Five Basic Tips for Staging Your Home for a Sale

Spring is in the air, and that means it’s time to consider selling your home, pulling up your stakes, and moving on. That is, if you’re not doing it already.

With how often people buy and sell their homes, it’s clear that we humans have nomadic roots. Thankfully we’ve come a long, gorgeous way from the hovels our ancestors used to call home, especially your home, which is beautiful, and now it’s your job to help someone else see that.

What would be better than getting your money’s worth out of your investment? Almost nothing? That’s what we thought. As you prepare to put your home on the market, we wanted to give you a quick overview of the basics for staging your home. Though it may seem daunting, by making a quick list and sticking to it, you’ll have your property ready in no time.

Embrace the Declutter

Though that collection of The Believer magazine is really cool, not to mention your vinyl...and paperbacks and Funko Pop! Dolls (all very cool), those are personal items that create a sense of clutter when a potential buyer walks through your home.

First step to getting your home ready to stage is boxing up anything that’s not necessary to your day-to-day functioning in order to reduce the amount of stuff readily visible. Rent a storage space or, if you can’t afford something like that, put these items in boxes in a closet or your garage. The idea is to make your home more of a canvas for buyers, where they can envision the home as their own.

Check Your Furnishings

So now you’ve reduced the amount of stuff in your space, take a long look at your furniture. You don’t have to run out and buy brand new sofas and whatnot, but do consider checking out how you’ve got your place organized. Rather than pushing all your furniture up against the walls, do something different. Arrange it in conversational groupings in the center of room or off to one side, depending on how large the room is.

That would mean pointing sofas and armchairs (get this) at each other and not at the TV. We know that’s not terribly accurate to real life, but this is staging your home. Does that mean re-arranging the couch configuration every night so you can unwind and binge on the latest season of Game of Thrones? It might.

But, well, when your house is off the market super-fast, it will have been worth that extra work. You had your cake and you ate it too.

*Ahem* Clean Your House (Thoroughly)

Did we say thoroughly? We meant super thoroughly. For some people, such as those with children or pets, this might mean something as crazy as painting. If not that, then taking a cloth around the house and wiping down light switch covers, outlet covers, baseboards, and doors. Grime has a way of getting everywhere it’s not supposed to be.

Once it’s really clean, consider having a few small tasks that you can do every day or every morning so that it remains ready to show. You did all that super-thorough stuff that we advised, so don’t let it slip back to the natural state of matter in the meantime. You know, chaos?

If you hate cleaning and can splurge, it might be a good idea to pay for cleaners to come once a day or every other day while your house is on the market.

Check the Curb Appeal

Don’t have any? Get some (we have helpful information about it here [insert link]). The first look at the exterior of your home is a potential buyer’s first exposure to it. Time to make a great, if not bold, first impression. Because a picture is worth a thousand words, make sure you get that picture done as perfectly as possible.

If it’s spring or summer, all the better. Consider renting a pressure washer to spray the cobwebs and dust off your house, mow the lawn, rearrange the xeriscaping, hire landscapers, or do it all yourself. Use our list that we linked to, and you got this.

Neutral Colors and Clean Lines

This isn’t to say that a splash of color isn’t the bomb, but display that over a backdrop of neutral colors. Ideally if you do decide to paint, you’re now well-equipped to wisely pick the palette, rather than whimsically choosing bright red just to be fun. Who doesn’t need a bit more fun in their life? Well, our advice is to wait on that, do it in the new home you end up buying after this one sells. You bought your current home once, now it’s time to help someone else visualize their future in it.

Help them do that by giving them a canvas that’s memorable with stylish, tasteful decor.

Do It Yourself or Hire Someone?

That is entirely up to you. We can recommend that if you do hire someone—which can be quite costly—if they encourage you to stock your place with plastic fruit or plants, hire someone else. That’s just what the experts told us.

Whatever you do, something is better than nothing. We’ve given you a list that covers the basics, but know that there’s definitely more that can be done to stage your home to look its best when it goes up on the market. Start here, and like we said, you’ve got this.

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