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Staging Your Home: Tips + Tricks to DIY

Mary Ellen Vanaken

Mary Ellen was born and raised in Long Island, New York. After graduating from college, she worked on Wall Street for JP Morgan in New York City...

Mary Ellen was born and raised in Long Island, New York. After graduating from college, she worked on Wall Street for JP Morgan in New York City...

Jun 12 10 minutes read

Staging your home is easier than you think!

Should you pay to have someone stage your home? Well there isn’t one answer to this. BUT, experts say a properly staged home can sell for 3-6% higher. So investing some time and money for staging is definitely worth considering! Not everyone needs an expert interior designer, check out our tips and tricks for staging your own home to help you get a better offer faster!

For Everyone: Whether you hire someone or not!

Now there are some things that every homeowner should do, whether you plan on hiring an expert to stage your home or not. 

Clean Clean Mr. Clean: when potential buyers walk into a dirty, home they will immediately assume there are also underlying problems. An unclean home will make it appear like the property wasn’t taken care of. Before you list your home, take the time to do a good thorough clean. Then simply keep your house clean with 15-30 minutes a day. Wipe down the kitchen daily, clean bathrooms weekly, vacuum weekly (or more if you have furry friends), and de-clutter the rooms daily. 

Say hello to my little friend - Goodwill: Speaking of clutter, take the time to do your goodwill cleanse before you list your home! Closets are a huge selling point, you want every inch of your home to be clutter free. The less clutter in the space, the bigger your home will appear. You’ll have to go through everything when you pack anyways, so put yourself a step ahead and throw out unnecessary items early. You can even go ahead and pack up some nonessentials. The more you can get rid of, the more open your spaces can be. De-cluttering your home might seem like a waste of time to you, but I guarantee the extra space it provides will impress your potential buyer.

Curb appeal = Your First Impression: First impressions are everything, have the potential buyer fall in love with the home, before even stepping inside. Boosting your curb appeal is a must if you want to sell quick and at a great price. It is also one of the easiest ways to add value to your home. Take the time to power wash your siding, walkways, and driveways. Even though it is hard work, it will add a freshness to your home that will make it look much newer. On that note, if your porch floor is looking a little dated and chipped, take the time to re-stain or paint. Porches are huge selling points that you should take advantage of. Spend your afternoon sprucing it up an get ready for offers to roll in! Keeping your windows clean, will also be a great touch. It will allow more light to pass through helping not only the outside appeal, but the inside as well. Its important to keep your lawn neat. Make sure to mow frequently, and add fresh sod if there are any dead patches. Flowers can really add life to the exterior of your home. Its a cheap fix that can add personality to any home, plus its a great way to spend time with family members of all ages. No matter how big your door stoop is whether its a few steps or a huge wrap around porch, make room for a few flowers to add a pop to your door, while they wait to go inside.

You might think that your home is perfectly styled. Whether you are in to mid-century modern, french farmhouse, or shabby chic, it's important to understand that not all people will have your style. Try to appeal to as many buyers as you can, while also leaving your personality in the home. You want your place to seem lived in and cozy, but its also important that you allow any and all potential buyers to imagine themselves in the space. 

You can do it!

Now once you have decided to take on staging your home yourself, there are many things to consider. Let’s get started.

(1) Floors are incredibly important, when you’re house shopping it’s probably one of the first things you question if you’ll have to poor money into. To avoid losing that value in your home, take the time to properly clean any and all floors. If you have wood floors consider oiling them or refinishing them depending on the shape they are in. No matter what type of floor, remember rugs are a great way to add color to the room without having to leave something permanent. 

(2) Remember when you thought that the bright blue in your office would really set the vibe to work? Or the forest green in the dining room? Well not everyone might agree. Neutral paint colors are a cheap and easy way to boost the value of your home. It’s easier for the potential buyer to see your home as move in ready when the home has neutral colors. Beige, grey and everything in-between AKA “griege” are a great way to put a fresh coat on your home, while appealing to everyone. Depending on the size of your home, painting everything might be more time consuming than you want to take on. BUT, just think of what you want to see as a new buyer, and try to find a way to squeeze that into your schedule and budget. 

(3) Try to keep the home especially the master bedroom gender neutral. Some are better than others at looking at whats there and imagining themselves in the space. Some people might look at a girly bedroom set, and push those vibes onto the rest of the room or even the house. IN the bedrooms, remember that closets are BIG selling points. People worry where their things will go, and how exactly it’ll fit. Typically, closets are great places to hide things from friends and family. But, potential homebuyers will want to explore them to make sure it fits with what they need. So organize your things, make your closet visibly appealing, this is extra important if you have a tiny closet. Don’t let the potential homebuyer be stuck on the size, and show them just how to utilize every inch. 

(4) Everyone wants their home to feel spacious. There are two easy keys to do just that: de-clutter and bright lights. Take special care in picking your window treatments. Curtains that are hung too close to the window, will shorten your room. Instead hang them high and wide for a more grand tall looking room. The lighter the room the bigger the feel. Whether this means opening the shades or adding lamps to a few key spots, invest in the time and money to do that. No one wants their home to feel claustrophobic and if your home is too dark, some might feel that way. 

(5) In no way, do you have to expect to buy new furniture every time you have to stage your home. Staging doesn’t mean buying everything new and looking like a magazine. It has more to do with the layout and flow of your rooms. Try to stay away from big bulky furniture. You want to arrange furniture in a way that entices people to explore the room. The longer someone spends in the home, the more likely they are to imagine themselves and their belongings there. Keep walkways wide and furniture situated as to elicit conversation. If you have squeezed an extra desk or dresser into your room, take it out while your’e in the selling process. Although it added extra utility to you, it might overwhelm the buyer into thinking the room is smaller than it actually is. Your bedrooms especially should be a place that appears calming and peaceful, keep that in mind as you arrange your furniture. 

(6) Think of the little touches you see on TV shows, magazines, and online when you see a home. Vases of flowers can go a long way to add a homey feel. Set the dining table! This way buyers can imagine what exactly Christmas dinner looks like in the home. Invest in throw pillows for the couches and beds. This is a great place to show your style and add color. While you want the bones of the house to be neutral, it is okay to add a little fun to your home through accents. In fact, many buyers would love to see that! Invest in outdoor living spaces. A rocking chair on the front porch is an accent people love to see, or a fire pit in the back allows them to imagine s’mores with their family. Think of what memories you hold in your home, and try to allow the buyer to imagine some for themselves!

Staging your home is about putting your home in the best place to sell. It’s not about spending the most money, buying the nicest furniture, or completely changing the house. It’s about showing the potential of the home. You want the buyer to see how much your house has to offer. Whether your accenting a big front porch, floor to ceiling windows, a grand kitchen, or the old charm of original wood floors - play it up! People want their home to have charm, and by properly staging your home you are deciding how it will appear to them. When people fall in love with your home, they will be more wiling to spend more. There are so many low cost ways to add a little extra something to your home, that you don’t need to spend that whole 3-6% you might get. By simply cleaning what you have and taking extra care in arranging it in an appealing manner you are staging your home. While some homes might need an expert, most can simply do with some extra love and care. 

Is there a tip we missed? Let us know, we would love to know what worked for you! 

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