systems, etc. need to go! It is true, we all have them. Unfortunately, they are not great to look at, nor are all of the countless wires they seem to have attached to them. Unhook anything you can to eliminate the mass amount. Bundle the rest so they are not a mess on the floor and try to hide them so they are not in view if at all possible.  
  25. Y - Yell YEAH! Because you are almost done and well on your way to having a fantastic looking listing! 
  26. Z - Zip up your look with accessories and color that "pops" into each room. The colors red, burnt orange, amber yellow and sage green all stimulate our eyes and add excitement and warmth to our décor. Try incorporating small color "pops" with your neutral rooms such as red apples, books with color bindings, candles, pillows, plants, pottery pieces, napkins, etc. to invite buyers into each room creating warmth and charm. Remember to keep it simple. Less is more!


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Very nice advice. And loved the play on words. Thanks!

By Anonymous