10 Ways to Stage Your Own Home like a Professional

10 Ways to Stage Your Own Home like a Professional

Staging your home before listing is proven to help your house sell faster, and for more.

Many sellers opt to hire a professional designer to stage the home, but we have some ideas to stage your own home like a pro. Check out our ten tips below!

Why Stage Your Home Before Listing?

Home staging has been shown to bring in significantly higher purchase prices when it is done well. On average, investing about 1% of the home's value into staging results in offers 5% to 15% over listing, and sometimes even higher. Real estate professionals agree: home staging is worth it.

Some sellers don't want to pay a professional to stage their home, since it can run anywhere from $500 to $10,000, depending on the size of the home, the condition it is in, and whether you need to rent furniture to stage with for an extended period of time.

To save some of that money but enjoy the benefits of home staging, keep reading for some tips to stage your own home.

1. Clean

This may sound obvious, but a deep clean is one of the most important factors when you decide to stage your own home. Go beyond your standard tidy and get the house sparkling clean, like a professional cleaner's results.

  • Polish appliances
  • Clean windows, inside and out
  • Wash walls and baseboards
  • Remove stains from tubs, showers, and toilets
  • Rent a quality carpet cleaner
  • Clean behind the toilet, under furniture, and all those spots you think no one will see

Remember, potential buyers will be looking at your home to see how well you take care of it. Any part of the home that isn't clean sends the message that you haven't kept your home in great condition, and may result in lower offers or less interest. Your goal is to make it look like new!

2. Declutter

You want potential buyers to be able to picture themselves in your home, so when you stage your own home make sure to put away personal belongings that may look like clutter. This might mean:

  • Magazines and mail
  • Games
  • Seasonal clothes
  • Hobby supplies
  • Papers
  • Office supplies

Aim for lots of clean, blank surfaces to help potential buyers picture themselves and their belongings in the space.

3. Define Rooms

Buyers want to picture themselves in the house, so when you stage your own home it is important to make sure each room has a defined purpose. This helps buyers imagine themselves in the space and maximizes the square footage of your house.

For example, if you have a finished attic or basement that you use for storage or flex space, stage it as an office or game room. If your breakfast nook is a catch all space, get rid of the clutter and set it up with a tidy desk, breakfast table, or armchair and side table.

4. Paint

As you stage your own home, consider both interior and exterior paint. Look at the condition and the color; Even if you painted recently, an outdated or bold color may be a turn-off to potential buyers.

Consider going with a neutral tone and make sure the paint job is done well. You can hire professionals for this (especially helpful for exterior paint) or do it yourself, but remember that a professional looking paint job is important.

5. Freshness

As you stage your own home, eliminate (or at least limit as much as possible) specific or unwelcome odors. If you are living in the home while it is listed, stay away from cooking meals that use fragrant ingredients like broccoli, hard boiled eggs, or curry. If there are pets or children in the home, be aware of odors you may be numb to, like diapers and animal scents.

Avoid artificial fragrance, as it is a turn off to many people, when staging your own home. Opt for simmering a pot with apples and cinnamon sticks or popping a batch of cookies in the oven. You want a subtle, welcoming smell in the home.

6. Add Houseplants

Houseplants are one of the best ways to freshen up a home and add decor when you stage your own home, without personalizing the space. If you think you won't be able to keep them alive while the home is listed, opt for a quality faux plant or refresh a vase with a new bouquet each week.

7. Flooring

You may be used to the slow, subtle wear and tear on your home's flooring, but when you stage your own home keep in mind that potential buyers are looking at every detail. Carpet that shows its age represents more work, or even an unkempt home, to buyers.

In some cases, a deep clean of the flooring won't be enough and it will be worth the investment to replace old carpet or damaged flooring entirely.

8. Lighting

Take advantage of natural light when you stage your own home. Open curtains or blinds to showcase the natural light your home offers.

If there are any outdated lighting fixtures, consider replacing them. This minimal investment can result in major return. Updated lighting makes a big impact in the overall design of the home, and also gives the buyer one less thing on their potential to do list, making your home more turn-key.

9. Furniture

When you stage your own home, look at the furniture and make sure it is updated and photographs well. Crowded furniture that doesn't suit a space or furniture that doesn't go well together may be functional for you as you live there, but won't translate well for potential buyers.

You may want to invest in furniture that is the right size and style for the space, eliminate furniture from a room that feels crowded, or look into renting staging furniture for the time your house is on the market.

Remember: you want potential buyers to be able to see themselves in the space, not spend energy trying to imagine the house without all your stuff in it.

10. Curb Appeal

Sometimes when you stage your own home, it's possible to focus entirely on the interior and forget about the importance of curb appeal.

Simple updates like flower boxes and a new welcome mat can go a long way. Make sure to keep up with landscaping while your house is listed and rent a power washer to make your driveway and walkway like new. Use a power washer on the home's exterior as well.

The front of your house is the first impression, so make sure to give it the attention is deserves.

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