Easy DIY Home Staging Tips When Preparing to Sell your Home

Are you looking at buying a new home, yet feeling stressed with the need to prepare your current home for sale at the same time? If you are not sure where to start or how to get your home ready, this article is for you! Today I am sharing easy home staging tips that I provide to all my sellers, about how to prepare their homes for sale. Whether you are considering listing in the next 30 days, or even in the next 6-12 months, these DIY home staging tips can be started anytime and all be done while living in your home.  By following these home staging tips, your home will showcase in its best light to potential buyers and help maximize its potential for top dollar offers. Which is what we all want, right? 

Think back to when you were touring houses and bought your current home. Do you remember things that could make or break the idea of a particular home?  Most buyers will agree to the most popular items looked for when touring homes after location. Curb appeal, floor plan, how much light is provided not only by fixtures, but windows and skylights, the allowance of storage, flooring, the finishing touches of workmanship and how well the home has been cared for are the most popular.  Taking the time and effort to stage your home will show your home in its best light and make it easier for a buyer to visualize your house as their future home.

First Things First, Home Staging Tip #1, Declutter and Depersonalize. 

When buyers walk through your home, they try imagining living in your home.  So clean off your counter spaces, declutter your pantry area, and remove things from under the beds. Items you do not need before your move, pack into boxes that can be stored in the garage. Things you no longer need or use at all, throw away or donate them.  Organize your closets and cabinets by only keeping the basics, leaving empty spaces between what is kept.  These empty spaces provide the illusion of tons of extra room allowing the buyer to imagine fitting their large kitchen appliances, the kids toys, their holiday decoration bins or whatever it is they have, without trying to imagine moving your stuff out first. You never want the buyer to think your home is too small or does not have enough storage space!

Another thing that helps buyers imagine themselves in your home, is to be generic. Having family photos and mementos staring back at them from the walls, reminds them another family lives there.  You’ll be bringing your pictures to your new home anyway, so pack up your family photos and neutralize your home. 

Home Staging Tip #2, Clean Clean Clean

Roll up your sleeves, it’s time to clean your house top to bottom. All those little things we like to put aside for later, its time to tackle.  Clean grout, wash the windows sills, scrub the bathrooms, shampoo carpets and don’t forget removing the dust from fan blades.  A clean home signals to potential Buyers that your home has been well cared for.  A cared for home allows the buyer to see its value.  When the buyer sees areas of neglect, they begin to wonder what else they missed. Their mind begins to devalue the home thinking the home isn’t clean or taken care of.

Home Staging Tip #3, Tackle Minor Repairs.

Right alongside cleaning and making your house sparkle, are the repairs. You know that honey do list that sits in the back of our minds?  Commit to checking these off the list. Fix the leaky faucet, the torn screen, the broken floor tile, even the burned out light bulb above the oven.  Plan a weekend to focus on taking care of all these “little” things.  Buyers look at everything, don’t think any area is safe.  If they find something that is broken,  it leaves them wondering what else is wrong with the house that has not been maintained,  again giving them a chance to start devaluating the home in their mind.

Home Staging Tip #4, Paint

Dollar for dollar, there is nothing that gives back more than a fresh coat of paint. Stains on walls or floorboards can make a room look old and worn.  Dark colored walls can make a space  feel dreary and shrink a room.  Any dents or marks in the walls consider touching these up with spackle prior to painting.  Freshening walls with an off white or light cream colored paint will brighten your home giving it a clean crisp look.  This being said, if the paint job lacks a professional finish with sharp cut lines along the ceilings and trim, it will work against you.   If you are not an attention to detail person, it is worth the cost and time to hire a professional to come in and paint your home. 

Home Staging Tip #5, Flooring

If your budget allows, replacing old flooring with new, can increase your resale value.   Walking through a home with old stains, dirty carpeting or scratched up floors will turn some buyers off completely. For others, their minds start calculating how much it will cost them to replace the flooring. They debate if they even want to buy the home and take on the project of replacing them.   Buyers will often fail to see the listing price as a good valuation for a home with worn old flooring.  New updated flooring increases the value of the home in a Buyers mind. It allows the home to show in its best light to help bring in the top dollar offers.

Home Staging Tip #6, Curb Appeal

I think we can all agree, there is nothing like a first impression, good and bad.  Did you know a bad first impression of curb appeal can make a buyer not even want to get out of the car to look inside the home? Your Buyer’s real first impression is when they are driving up your driveway and walk to the front door.  In these moments, they are already starting to imagine what it would be like to live there and are looking around to see if everything appears in good repair.

Make sure to have your walkways and driveway clean, especially from the moss we get here in the pacific northwest. Have your lawn, hedges and trees trimmed. Fill in any needed mulch or gravel and consider adding seasonal flowers or decor pieces to make the entrance a warm and welcome invite.   

Now moving to the backyard,  buyers love to look at the yard after they have looked through the home.  Create a welcoming entrance to the backyard via the patio.  Make sure the lawn furniture and grilling area are clean. Add pillows or outdoor glassware to help a buyer feel as if they could easily sit and decompress while dinner cooks on the grill, or relax with a glass of wine at the end of a day.

Now that we have the basics,  let’s move to the Bonus Finishing Touches. 

Home Staging Tip #7, Creating Flow – Bonus 1

You want the space in your home feel as open as possible. Remove pieces of furniture that make a space feel crowded or cramped. Arrange the furniture in a way that allows an easy flow through your home.  Though I always say one cannot buy a home based on current furniture, the reality is, buyers do this all the time as they walk around homes imagining where their couch will fit, or their family heirloom hutch and their comfy reclining chair.  The more room a house appears to provide, the easier it is for a buyer to imagine their furniture fitting in it.  If you have beautiful flooring, consider removing space rugs and large floor plants allowing the floors to be shown off while accenting the floor space to the buyers as they walk through.

Another thing to address in the home, if you have a small nook or alcove that may be hard for someone to imagine what the space could be used for, answer the question for the buyer before they ask it. Fill the space to show it’s use as a small desk area, a coffee corner or maybe even a book and plant shelving area.  Don’t leave weird odd spaces to the imagination.

Home Staging Tip #8, Make Rooms Light and Bright – Bonus 2

People love walking into light, bright cheerful rooms.  Make sure your window coverings are clean and open, letting the sunshine in.  Make sure all lights are in working order and bulbs are clean from dust.  If there are rooms in your home that are a bit darker, consider changing light bulbs to a brighter luminance or add more lighting by add lamps to brighten the room and mirrors to reflect the light around the room, if design allows. 

Home Staging Tip #9, the Smell Test – Bonus 3

The way a house smells can have a bad impact on buyers if they perceive mold, mildew or pets.  Hopefully with all of the cleaning and decluttering you have done to this point, you have no possible smell concerns.  Scents will sometimes remain in materials such as bedding, blankets, carpets and window coverings. If you are noticing a scent, consider removing these items that could be harboring the smell. Open windows to let fresh air flow through the home.  You do not want an overpowering smell of anything in the home, the more neutral the better.  If you’d like a light subtle scent though, during showings, consider bowls of citrus fruit, basil, eucalyptus or vanilla in the kitchen and living rooms.  

Home Staging Tip #10, The Resort Feel – Bonus 4

Now that you have decluttered and cleaned your home, add back some small resort moments throughout the home.  Adding a vase of fresh flowers or bright green potted plants can add life. A bowl of fresh fruit in the kitchen can add a pop of color.  Set the dining room table with neutral table settings, or design a simple centerpiece with candles and greenery. 

Set aside certain linens for the bathrooms and bedrooms for showings versus everyday use.  White linens always provide a rich crisp look, if you are not sure what to use. Make sure beds are tightly made and roll towels to put on the bathroom shelves. If you do not have shelves, you can also hang towels over the towel bars, layering in size from bath to hand to washcloth.  Simple touches go a long way and the additions will add warmth to the buyers impression of your home. When a buyer feels a warmth about a home, they can see themselves living there and see your home as a place they want to call home.

If you are thinking about selling, ease some of your stress by downloading my free Home Staging Tips Checklist. CLICK HERE This is a quick easy, one page list, to check off items as you are preparing your home for sale. To be helpful, it also includes a reminder summary of all 10 home staging tips we have gone over above.  If you are considering selling or are looking for assistance with the sale of your home, please reach out, I would love to converse with you about how we could work together and have the opportunity to assist.

(Watch the video HERE)

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