13 Tips for Staging a House
1. Amp up Your Curb Appeal
The key to getting buyers to walk through the front door is first getting them to stop the car. Upgrade your curb appeal with a freshly mowed lawn, seasonally appropriate flowers, and a welcoming front door. Create an inviting porch display with easy-to-read house numbers, a new doormat, porch lighting, and clean furniture. Sweep walkways and, if possible, power wash your siding to give your home a tidy appearance.
This is a big one. Your entire home should be clean and clutter-free, which will help your space feel more open and inviting. Keep countertops and tabletops clear of the daily clutter that tends to stack up, like unopened mail and car keys. Spend time sorting through junk drawers and closets and determine which things can be tossed, donated, sold, or stored. This decluttering process will be immensely helpful when it comes time to pack up and move.
If time and budget allows, refresh your space with a fresh coat of paint. Opt for muted shades on walls and trim to create a blank canvas where home buyers can imagine their own styles fitting. “Greige,” or grey-beige, is a clean, neutral color that complements most interior design styles and is a warmer alternative to stark white walls. For a cooler, more modern aesthetic, opt for light grey walls with crisp white trim. At the very least, spackle and paint over any holes in the walls from artwork or other wall hangings.
Stained carpeting and damaged hardwood can be a turnoff to potential home buyers. While they may choose to change the flooring anyway, clean floors are important to the aesthetic of the home’s interior. If you have pets, this is especially important. For hardwood flooring that needs repair, consider refinishing it before showing the home. If refinishing your floors is outside of your budget, beautiful area rugs are a great option to hide unsightly blemishes.
Although you love your pet, it could turn away potential buyers. Put away all pet bedding, toys, and feeding bowls during home tours. Have carpets steam cleaned to keep animal smells and stains at bay. Tidy up outdoor areas where your pet may spend time. If possible, relocate your pets during the hours the home is being shown. Remove litter boxes, puppy pads, or any other potential odor-contributing items.
While you want your home to appear tidy and neutral, you may still be living there, so it’s important to strike a balance between sterile and lived-in. One way to create continuity and comfort throughout your home is by decorating within a consistent color scheme. Think neutral tones on walls and furniture that can be accented with strategic pops of color.
Depersonalizing your home is a crucial factor when inviting potential buyers to view your space. Buyers should be able to envision themselves and their family in your home, and personal items like family photos can become a distraction. Keep personal items to a minimum and let your home speak for itself.
Stay away from decor that is too style specific. All of your decor should appeal to most potential buyers you’ll have coming though. While your own personal design style might include a collection of funky odds and ends, potential home buyers may not share the same affinity for your stuff. Keep surfaces, floors, cabinets, and closets free of clutter and simply styled.
After removing your personal touches from the house, it can start to feel a little stark. One way to brighten and warm up the space is to bring in organic elements, such as a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter or a vase of seasonal flowers on a console table or nightstand. A beautiful bowl of lemons adds a bright touch to a dining room table, and the fresh citrus scent is clean and homey.
Style your dining room table with a simple setting that still evokes a sense of entertainment and family gatherings. Choose dining room furniture that is complementary to the space so it doesn’t appear overcrowded. Being able to move easily around the room gives buyers the sense that the dining room is spacious. Use a light hand when creating a tablescape. You may choose to set the table with dinnerware, but this is not necessary. A simple centerpiece of fresh fruit or flowers is enough to create a pleasing focal point.+
Great lighting is everything when showing your home to prospective buyers. You can set the mood, showcase a space, and draw attention to a focal point with the right use of lighting. If your budget allows, upgrade lighting fixtures to give your space an instant update. Make sure light bulbs are new and lighting fixtures are all working properly.
If you’re showing a home that is still furnished, it’s important to make sure each room is tidy. Make sure all beds are made, nightstands are clear of clutter, and closets are organized. Style the master bedroom in a neutral decor scheme, and make up any guest bedroom or home office spaces to showcase their potential.
Hang freshly laundered hand towels in the bathroom and remove all personal toiletries. Polish fixtures and switch out hardware if it looks worn or dated. Keep countertops clear of all personal hygiene products including items in the shower. Remove all cleaning and maintenance products like plungers, toilet brushes, and air fresheners. Clear out drawers and closets to maximize the appearance of storage. If you’re still living in the house, only store toiletry items you use daily and keep them neatly stowed when not in use.